Learn a thing or two from Christine Goulette, Technology Integrator from Monmouth Schools. She took the classroom management tips from this blog, added some secrets she got out of a middle school student (whose identity is being protected!) and put them together in this easy to watch PowerPoint.
If you’ve been worried about how to manage the laptops and monitor their use, this is the place for you! Her suggestions in a nutshell (but I highly recommend you watch the presentation- it’s linked at the end of this post).
1. Learn how Spaces and Expose work. Kids use these for organization AND as a way to quickly shift from one window to another.
2. Use the dock. Your students may have their desktop and screensaver set to cover up their games or other distractions. You will be able to tell which applications are open by seeing which ones have a small white dot under them. Clicking on that application brings it up to where it was when they minimized it.
In this case, I have Safari, Firefox, FirstClass, iChat and iTunes open.
3. Use the F3 button. This button will show you all the open applications in a new window. You can see from this that I am doing MOST of my work- as well as watching a video that I put on Facebook this weekend.
I encourage you to watch her presentation- it has more tricks, tips and common sense. It will surely help you in your classroom management and help guide students towards more appropriate laptop use.