When the word "technology" is mentioned, people automatically think of computers. Technology, however, can mean much more than just computers. Technology can be low-level, mid-level, and high-level as well.
Here are some ideas for designing technology lab stations in a classroom with limited technology available. The plan works equally well in classrooms where technology abounds. Come let us show you how to make your classroom a Mecca of learning through technology. Whether you have one, two, or six computers in your classroom, we can show you how to involve your students with science and technology.
To be successful with this plan or any plan, you must first orientate the students to the set up. Letting them know the expectations and limits is important. We all function best when we know what's what. Introduce the students to the stations one at a time in a whole group meeting. Discuss the type of work to be done at each station. Execute a trial run over simple, familiar content so that they may focus on using this new environment and the technology as opposed to concentrating on new and difficult content material. Your trial run should be short and simple.
Make it work for you and your students. All seven labs can be implemented or you can set up one, two, or whatever number fits your needs.
Create a motivational learning environment by giving the stations descriptive names that fit with the topic being taught. Some examples are: Navigation Deck, Chart Room, Ship's Library, Think Tank, On-Board Lab, etc.
The stations can be used as suggested by teams of students to promote independent learning, or you can do all of them as teacher-directed group activities. Limited resources can be used more efficiently when students are grouped in teams where not everyone is vying for the same materials and or equipment.
Let's get started! Here are generic descriptions of the lab station types. Check out how this looks in practice on our new Classroom Activities pages (linked in the yellow bar at the top of the page).