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Posts tagged ‘Middle School Computer Lessons’

Computer Lessons; What to teach in your Middle School Computer Class

Most times there is not a lot of direction as to what to teach in a Middle School Computer class. Today, technology is more vital than ever in education and the adults are often not as familiar as the kids. The students are known as “Digital Natives” meaning that they grew up with the technology. This is an odd situation that the students often know more than the teacher. Embrace it! Through class discussions, your class can become a great opportunity for learning. Not all students use technology the same way, explore this through class discussions and see where it takes you. Isn’t that what learning is all about anyway? Imagine a world without high-steaks testing. One where students and teachers are free to explore learning in its purest form. The joy of learning is the biggest incentive for any human not achieving some sort of grade. Grades are essentially meaningless anyway. Make your class about the learning and not about the grade.

Something to think about. However if you are looking for a place to start with your class that will give them the basic tools to function in our digital world. You may be looking for a computer curriculum that covers the basics while also gives the opportunity to expand to accommodate individual students check out http://www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com . A complete computer class curriculum is offered, also 2 free sample lessons can be sent to you by request.

 

Request sample computer curriculum lessons at Support@middleschoolcomputerlessons.com 

4 year old describes the Cloud; Middle School Computer Lessons

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

“The Power of ICU” book by Educator Danny Hill; Middle School Computer Lessons

“The Power of ICU” book by Educator Danny Hill; Middle School Computer Lessons

Today I had the pleasure to hear the ideas and experiences of educator Danny Hill author of “The Power of ICU”. This is a dynamic idea where the end result is students taking responsibility for their learning. In a nut shell, teachers no longer accept students taking a zero for a grade. Instead all students complete all the assignments. I must admit that I had read his book before attending the presentation and already wanted to be a part of bringing this to my building. However, after sitting in on Mr. Hills talk, I am ready to dive in and do what ever I have to do to in order to make this work in my middle school. The question that I keep asking myself is “Don’t I want to be part of a great school?”. Well, I really do and I feel that this is the concept that can take us there.

Why not? Does our current zero based grading system really reflect learning…nope. So, why not attack it from a different angle. Lets hold those apathetic kids accountable for the work that they refuse to do. After all, what are we really teaching our kids in our classroom? If you dont pay your taxes, do you get a zero? No, you are forced to pay them one way or another. How is giving a zero or taking points away teaching responsibility?

I suggest that anyone (Even tech teachers) take a look at the book “The Power of ICU by Danny Hill”. As a tech teacher and tech support person in my district I will be a leader in implementing this in my school by helping to set up, maintain and sharpen a Google Docs spreadsheet with a list of every student in my building and any missing assignment they may have. This is just the beginning, I am hoping this will lead my building onto a path where we are proud of the students we produce.

I hope I have many future posts about my experiences with this philosophy. My biggest fear is that the rest of the staff not fully committing to it.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more middle school computer lessons and ideas check out www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

How I use Skype; Middle School Computer lessons

How I use Skype; Middle School Computer lessons

In my room, I have my netbook that I use for instructions connected to skype. In the past I have used it for skyping with other teachers and classes throughout the country. Yesterday, I used it a little differently.

My 8th grade class is going to the High School next year and many of them had questions about the computer classes that were offered there. So, during my 8th grade class we skyped with the computer teacher at the HS. He gave my students a brief description of his classes and answered any questions that they had. It went well. He used an IPad and I used a tablet pc. He also showed him the lab via the ipad, which was good for them to see. I plan on repeating this in the future.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more great lesson 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; 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; Future of Tech Education

Middle School Computer Lessons; Future of Tech Education?

With all the new technology coming out these days, where are we heading for the future in technology (Computer) classes in K-12 schools? Every time I attend a tech meeting inside my district or on a bigger stage, I feel overwhelmed about what is going on in the field.

Is it Ipod touch carts? Ipad carts? 1 on 1 computing? BYOD (Bring your own device?) or is it a combo? Where does traditional desktop computing fit in? The future is wide open and I feel teachers need a shared vision with their school district as to what direction they want to go.

With all that being said, I feel that basic computer classes for grades K through 12 is a vital need. Teaching things like basic word processing, keyboarding, spreadsheets, presentation tools, web skills and the like are aspects that all young learners may not get through using their personal devices. Computer classes need to fill in those gaps for kids.

Just because a kid may be able to post on facebook, download an app or play angry birds does not mean that they are proficient in basic computer skills.

If you are looking for materials for your computer classroom that teaches skills like MS Office, Web 2.0, and more check out www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

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