22 October 2012

Tech Skills Your Students (Probably) Don't Have and You (Probably) Do - Part 2: Work

"Digital Native" doesn't mean your students have technology skills in their DNA - just that they pick them up more quickly. They still need you to guide them! With this page from the Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction that our district is using as a model for our integration plan, part 1 in the series had 4 research tips for your students that you are (probably) familiar with.

In part two, we'll look at 3 work-specific skills you can model for your students.

1. Entering datasets and creating a graph with spreadsheet software.

I found this deficiency the first time I tried to do this project with scatter plots. Although the scatter plot is much faster and accurate via spreadsheet, the majority of my students felt like learning excel was going to be too daunting a task and drew theirs by hand.

2. Typing "properly" with speed.

In the interest of getting our students more exposure to Office and to align with career-track courses for Perkins grants, my school has eliminated "keyboarding" and mostly teach it in a word processing course. They know more about PowerPoint animations and setting margins, but at the expense of home row and speed drills. Virtual keyboards on smartphones are only making the skill gap wider. As computers evolve, it might not matter, but its still a relevant skill in 2012.

Make typing skills a social game with these websites or Facebook apps.

Typing Manic on Facebook becomes social

3. Work on a group project without emailing back and forth

Amongst my co-teachers and students, this one is perhaps most known about and least utilized. Maybe I just love it more than others, but I completed an entire 30 page instructional design plan in Google Docs with two partners in grad school. It was fantastic discussing edits as we made them. When everyone in a group has a Google account, especially in 1:1 environments, a group can collaboratively work on a presentation, word document, or spreadsheet at the same time, and communicate on changes via the integrated chat. With Google Hangouts, the collaboration becomes even easier.

Tech Adaptations for YOU:

Are any of these things you can already do? Depending on the age of your students, you have so many professional and/or creative skills that they need, but don't yet have! Come back Wednesday for part 3, or reflect on some things of your own you might be able to share!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing!