In today's world, it is absolutely essential that students learn effective technology skills in schools for utilization outside the classroom. The current job market is requiring more and more of potential employees, demanding that they come into the position with an increasing amount of tech know-how. In order to ensure that students are prepared for what awaits them after graduation, educators must start these efforts early and leverage classroom computers and other systems to bolster pupils' tech skills.
While teachers have been varying the ways in which they use technology, there are several innovative strategies for utilizing classroom computers in school to improve their skills with such devices.
Have students review topics with PowerPoint
One effective way to improve students' technological abilities is to ensure that they understand the ins and outs of commonly utilized programs like PowerPoint. Oftentimes in an enterprise setting, such applications are leveraged for presentations and making business cases, and represent an important resource for office employees.
To make good use of this program and enhance students' capabilities with it, teachers can designate each student a particular topic or chapter to review. Pupils can be assigned to present their review via PowerPoint, which outlines the key content of their particular subject. This way, students can use the opportunity to explore and boost their presentation skills while reviewing in-class materials and connecting with their classmates.
Assign a Webquest
Another skill set to focus on is students' Web browsing capabilities. Nearly anything and everything a person could need or want can be discovered through a Web search. However, without the proper know-how, individuals may find themselves scanning through endless search results to discover the exact piece of information they require.
A Webquest, or online scavenger hunt, is an effective way to brush up on pupils' search skills. Teachers can create a list of items for students to search for ahead of time and allow students to leverage a top search engine to find the information. Educators can also guide their class through the process by showing them how to narrow their search results. In this way, students have a better understanding of what will produce the content they are seeking.
Create visuals with spreadsheets and graphics programs
Oftentimes, enterprise decision makers will require that their employees record certain information in spreadsheets. However, as this style of presentation does not lend itself well for visual observations, many also ask that the data be transmitted into a chart or graph to allow for improved insight into patterns and trends.
Teachers can prepare their students for projects of this kind by assigning similar initiatives within the classroom. For example, pupils can track any type of information, from ages of the classmates, to plant growth in inches. All this data can be recorded into a spreadsheet, which can later be leveraged for the creation of a chart, graph or other visual. This type of initiative will help students make the best use of spreadsheets, as well as establish clear visuals that present the information in a clear, understandable way.
Establish an email pen pal program
Before the age of email, many educators had their students participate in a pen pal project, where pupils wrote letters to other individuals from different schools or regions. The same thinking can be applied to an email-based pen pal program, where students forgo paper letters, envelopes and stamps for their classroom computers. Individuals can craft a letter to the recipient, and even experiment with add-ons like links or attachments. This will bolster their email skills, a technology that is a mainstay in nearly every business today.