More from Ferlazzo: Lounging in the Computer Lab
On further surf, Larry Ferlazzo poses a good question how to spend effective time in a computer lab. Good point. We sometimes use the computer as the substitute teacher, almost like putting the kids in front of the tv to keep them quiet and occupied!
Use the computer to engage learners to be contributors rather than consumers of content. Maximize the lab time for application and integration of lessons.
Take a different approach when teaching working adult learners in a computer lab set-up, especially those who are relatively comfy with the hardware but not with the software apps. Early into the program, provide sufficient time for immediate hands-on exploration of the software interfaces in a semi-structured, small group activity. Doing the reverse with adults: try out timed, appropriate games to engage them! Just some thoughts on how to help them get over initial soft-tech phobia and perceptions of isolation.
No computer can take the place of a face-to-face mentor–but it can definitely give bookpages a run for their money.