Sunday, 12 September 2010

Balance in the Tech Zone

One of my biggest challenges in our Hub is the amount of time in the day that the tech zone is open for student use. We open at 6:30 a.m., so there is a 45 minute period of free tech time before school starts. After school, we are open for 90 minutes. In between, there are staggered recesses throughout the day, and so we are a revolving door for student use. Definitely not a bad thing, but the high interest of computer use coupled with the sheer volume of students has made it tricky for me for two years now.
Some questions I was asking myself: What should they be doing on computers during their free time? How can I manage the space best and still give kids a choice? How do I balance the volume of kids in the tech zone while I am teaching a class simultaneously?

After much trial and error (like when I thought it would be fun to let them do Poptropica--not my finest choice), I have created a wiki with choices that is the home page when students go to Firefox. It's a nice balance of fun and literacy that is weeding out the Poptropica-only patrons and allowing room for those who want to explore Destiny Quest or book blogs or National Geographic.

I'd be so curious to know what others are doing out there in the big, wide world. Feel free to share what your tech zone looks like during recess.

Image attribution from pshutterbug

7 comments:

Miriam said...

One thing the kids in my library really like, is to visit the author/book websites we've found. They are a bit of a mixture, some games and so on, but I love that they get the kids excited about reading, and that's gotta be a good thing, right? :-)
http://rsslibrary.edublogs.org/authors-and-illustrators/

Miriam said...

One thing the kids in my library really like, is to visit the author/book websites we've found. They are a bit of a mixture, some games and so on, but I love that they get the kids excited about reading, and that's gotta be a good thing, right? :-)
http://rsslibrary.edublogs.org/authors-and-illustrators/

Miriam said...

One thing the kids in my library really like, is to visit the author/book websites we've found. They are a bit of a mixture, some games and so on, but I love that they get the kids excited about reading, and that's gotta be a good thing, right? :-)
http://rsslibrary.edublogs.org/authors-and-illustrators/

popo said...

I love this....especially the wiki.

Diane said...

I use my Destiny home page as my page for links that students can use. They don't have much time in the library but the teachers like the links for when they go to the computer lab. They are also good for home use.
www.yliniemi.wordpress.com

IMC Guy said...

I'm not sure how things work in ISB's, but are you there all the time? Is it contractual? Regardless, having open time is awesome.

Tara said...

Thanks for the info, fellow librarians! Chad, I am only at ISB and we are the only tech lab in a school with lots of laptops, so the library computers are used for younger grades and recess times and my classes.