Looking for ideas? Middle School Computer Lessons

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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

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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; Compeating For Students’ attention

Middle School Computer Lessons; competing For Students’ attention.

More Resources at: middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Teaching kids to better use technology is constantly evolving. That is one of the best things about teaching a computer class. The material is constantly changing, new ideas are constantly needed to keep up. The subject allows for the teacher to be creative instead of teaching the same stuff over and over again semester after semester, year after year.

However some things seem to be staples in the area of Middle School Computer Lessons. Like typing and keyboarding, using word processing and spreadsheets, and presentation software. Others are new like using Skype, Cell phones, texting, and the question of illegal downloading. Either way, kids are using technology in meaningful ways at a younger and younger age. I mentioned last time the article I read about how most kids can use a computer before they can tie their shoes. Well, I would even say that kids today can use a computer before they can speak in complete sentences. We need to take this into consideration when we attempt to incorporate technology into our curriculum and also when we are trying to teach “Technology” in general.

For me, I handed my son an IPod when he was just over 2. I showed him how the touch screen worked and he took to it like a fish to water. I could not believe how he could use it. I downloaded some learning apps like “Monkey Lunchbox” and “Tozzle” and it was like he was addicted. It was a little scary. At first, I had trouble getting it away from him, and when I did it was like I took drugs away from an addict. I really had to put limits on its usage.

The funniest thing is when we are out in public, say the mall and my son is working hard on his Ipod touch and another kid around the same age spots it. The look of interest and jealousy is priceless, it is like my son has the biggest ice cream sunday that you could imagine and the other kid has nothing. And when parents ask me “What is he doing?” and I tell them that he is learning his numbers on his Ipod, their reaction is priceless.

But the point is that kids today are tech-savy in many ways that we cannot even fathom. We have no idea what they are exposed to at home. It may be a home with 10 computers or it may be a home with none. As a technology teacher we have to give our students a broad range of computer experiences. Some kids are going to get more out of our lessons than others, and that is just the way it has to be.

Next time I will discuss using robotics in the classroom. For more middle school lesson plans and Ideas check out middleschoolcomputerlessos.com

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