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Limited Access Solutions
Technology Management

Most educators in the United States are faced with having only limited access to the Internet.  The different scenarios are almost endless in terms of the specifics of each teachers technology environment.  Some many have several computers in their classrooms with high speed Internet access while others only have one Internet-ready computer in the entire school.  Others may only have Internet access from their home or local library.  Without question all of these scenarios are less than ideal yet almost all of them have solutions which can allow for effective use of the technology.  As you review the solutions and resources below keep the following guidelines in mind:
  • One-Computer or One-Connection Classrooms - Consider adopting a new classroom instructional technique which will allow you to share your one computer or Internet connection with all of your students.  Cooperative groups, learning centers, or dynamic teacher presentations are three such techniques which can be very effective.  If these classroom instructional techniques interest you, review the one-computer classroom resources below and identify one or more that you feel will work.  You will then have the chance to review these in more depth under the topic of Classroom Management.   Review the resources below for more information.
  • Computer Labs - Some educators have limited access to large computer labs in which students or pairs of students can work at their own computers.  If you can gain access to such facilities be sure to plan for their use when they are most needed.  Try and target activities which really require students to all be at their own computer.  In addition, information can be saved on disks or printed out and then brought into class.  Review the resources below for more information.
  • Library or Media Center - If you only have Internet access in your school library or media center then consider taking a "class field trip" to the center once or twice during the project to allow students to see the Internet materials first hand.  Then during days when students cannot visit the library or media center you can go before or after school to collect data, post information or complete other activities that are part of your Internet-based project.  In addition, information can be saved on disks or printed out and then brought into class.  Review the resources below for more information.
  • Mobile Computer Carts or Laptops - Some educators have to share computers and Internet access with other teachers.  Often schools place these shared resources on carts so that they can be moved from one classroom to another.  In this scenario it can often be useful to conduct dynamic teacher presentations when you can get access to the shared computer.  Keep in mind that advanced planning is necessary as their may be a need to secure use of the shared computer on a specific day during the implementation of your Internet-based project.  
  • Home or Community Centers - Although it can present some significant challenges, many Internet-based projects can be effectively implemented in the classroom even if you only have Internet access from home or a public community center (library, etc.).  Information can be saved on disks or printed out and then brought into class.  Review the resources below for more information.

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A teacher would like to use real time radar images showing current precipitation during her unit on weather. The only Internet access in the school is in the library but she has 4 non-Internet computers in her classroom. Each morning before class she access the latest radar image map using the library computer. She saves the image on a disk and then back in her classroom copies that image file on to each of the computers in her classroom. When the students arrive for class they call up the radar image and look at the weather conditions for that morning.  

Consider these questions as you review your project.

  • What technology resources do you have available in your classroom and school that could be used to implement the project you have selected? 

  • What technology resources do you have available at home?

  • What activities will require the use of the Internet?

  • What activities will require the use of computers but not the Internet?

  • How frequently will you need to use computers and/or the Internet?

  • How will the availability of technology resources impact the implementation of the project you have selected?

  • What strategies will you use to successfully implement the project with your available technology resources?

Use these resources to help you deal with issues related to limited Internet access.

Online Resources
Additional information on cooperative groups, learning centers and dynamic teacher presentations will be covered in the Classroom Management section.

Presentation Hardware and Software Sites
Note: The following sites are not endorsed by the project partners, developers or funding agencies.

  • Web Whacker - Software that allows you to save web sites for future viewing offline. You can download demo software for free!
  • CNET - Great site for computer hardware and software review, networking information and web site development advice.


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