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Help Teachers Decide if the Computer Classroom is Right for Them

Plan to devote an early (if not the first) training session to the pros and cons of the computer classroom. Teachers sometimes have unrealistic expectations and concerns about how the computer classroom might change their teaching. We've learned that talking through the perceived advantages and disadvantages, as well as the specific concerns that teachers have about this teaching environment, can help teachers decide if the computer classroom is right for them.

For example, in our most recent training session, teachers needed to talk about how the computer classroom environment changes the focus on the teacher. Some teachers wanted the classroom to eliminate any focal role for the teacher; other teachers were concerned that the teacher would be pushed too much into the background. As we talked about the various ways teachers can define their roles and responsibilities in the computer classroom and contrasted those with traditional classroom settings, teachers began to understand more fully how they can adapt the setting for their teaching style and preferences.

Without this discussion, though, some teachers might have decided that the computer classroom wouldn't work for them when it can. Other teachers decided that the computer classroom would not be a comfortable teaching environment and so they elected to stay in the traditional classroom.