Maintaining technology so that it will work properly during class time is essential but very time consuming. It can be a real time saver if you get students involved to help with maintaining the equipment. Some students really enjoy working around computers and are eager to help.
For me, it has become standard practice to run Norton Utilities or Disk Warrior once a week. I use Disk Doctor to fix problems and I Defrag the Hard Drives of each machine. This keeps them from acting up each week. When I don't take the time to do this, students usually have problems with the computers. What is needed is multiple copies of Norton Utilities, because it can take way too much time if you only have one copy. It is also essential to clean the mice, keyboards, etc to get rid of dust. Use canned air. Dust are computers worst enemy. If you are using laptops and do not have a way to plug them in, then it is a must to have back-up batteries and to teach students to check the amount of battery life they have on their computer.
Another thing is to make sure you are downloading all the latest free software upgrades. These are usually provided to fix any known bugs, etc.
Many schools do not have enough technical support, if any and teachers are usually on their own much of the time.
Sent: Feb 14, 2005 4:25 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Teach Thru Technology
Larry, I totally agree with you. Teach it early, rather than later, and
protect the creative, messy, wonderful arts in your program...keep them
alive at all costs. One issue you have to deal with when you teach
technology is frustration. Computers that are shared by many have
"issues." One a day, at least, freezes up and must restart in our
laptop mobile lab. Tell your kids to save OFTEN. Computer mice need to
be optical and excellent quality or it is soooooooo frustrating. If you
are using the rolling cart laptop labs, batteries die. I teach
photoshop and digital cameras to fourth and fifth graders. We do it one
day a week. It can be quite frustrating to have a kid's computer freeze
up or see them lose what they spent 15 minutes on because a computer
freezes or a battery dies and they didn't save their work. On the flip
side, kids are SO creative with digital imaging. It is fun, and they do
Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.
Director of Undergraduate & Graduate
Studies in Art Education
Department of Art