Below are a few final thoughts to consider as you create your tech handouts:
- Consider Accountability: Who will review the student's work? You? If so, when? A peer? If so, how? To ensure that each student does his or her best, explain aloud and in print how the work will be evaluated. Consider using a rubric and share the rubric with students, so they know exactly what will count towards their grade. For non-graded activities, especially in early childhood, place a poster above the classroom computer center and put a sticker next to each student's name as he or she completes an activity. For younger students especially, award stickers to every student who attempts the activity; do not award stickers based on the quality of the work.
- Keep it Short: Limit instructions to no more than two pages. If the tech activity lasts more than one day (say research and publication of a Science Fair project), then break each day's activity into a separate handout.
- Save Your Work: Put a copy of the handout in a clear plastic page protector and place it near each classroom computer. You might want to stick adhesive clips to the side of each computer monitor, so handouts can be secured when not being used. Consider filing handouts in a 3-ring binder, making it a snap to pull them out for use next year.
- Watch Your Language: Remember, it's not important that a student know what word wrap, cell range, or nonlinear PowerPoint presentation means. Use words your students are familiar with to describe the activity. Your content area -- social studies, math, French, and so on -- should be the focus of the activity, not memorizing tech terminology.
- Checklist: Consider writing your handout like a checklist, such as "Place an x in the box if you have centered your title." The simple act of penciling an "x" might help students with kinesthetic learning styles or those needing a little more help focusing on a task.