Guest post by Heidi Raki
Often I come across teachers who use their computers as video game systems and televisions. They only allow students on them to practice games and watch videos. While both of these are valid ways to use computers - computers are so much more!
1.) Computers are interactive. Use blogs and wikkis to allow for interaction on your computer. Post a daily question to your blog and allow students to answer it during their computer center. Use a sight like www.wallwisher.com to let students add questions they have about a topic during their computer center. There are so many ways to have interactive computer centers!
2.) Computers are creative. Students can create so much using a computer. Students can use computers to make: drawings, writings, graphs, interactive displays, brochures, posters, etc. There's no age level on when creation can begin either, I have taught students all the way down to Kindergarten to create Powerpoints.
3.) Computers hold amazing information. With the internet these days, you can find information on just about anything. Let your students use kid friendly search engines like www.askkids.com or bookmarked sites to find information on topics you are studying in science, social studies, or even math! Students can use this information to complete tables or answer questions - like in this FREE Internet Scavenger Hunt on Geographical Features of the USA - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Internet-Scavenger-Hunt-Fourth-Grade-Geographical-Features-USA
4.) Computers allow us to connect. Using e-mail and skype, my class has connected with a class on another continent this year! Set up e-pals or partner classrooms and allow students to use the computer to see a whole new world!
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