Looking for ideas? Middle School Computer Lessons

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Apple Factory Lesson; Middle School Computer Lessons

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

Middle School Computer Lesons; 5 Essential Student Skills

Middle School Computer Lessons; 5 Essential Student Skills

If you are currently teaching a computer class or have just been told that you will be next school year, what are the 5 most important things to cover in your class? For my students, I feel that giving them a broad range of computer activities and experiences is the best way to help them grow as learners. In my class we may not cover one topic exhaustively but cover many topics lightly. My students only have my class for approximately 45 days per year and I feel it is in their best interest to introduce as many things during tha t time as possible.

– If you are looking for great “Middle School Computer Lessons” visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com for classroom and teacher books.

The top five skills that I try to emphasize with my class are:

5- Social media – this class discussion is always an interesting one

4- Web Navigation– Students benefit from sharpening their search skills; There is a great “Google Search Game” in my book.

3- Office skills– Word Processing, Presentation tools, Excel…

2- Typing/Keyboarding– Text all you want, typing with a keyboard is still where it is at…for now

1- Being able to use the computer as a tool to achieve your goals. Helping students choose the proper avenue and tool when utilizing computer skills in their real life.  This includes troubleshooting common errors and problem solving.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Middle School Computer Lessons; What to do with that old PC?

Middle School Computer Lessons; What to do with that old PC?

arcade machine
It doesn’t have much to do with Middle School Computer Lessons, but it is kind of a neat idea. Take that old PC and convert it into an “Old School” MAME Arcade machine. I Found an old Ms. Pacman shell with no guts, added my old Gateway and an X-arcade controller.

For actual materials that you can use in your “middle school computer” class

visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Middle School Computer Lessons; Setting Learning Goals

Middle School Computer Lessons; Setting Learning Goals

On the first day of class, one of the things I do is have the children set personal learing goals for my class. This takes about one class period, then I print and post them at the entrance of my room for all to see.

They use Word and word-art to make their names large on 1/2 sheet. Below they are to have at least 2 goals; 1 personal typing goal and another goal that deals with technology , some may want to include more than 2 goals. They are also encouraged to include one piece of clip art and/or their photo.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more thoughts on Middle School Computer Lessons, activities and Books and ebooks of lessons visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Middle School Computer Lessons; Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

Middle School Computer Lessons; Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

If you are looking for an interesting way to introduce Google Earth to your students, I have an activity for you. This this activity is good for about 3 class periods.

During the first class, I like to introduce Google Earth (GE) to the class by a little class discussion to see who is familiar with it. I find about half of younger students have never heard of it. Either way, I will show the location of our school then introduce some of the basic tools. I give the rest of the period as a day to “Explore” GE. I ask them to find the school, their house and at least one other place and add place marks to them. Towards the end of class we will discuss some interesting things that they have discovered.

I use the iPad in my class by showing them GE on it and then having a few students travel down the hallway with it and they can observe the little blue dot move as they move in the building. (This is pretty popular with my students). Your building would have to be wireless for this to work.

The next day I pair up my students and hand out my GE Scavenger hunt. It includes Questions that you need GE to answer and a rubric for them to write their answers on. I total up the points when they are finished, It takes 1-2 class periods. This can get pretty competitive, my classes love this activity and it makes them use GE as a tool in ways that they may not have thought of before. During this activity, my role is to guide the pairs of students as needed. I don’t give answers, only clues.

Google earth scavenger Hunt & Rubric

 For more Middle School Computer Lessons and ideas visit:  www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com  and for 2 more free sample lessons email support@middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Middle School Computer Lessons; 3 Best Classroom Tools

Middle School Computer Lessons; 3 Best Classroom Tools

Teaching in a Middle School Computer class can be challenging. Dealing with things like getting 25 computers working at the same time while adding 25 pre-teens into the mix can be quite a task. I find these three tools most useful in my experience.

1. Projector with remote– Most remotes will give you a “Freeze” option. This will freeze the projector screen while you can still use the pc screen without letting the class see what you are doing. You can be preparing the next lesson while the directions for the current assignment are still up.

2. Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse– Wireless slate…nope. I had a slate for years, the fancy one too and I find that a bluetooth mouse is way better. I can move around the room and control the pc that is connected to the computer. I can also pass around the mouse to students when I teach. Or even just use it as a clicker when showing a powerpoint. The keyboard can be passed around the class too, typing is difficult or impossible with a slate.

3. Laser pointer This can be used on your screen or flash it on a student’s pc when they need to focus on the task at hand instead of disturbing a quiet class to get a student to get on the home row.

I would love to hear your comments and ideas.

For more ideas for the technology classroom visit: www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Are Tablets the Future of Education? Middle School Computer Lessons

Are Tablets the Future of Education?

Not too long ago, I was convinced that Netbooks were the way to go for the future of education technology. I am not so sure any more. With the prices of tablets coming down significantly, tablets look better and better..

I feel that the Ipad is the Cadillac of all tablets, it is the best without question. However, with the soon to come tablet from Amazon, and dozens of competitors including all Android devices, tablets seem like a viable option to schools.

Some may say that BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” is the way to go. Maybe for high schools, but for middle schoolers a variety of devices is problematic for instruction.

Tablets are more and more attractive for several reasons: 1. Prices are falling; $200 per tablet could be the key for districts to move away from print books to a 1 to 1 tablet model. 2. Portability could make it easier for students to carry the device instead of a pile of books. 3. Tech savvy students would welcome tablets to replace bulky textbooks.

For materials/books/ebooks to use in your technology class visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

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