Sunday, August 15, 2010

Northwestern Middle School Computer Labs - Overview

This summer I spent many, many hours decorating the computer labs at one of the local Middle Schools.   They have 5 computer labs so we created a different theme for each of the labs.  One lab has a social studies theme, then a math theme, and a language arts theme.  In this school, the science teachers don't use the computer labs very often, so we chose not to have a science themed lab.  The other two labs are slightly different.  The first has a research theme and finally a technology timeline.

Each day this week I will highlight the specifics of one lab.  Hopefully, this will give you some ideas of the way the Cricut can be used to decorate classrooms in a middle or high school.  As often as possible, I used Design Studio and images purchased from Cricut.  However, I couldn't do everything I wanted without using SCAL.  There are a number of ways to create the appropriate images.  Some of them were purchased from SVG Cuts and Creative Delights (two of my favorite companies for things to cut with the Cricut) but I still needed to do some searches and create my own designs.  Here is a sneak peak of one of the things I created myself.
I used basic shapes for the graphing calculator.  I wanted a larger screen so we could print on it.  I used a marker in my E to make the keys and all of the lettering.  While I was working on this project, Provo Craft came out with their latest and greatest machine -- the Imagine.  I must say, I had lots of ideas of ways to make this project easier and better.  I think you'll understand what I mean when we get to the lab with the technology timeline.

There were a couple of items to pull all of the labs together.  Each lab has about ten "computer words".  They included CPU, URL, SOCIAL NETWORKING, EMAIL, TWITTER, KEYBOARD, MOUSE, TOWER, LAP TOP and WORLD WIDE WEB.  Here is a picture of a few of the words.  All but one of the labs also had websites used by the students to research that area. 
 In addition, I created a computer mouse with a three dimensional tail (made out of 3 mm macrame cord from JoAnn Fabrics).  The tail of the computer mouse goes through the paws of the mouse.  We named her Grace  after Grace Murray Hopper, the lead developer of the first UNIVAC computer. 
I hope you enjoy this project and receive inspiration for your own activities.

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