Laptops in the Classroom
First off, let me say that I am very lucky to be teaching in a Middle School with 1-to-1 laptops. I try to use them as much as I can, to the point where some of my students have actually asked that we do more projects on paper!
With this great new technology does come new challenges, the internet is a virtual smorgasbord of impulsive options, and students do not always stay or do what they are supposed to. Many teachers at my school seem to think that they cause more problems than they solve, and I refuse to believe that. After all, middle-schoolers want to learn consequences regardless of the medium.
My question for all of you is, acknowledging that of course an engaging lesson is the best classroom management tool, do you have any tips for classroom management when using laptops?
One suggestion I've gotten is to take the students out of groups and instead put them in rows so that I can see all of their screens, but this seems like the trade-off (considering the amount of group work we do) just wouldn't be worth it. In addition, I circulate so much that having all the screens facing in one direction wouldn't matter. My school also does not have access to screen-watching software for all of the teachers, so that option is not there.
Thank you for any suggestions!