How's a teacher to best set up his/her computer classroom?
THE FIRST ISSUE is physical location of the computers, the students, and the teacher. Teacher must be able to see every student's computer screen from his/her teaching station and moment to moment whilst moving about the room.
Placing student computers against three classroom walls is the easiest configuration to install, and the best setup for instruction by far. If you cannot see the students' screens at all times, I guarantee you won't like what you'd see. Centipedes and Angry Birds are just the tip of the iceberg.
Note the computer-free tables in the middle of the room. These tables serve three purposes. First, send any student to their assigned seat if they display an off-task website on their computer. Second, students use the table seats for daily paper/pencil bellwork. The drill for entering class is: start your computer login, go to your table seat, attack your bellwork. Third, you'll move the class to table seats for group instruction or to discuss coding examples on the big-screen.
Visual Basic for MS-Office
THE SECOND ISSUE is hardware/software configuration. You need desktop/notebook computers with MS-Office--PCs or MACs, Office 2003-2016. Student and teacher machines all need the same configuration. (D'ya think?) Teacher machine needs a projector and a document camera. Everybody needs the Internet. (D'ya think?)
Nothing's ever simple. Your mileage may vary. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Visual Basic for Applications
THE FINAL ISSUE is pedagogical configuration of the programmer's Interactive Development Environment of Visual Basic for Applications, inside Microsoft Word. You need to make this programming environment friendly for total beginners and enjoyable for seasoned professionals as well.
To start with, the VB Developer Menu is actually TURNED OFF and hidden when you first open MS-Word. Also, VB code is not even SAVED by default within MS-Word .doc or .docx files. Before Day 1, you need to go around to every student computer and manually configure Word's main menu to display the VB Developer options. Also, you need to go around to every student computer and leave a VB-enabled Word document on each desktop, configured to save VB code in a so-called .docm file.
(No I'm not making this up! This is why we get the big bucks! At least be grateful your computer classroom setup and maintenance is simpler than what the art teacher must deal with in her/his classroom!)
Below is a Word VB setup document you can use to get your initial classroom environment up and running. With this file, you can have the world's-simplest 'Hello Word' program up and running of every machine on Day 1 when the students first sit down. Starting from there, you can introduce the class to dozens of 'Hello World' variations. See Lessons For Students, Unit 1: MsgBox. Enjoy!