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Using the "tools" in your computer classroom

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Using the 'Tools' in the Computer Classroom

As teacher trainers, you already know the ins and outs of the computer facilities you work in. This section provides quick reminders of what teachers new to the computer classroom need to know to get started, as well as links to resources you can use as handout templates during your training program.

As our teachers consistently make clear, two key precepts guide the most effective use of computers in writing classes:

  1. Use only those computer tools that support meaningful writing tasks given the assignments in the course.
  2. Introduce those tools when students need to use them in their writing process for their work in the course.
This philosophy of computer use keeps the focus on writing in the computer classroom and gives students the optimal learning environment for the computer software as well as writing skills. After all, most adults only learn new computer applications when they have real need for them, and we learn best by using the computer to help with a meaningful tasks rather than busy-work or exercises.

After many years of training teachers new to the computer classroom, we've learned that six principles work best: