Looking for ideas? Middle School Computer Lessons

Are you new to teaching technology and looking to start off with a good base of lessons? Teaching technology can be a daunting task for the first time, even for an experienced teacher. Middle School Computer Lessons Publishing has lesson plans that cover word processing (Word), Spreadsheets (Excel), Presentations (Powerpoint) and many other subjects like robotics, Skype and internet basics. They offer a complete curriculum that contains over 70 hours of lessons. Perfect for a teacher who is stepping into the “Computer Teacher” role for the first time.

The student book contains all 35 lessons and is available on Amazon.com or through www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com. The complete curriculum site license has the teacher book, the student book, rubrics and worksheets for each lesson. Purchasing either gives you the rights to make as many copies for your class as you need.

If you would like some sample lessons visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com and click on samples.


Are you looking for ideas for your first week of Computer Class? Do you want your class to get in a nice groove where the students are engaged and working together and also independently in a quiet classroom? If you request sample lessons to support@middleschoolcomputerlessons.com you will be sent three lessons that will get your class rolling in the right direction. If you like what you see Middle School Computer Lessons Publishing (MSCL Publishing) as a “Complete Curriculum” available that covers a wide variety of computer skills and contains over 70 hours of classroom activities that were born in real classrooms across the country. Middleschoolcomputerlessons.com has lessons that can easily be used within the new common core standards and beyond. These classroom tested activities can serve as the backbone in any computer class grades 5-9.


For more information check out www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

This time of year as teachers retire and/or move into new positions within a school or district. New computer teachers are created some with more willingness than others. If your principal just gave you the news that you will be teaching a computer class next year don’t panic! Teaching “digital natives” can be an awesome assignment! So what if they know more than you. You are a teacher, you can teach anything with a game plan and a little enthusiasm ūüėČ Use your students knowledge to your advantage. You could never teach them everything about technology, seriously. Your goal should be to touch on as many aspects as possible, to tap their curiosity and move on to the next thing, while also teaching some essential skills along the way. Essential skills for a middle schooler are how to save your work, maybe use google docs, office apps and keyboarding also mix in some internet safety which is part of the curriculum by law in most states. Middle School Computer Lessons .com is a good place to start. You don’t need to know everything to teach their lessons, the lesson is the idea and the students soar to make the projects their own, you only act as a facilitator. Check out www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com to find out more about their complete curriculum which is sold as a site license which gives you flexibility in how you choose to use it.

Be strong! You are a teacher first, your subject is second, you can do it!


For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com  

I wanted to review something that would be relevant to me and my building. I immediately went to the ‚ÄúTech &Learning‚ÄĚ web site to look. Initially I was looking for an article on security for classroom use Ipods¬†and Ipads. Because there is a debate in our district whether¬†to force teachers to submit their school Ipads to be locked down and made all the same. I am obviously against this. But, what I stumbled upon was a short article about a classroom app that looks really useful. I am always searching for tools that teachers can use in their classrooms and I am eager to share what I find. Most recently I have shared ‚ÄúEvernote‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúGoogle Drive‚ÄĚ with my staff. These useful apps should be on every educators device.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The article that I found was a review of an app called ‚ÄúClass Dojo‚ÄĚ. The best thing about it is that it is free! Free of course to you if your school has basic tech tools, if not you could use your own smartphone. Class Dojo is a behavior tracking program that monitors the student behavior in your classroom and shows the results to your class. As soon as I read the concept, I thought it could be a brilliant tool in the fight against student apathy and classroom disruption. I am always looking for things that teachers can add to their bag of tricks for technology and classroom management.

            Teachers can create an account and create their classes and personal avatars can be made for each student. As teachers monitor the room they can make positive or other observations for the class right on their device. This data is instantly displayed for students to see in the class. Teachers can make classroom behavior goals and the entire class will feel like they are a part of reaching it. This is designed for use on an Apple device but can also be downloaded on a pc.


