Computer class can always get a little crazy, especially when you have 18 students and only 5 computers; eventually they will learn to share. But teaching a computer class in English to young Spanish speakers can be super beneficial to these kids in the future. Many affordable software programs aren’t duel language or have any translation at all. On the other hand there are a lot that do, and with the way technology evolves I’m sure the glitches in translated software will lessen rapidly over the years. Either way teaching computers in English is a good vehicle to learning a new language because you are exercising your brain in a different way while it is ingesting new vocabulary.
The school i am working at currently offers computer classes from ages 3-8 all in English. I teach the younger learners 3-5. The classes are large but the children are learning to share and take turns which is an important skill so we’re working with it, but split classes would be ideal.
I wish I had this position since the beginning of the year because computers are my thing and I really could have done a lot. But since I am a mid year transplant the kids were already programmed to specific ways of learning; i have been altering this a bit and teaching new skills but this is just an extra-curricular class and I only have so much time. The computers also need a lot of tender loving care and I don’t have the time to fix all of the problems, although I have fixed a lot but you make do with what you got.
Here is a good website if you need some free mouse skill games for your young learner classes:Internet4classrooms This site is great for teaching crucial mouse skills without letting it be boring. It provides a list of other free sites with mouse skill games and some of those sites have more to offer. If you have older classes, there are also different types of computer games if you search around the main site.
Another program that is great is Zoodles. Whether you are a teacher or a parent you can download Zoodles onto your computer, you still need an internet connection but they offer a wide variety of games, some using mouse skills other just keyboard skills (which I found hard to find for free). The software also follows the child’s progress and offers books, drawing etc. not just games. Eventually I’ll compile a list of some useful free computer skills sites I can vouch for. Meanwhile check these two out, they’ve been a great start.
The school also just bought a new SmartBoard, one for the computer room for all the teachers to use and the other is in the eldest kids classroom. So soon I will be experimenting with new touch screen programs and sites and I will post any useful material I find.