Rules to Follow in Your School's Computer Laboratory
- Dec 01, 2015
Up the stairs on the third floor, the computer laboratory was an exciting place in my school. The entire floor housed three rooms: a large room where 22 computers sat side by side and two medium sized classrooms with one computer each and rows of benches and desks. The stairs to this floor led to a landing which faced the big room with computers (we named it ‘Computer Room’). On the right side of this landing, beyond a brief flight of stairs, a narrow corridor led to the two classrooms.
Till the third standard, this floor was out of bounds for us. We used to watch our seniors climb up the stairs, excited to make the most of the computer class. As the years rolled on and we made it to the fourth grade, the third floor opened up for us. I still remember the first day we were asked to form a line and march up the stairs as quietly as possible. Our lips were tightly sealed and our shoes made little noise, but our eyes gave away the thrill we were experiencing in our minds.
Notebooks and pens in hands, we were first taken to one of the classrooms and explained the usage of a computer. Our trial run with a computer began the next day as we were carefully guided through the process. Our hands slowly adjusted to the mouse and a brand new digital world opened up in front of our eyes. The entire experience was exhilarating!
That day we were briefed on a few guidelines that must be followed to the T when inside the computer lab. They were strict, no doubt, but important. Following them was the only thing that would keep us from getting ordered out of the computer lab. So we obeyed them.
Slowly, as the excitement ebbed and computer class became a part of our daily timetable, we realized that the rules were there for a reason. Being an activity hub, the computer lab was prone to accidents, which would not only cost the school a large amount of money, but would also take away precious ‘computer class’ time.
Every school has a specific set of guidelines that must be followed in the computer laboratory. Following are a few common ones.
This is one of the primary rules that need to be followed inside the computer laboratory. A computer set up comprises a series of essential components like the monitor, keyboard, mouse, UPS and so on. Additionally, a number of thick cables are required to connect all of these to the plug point. These, along with notebooks, pens and sheets of paper can make the space cluttered. This restricts workflow as you comb through these to locate whatever you are looking for. With electronic components in the vicinity, it is important to be extremely careful so as to prevent any mishap.
Keeping your computer desk organized is very important. It is always recommended to keep the loose sheets of paper in place, clipped. Notebooks, pens and any other stationery should be arranged neatly on one side. A clean desk enhances productivity.
Save your Work
It takes some time to get adjusted to the workings of a computer. The mouse takes time to be familiar with and so do the basic computer operations. Even for students who are quite accustomed to using a computer, it isn’t always as easy as you would like it to be. Everything is digital with a computer. This means that your work could get misplaced, or worse, lost — if you did not save it. Therefore, every time you do something new or make a progress, you must, without fail, save it. Saving your work helps in the following ways:
- Your data isn’t lost and stays in one place, organized.
- You can come back to it in the next class and resume from where you had left off.
While saving, be sure to name it with something that you can remember. In my school, the rule was to create a folder with our names and then save all our files with our names, classes and sections inside the folder. This way, we always knew exactly where to look for our work. You can try this out too. Do not forget to check with your teacher first.
Do Not Unplug or Play With the Switches
A computer comes to life once all the plugs and cables are properly connected. A slight change in its set up can disrupt the entire functioning of a computer. So you should be careful while operating a computer.
- Avoid touching the switches because an accidental flip could switch the computer off causing you to lose all data. Additionally, this might also cause the computer to malfunction when it is switched back on.
- Do not disconnect or remove cables or parts of the computer.
- Do not modify any computer settings.
It is your duty to respect the computer equipment. Avoid banging on the keyboard and restrict your mouse clicks to as many required and not more.
Surf the Internet Safely
Many schools have a specific set of rules pertaining to Internet-safety. Ours didn’t. Internet was completely out of bounds for students. We were not allowed to click on the browser icon on the desktop. If we did click on it by mistake, we hastily tried to close it before anyone noticed. However, with the advent of technology and its wide usage, rules have changed now. Internet doesn’t fall under the list of restrictions. But then again, there are certain rules to it too.
- Using the Internet for personal work is definitely a strict no-no. Chats, Instant Messaging (IM) and the likes should not be done using the school’s computer.
- Gaming activities are prohibited in the computer laboratory.
- Make sure that the website you are surfing is permitted.
- Always follow Internet safety rules while surfing the Internet.
Do Not Bring Edibles Inside the Computer Lab
Any kind of munchies or drinks is strictly prohibited in the computer laboratory. These not only clutter the room, but also can be quite hazardous. With all the electronic equipment that a computer laboratory houses, an accidental drop of a water bottle with a loose cap could result in a disaster. Also, bites from food can get stuck in between the keys of the keyboard or worse, might fly inside the machines through the openings causing them to crash. Additionally, spills could attract bugs or rodents. They are detrimental to the equipment.
It goes without saying that silence is a must in every classroom. Even in computer laboratories. With a whole class working together, keeping quiet will let you and your classmates concentrate. There shouldn’t be any mumbling in between the mouse clicks and the keyboard sounds. However, if it is absolutely necessary to talk, then you must ask permission from the teacher for the same.
If you are working on a group project, the collaboration would require talking. Keep your voice down at those times and make sure that you are not disturbing your neighbors.
Log out Before Leaving
In many schools, students are given separate user ID and password to operate a computer. This is your access to the computer. Write it down and commit that to your memory. Make sure that you keep this information safely with you and do not share it with your fellow classmates. Before leaving your seat, remember to log out.
If you lose it, you will lose access to your computer. If it gets stolen, then the blame for its misuse will fall directly on you. So you must exercise caution to keep that from happening.
The following video outlines a few more rules to follow in your school’s computer laboratory.
These rules are quite general. This list could be longer for your school or remain the same depending upon the features. Following these can keep you and the machines out of trouble.
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