As a school administrator, purchasing and implementing new technology can be a delicate dance. Where you decide to spend your precious technology budget is a vital decision that can affect your school in a very positive way if done properly. On the other hand, if you don‚Äôt do your homework your shiny new technology will sit in a corner with an inch of dust on top. I believe the most powerful classroom tool is the teacher, I would start there, simply ask ‚ÄúWhat new technology would you like available to you?‚ÄĚ. What I would not do is to go out and order 30 document cameras and present them at a staff meeting. In that case you will see the whole spectrum; 10 may use them, 10 may open the box the rest may not even pick them up. I think asking first will give the best direction.

I feel that the 3 best tech tools for a teacher are wireless mouse, projector, and working pc, it goes without saying that you also need internet in your building.

            Now comes the question of implementation. This is where I feel that we are now in my building. I hope that my teachers see me as a leader in educational technology. When I am in any teachers classroom, not necessarily for a observation but for any reason, I like to suggest tech tools that they might find useful. Thus adding an aspect of technology to a lesson that may not have that. This new thing could help reach learners in that class that may not be engaged. Yesterday, I was in a language arts classroom and the teacher was discussing a song, he was trying to explain it to the class with little success. I suggested that he pull it up on Youtube. Simple and effective and most importantly free! Now that teacher has a whole new thing to add to his lessons. So, as far as implementation goes, my philosophy is; take what the teacher is good at and add a little technology to the mix and everyone will benefit. Also, use what you already have available to you, what are your free resources? It does not have to be a directive like

For more ideas visit: www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

You may not even know what Google Docs is? Using it in a middle school environment can be a powerful tool in the fight against student apathy. In a nutshell Google Docs is a shared document, where many people can view and edit in real-time. The exciting part is how we are using it in our middle school.

We recently adopted a philosophy of “Every student does every assignment” we are incorporating ideas from the book “The Power of ICU” by Danny Hill.¬†After about 6 weeks or so, we are seeing much success.

When students do not complete assignments they are placed on our “ICU” list where they are given extra time and extra help¬†throughout the day. They are separated right off the bus, during lunch, one period at the end of the day and after school.¬† Kids are stepping up not to be on this list, we have fewer and fewer every day.

For more technology integration ideas check out:


I came home from¬†work today and my 4-year-old son was going on and on about “The Cloud”. His grandmother said he had been talking about it all day and she had no idea what he was talking about.

I asked him “Can you tell Nanny exactly what the Cloud is?” He said¬† “When you download it on one iPod¬†it is on all your iPods”

He is exactly right. I had downloaded some things on my school iPad¬†and they appeared on the iPad¬†he was using at home. I explained the cloud once to him, but didn’t think he was really listening. He is a “Digital Native”, meaning that this type of technology has been around since he was born, he knows nothing else. So, he is way more technologically¬†inclined than his 50 something grandmother. To him “The Cloud” is just another cool thing about the Ipad that he knows about. To her is shrouded in mystery, and something that she may not fully understand.

As teachers we need to understand the kids in our rooms have grown up with Google, Ipods¬†and the like. For us, these are things that¬†came about fairly recently in our lives. They have an entirely different way of looking at technology. We have to consider this when we attempt to “teach” them in any class, especially a Computer or technology class.

Feel free to comment, I would like to hear your thoughts.

For more ideas about teaching technology check out www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Apple Factory Lesson; Middle School Computer Lessons

There was recently a story on ABC news about the factory in China that produces iPods, iPods and other apple products. It is less than 20 minutes long and my class was glued to it like it was ICarley. This video shows the lives of the factory workers inside and outside of its walls.

A few things really stood out to me, like how most of my kids could not believe that iPods were made in china. Despite it saying on all Apple products “Designed in California made in China”, the majority of them thought they were made here.

Another thing was how most of the workers at the factory had never seen the finished product. They had never held an iPad¬†before, despite working on them 12 hours a day and living at the factory. That is an interesting¬†concept for kids to wrap their heads around. I told them it was like you work at McDonald’s but never ate the food.

After the video and a brief discussion I asked them to write about the following questions:

1. What are 3 reasons Chinese people want to work in the Apple factory?          2. What are 3 reasons someone would not want to work at the Apple factory?3. Would you want to work in the factory that makes Apple products? Explain why or why not in at least one paragraph.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

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