Learning Centers - Use Considerations

Technology Implementation Plan: Online Development Guide

Cooperative Groups Teacher Presentations Computer Lab Saving Online Information Learning Centers

Learning Centers

Use Considerations

     Learning Centers are often best used in mid-size to large classrooms with between 4-6 computers.  The size of the classroom is a factor because of the need to reorganize the classroom configuration of desks and chairs.  You will want to separate the learning stations enough so that the students can work at them without disturbing others.  Often a good configuration is to have centers in each corner of the room and then one or two in the middle.  The numbers of computers is important because you need to utilized them as part of one of the stations.  If you have groups of 5 students each and want them each to be able to use a computer then you would need at least 5 computers for your station.  Thus, the number of computers usually needs to be the same as the number students per group if you want to utilize learning centers.  You can double students up on computers but this can diminish the impact of using the technology.  Finally, Learning Centers can be especially effective if you need to cover a number of prerequisite skills prior to starting work on a project.  Prerequisite skills lend themselves to this classroom management model because each skills does not dependent on the others and thus they make ideal activities for learning stations.

Schedule Issues

  • Self-contained class: Groups of students rotate from one station to another (probably 4-5 students to a station) throughout the entire school day or during a portion of the day, such as in the afternoons for 2 or 3 days. 
  • Departmentalized setting: In a situation where the class has a scheduled science period every day, each of 5 groups would spend that class period on a given activity, finishing all 5 stations by the end of the week. 

Note: In either case, the computer is one of the learning stations and each student is guaranteed computer access at least once a week.

General Guidelines

  • Station assignments should relate to project or the curriculum area, so that students don't perceive them as busy work or try to use the time to catch up on assignments.
  • In planning, take into consideration providing for a range of learning styles. Each child should participate in at least one activity that appeals to his interests or strengths.
  • Chose activities that require minimal help and direction from the teacher.
  • Consider using a different location, such as the school library, for a station.


Cooperative Groups Teacher Presentations Computer Lab Saving Online Information Learning Centers

Copyright 2002 Stevens Institute of Technology, CIESE.  All Rights Reserved