NQT Advice! Using that old computer in your classroom…

Maybe not only relevant for NQT’s – we’ve all been in the classroom that has the shockingly old computer tucked away in a corner… ‘It’s an oldie but a goodie’ ringing in our ear from the coordinator who seems to be getting on just fine with the brand new laptop perched on their desk..

The good news is there are ways you can use that old computer – just remember you might need to turn it on as soon as you get in on a morning! These ideas will keep the computer on one web page – or minimum internet access – but will allow the pupils to get something from the tech! If there is a memory card slot, saving web pages, images and resources to read can be useful too and mean it doesn’t have to be online.

  1. Leave a Padlet on there I wrote about using Padlet here – a great tool for collecting ideas. Simply leave it on the computer with a different focus and let the children use it whenever. You could begin with ‘one thing you didn’t know about me!
  2. Have a ‘researcher role’ – linking to the web is a wealth of information and helping children to navigate this is key. Choosing one or two pupils to be ‘researchers’ – the ones who get to go online to answer questions is a great way of doing that.
  3. Leave a great picture, or blog on it! Plenty of images can be found, or put on memory sticks (websites could even be downloaded and saved to display off line) – you could leave some questions or even a prompt for circle time.
  4. Install the whiteboard software on it – and display your lessons and let the children play with the material. Using simple word processing software such as Works or Notebook can also be helpful for some writers.

Other ideas (depending on how well it works) – ebooks (plenty of sites offer them free of charge) try Oxford Owl here, Magic Keys of Pearson’s Bug Club. Do find out if the school has any subscription based resources that you can put on the computer.

Make use of installed software! Take some time to see if there is anything on there that could be useful.

Other ideas : Tom Tolken’s site has some brilliant ideas for the ‘one computer’


Hope that’s useful! If you’ e found a creative use for that old computer please let us know!


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