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What to do when your Computers Don’t Work

Posted by on March 4, 2015
computers downI got a lot of suggestions based on my post, What to do When the Computers Are Down in January. Here are ideas that came in from my PLN:
  • Find a DVD player and get a copy of Magic Schoolbus Gets Programmed.
  • Do you have Laptops or iPads. Even without internet access, if you had Laptops, they could create Documents using Microsoft Word. If you have iPads, you can use the Apps that have been downloaded.
  • I know there are stories (Arthur’s Computer Disaster, The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed) that you could read to the students. Both have Videos as well. I know that Arthur’s Computer Disaster has worksheets that go along with the book. Worksheets can be found here I have also heard of the book The Computer Teacher from the Black Lagoon but I have never read it.
  • I do not have any access to laptops.  Our school moved and our laptops were reformatted and our servers were taken apart.  The only computer I have access to is my own personal laptop 🙁
  • If your school subscribes to Discovery Streaming you could record the video at home.
  • If you search on the forums for no computers or no power, there are quite a few discussions about what do to in situations like this
  • Digital Citizenship Lessons – Lots of them at Common Sense Media do not require a computer

  • Read books
    • Click Clack Moo
    • Franklin and the Computer
    • The Computer Teacher from the Black Lagoon
    • Arthur’s Computer Disaster
  • copy blank keyboards and have the kids fill in the letters, talk about parts of the computer
  • You could have a printed out spreadsheet that you ask question about or have them color in a certain cell you ask or something. Somewhere I have Computer Parts Bingo for little guys but I can’t find it right now.
  • Here’s a lesson plan from UEN – bingo using computer terms:
  • You could make bingo cards yourself with either terms (if all students can read) or clipart (if you’re doing this with little ones).  Stickers or small prizes would keep them focused.
  • I get kicked out of my lab 2-3 times per year due to testing, so I print out blank Keyboards (or labeled keyboards, depending on age of students) and we color the keys based on finger placement (either they tell me which Home Row fingers reach for which keys or I tell them).  Sometimes, my older typers and I have a contest to see who can color the most “beautifully correct” keyboard and the little guys and I just discuss and color home row or a few more keys.
Can you add any?

More on classroom management:

What to do when computers are down

8 Reasons for and 8 Against Revisiting Software in the Classroom

11 Ways to Wrap Up the School Year

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

updated 4-14-16

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