10 Computer Lab Tips and Skills for Kindergarten

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Using computers in kindergarten means lots of new skills to learn. Here are the types of things that helps kindergartners be successful, basic skills needed and tips for teaching kindergarten students. I like to use kindergarten games to teach standards rather than just teaching keyboarding or computer skills. Yet, there is a lot that students need to learn in order to do it successfully and learn to do basic trouble-shooting. Teaching young students how to think what makes sense when using a computer is extremely important in addition to using it to teach content like math or using skills in the computer lab.

What Types of Things Help Kindergartners Be Successful?

Learning to use a mouse is a challenge for both students who’ve never used a digital device before and for those who’ve only encountered touch screens. If your school is like mine and is lacking in having the most up to date devices, then chances are they’ll need to learn how to use a mouse in addition to some basic, medium skill and slightly more advanced things about how computers and internet-based activities work.

10 Computer Lab Tips and Skills for Kindergarten - KindergartenWorks

Basic Computer Introductions Kindergartners Need:

  • The names for the parts of a computer
  • How to exit from a window
  • How to move a mouse accurately
  • How to hold the mouse still when clicking
  • How to click, double click and drag
  • How to press a key lightly so only one letter/digit is entered
  • How to log in/log off
  • How to turn on/off the computer and monitor safely
  • How to double click a shortcut icon

Medium Skills Kindergartners Need:

  • How to identify that multiple internet windows are open at the same time (or tabs) and exit out of one or all.
  • How to use the backspace enter key and space bar
  • How to manipulate sound level through headphones
  • How to open/use a folder {not multiple… just one level of clicking}
  • How to use a scrolling button or the scroll bar on the screen
  • How to navigate websites using their schema of previous sites

More Advanced Skills Kindergartners Need:

  • How to type basic things (name, login information, a phonetically spelled sentence) using a keyboard
  • How to use the task bar to switch between open windows

This list is totally just my opinion and based on my interactions with my own students. You’ll also want to add general computer lab procedures to the list since raising hands, headphones and pushing in chairs is all part of the deal. {wink} 10 Computer Lab Tips and Skills for Kindergarten - KindergartenWorks

Computer Lab Tips:

  • Use Google Chrome as your internet browser. It’s the fastest and most clean and intuitive for the upcoming generations.
  • Install helpful extensions for Google Chrome like AdBlock so that you don’t have to worry about students seeing ads when working independently.
  • Download youtube videos and place them onto a cloud device like Dropbox or Google Drive for students to watch from. You won’t have to worry about other videos showing up in the sidebar or after viewing.
  • Always ask, “What makes sense?” or say, “Show me how you were trying it.” to help students learn to troubleshoot and to see what difficulties they are experiencing.
  • When they say they “can’t hear” respond with “You can’t hear it very loud or you can’t hear it at all?” This helps you know whether the headphones are potentially the issue or whether you need to check out the volume levels.
  • Have hand sanitizer ready upon arrival {part of entering the lab routine} and kleenex handy.
  • Set up a desktop shortcut or folder shortcut to help kindergarten students get to their activities quickly.
  • By the end of kindergarten, students can generally follow a sequence of navigating up to 5 links in sequence to get to an activity as long as it’s the same each time. For example, students can use the school district website that pops up when starting an internet browser and 1) click the menu list for specific schools 2) click on your specific school 3) find the correct menu item on your school webpage 4) select the correct option on the dropdown menu to a 5) specified activity.

Always ask, “What makes sense?” or say, “Show me how you were trying it.” to help students learn to troubleshoot and to see what difficulties they are experiencing.

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What tips do you have for teaching new computer skills to kindergarten students? If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly. – Leslie

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About Leslie atKindergartenWorks

Leslie is the author of KindergartenWorks. She teaches kindergarten students how to be pretty incredible along with teaching them to read, write and think for themselves. She enjoys graphic design, learning new things and sharing with teachers. Google+

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