A Review of the 7 Best Microsoft Office Textbooks for Middle and High School Blog Feature
Bri Stauffer

By: Bri Stauffer on May 24th, 2016

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A Review of the 7 Best Microsoft Office Textbooks for Middle and High School

Computer Applications | Microsoft Office

Have you ever asked another elective teacher: What Microsoft Office textbook do you use in your computer applications classes? If you are teaching a middle school or early high school computer applications class, at some point you will need a new textbook to teach Microsoft Office.

While we help many computer applications teachers with our digital curriculum, Business&ITCenter21, we think it’s important for any teacher to explore all of their options to find the right resource.

Here is a list of seven popular Microsoft Office textbooks you can consider:

  1. Microsoft Office 2013: Illustrated Introductory, First Course
  2. A Guide to Microsoft Office 2013, 1st Edition
  3. Microsoft Office 2013: Introductory
  4. Microsoft Office 2013: Advanced
  5. Microsoft Office 365 & 2016: Introductory
  6. Learning Microsoft Office 2013, Level 1
  7. Learning Microsoft Office 2013, Level 2

Microsoft Office 2013: Illustrated Introductory, First CourseMicrosoft Office 2013 - Illustrated Introductory, First Course

  • Author: David Beskeen
  • Published: 2014
  • Approximate Retail Price: $145.75

This text has a user-friendly format that allows students to learn Microsoft Office 2013 quickly and efficiently. The page layout in this Illustration Series creates easy to follow instructions. Each unit starts with an overview of what will be covered before work in the lessons begins. One great feature is the “Quick Tips” which predicts common mistakes and helps students to avoid those errors when working.

Learn more here: Microsoft Office 2013: Illustrated Introductory, First Course

For a teacher's opinion on the book, read this article: One Computer Teacher's Massive Review of the Cengage Microsoft Office 2013 Textbook

A Guide to Microsoft Office 2013, 1st EditionA Guide to Microsoft Office 2013, 1st Edition

  • Author: Jan Marrelli
  • Published: 2014
  • Approximate Retail Price: $86.64

This resource includes many projects for students to complete such as letters, brochures, PDF documents, pivot tables, and business presentations. While going through the projects, review questions and exercises help to reinforce concepts new to the students. Along with the standard Microsoft Office applications, this resource includes “bonus coverage” of: Internet Explorer, SkyDrive, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and OneNote.

Learn more here: A Guide to Microsoft Office 2013, 1st Edition

Microsoft Office 2013: IntroductoryMicrosoft Office 2013 - Introductory

  • Author: Misty E. Vermaat
  • Published: 2013
  • Approximate Retail Price: $229.95

This text will introduce students to Microsoft Office 2013 in an engaging way that helps to improve retention.This resource uses a step-by-step approach that presents new information as the student goes through the lesson. At the end of each chapter, a number of activities provide reinforcement and a way for students to apply the skills the have learned.

Learn more here: Microsoft Office 2013: Introductory

Microsoft Office 2013: AdvancedMicrosoft Office 2013 - Advanced

  • Author: Misty E. Vermaat
  • Published: 2014
  • Approximate Retail Price: $239.95

This is a follow up to the Microsoft Office 2013: Introductory text listed above. It builds on the knowledge students have of each Office application and teaches more advanced features and skills. The Advanced text has the same layout with step-by-step instructions and many reinforcement opportunities.

Learn more here: Microsoft Office 2013: Advanced

Microsoft Office 365 & 2016: IntroductoryMicrosoft Office 365 & 2016 - Introductory

  • Author: David Beskeen
  • Published: 2017
  • Approximate Retail Price: $174.75

With this soon to be released resource, students learn about both Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2016. As part of the Illustrated Series, the user-friendly format with images reflect what students will see on their own screens when working in the Office applications. Each module gives an overview and a case study to show relevant application of what will be learned. At the end of each module, there are Independent Challenges and Visual Workshops that allow students to practice further.

Learn more here: Microsoft Office 365 & 2016: Introductory

Learning Microsoft Office 2013, Level 1 and Level 2Learning Microsoft Office 2013, Level 1 and Level 2

  • Author: Suzanne Weixel
  • Published: 2013
  • Approximate Retail Price: $148 (for both levels)

These texts from Pearson Education are available in print or online and encourages student self-directed learning. The instructions include screen shot images of the Office application to help students learn unfamiliar content. After each chapter, there are activities to help reinforce what was learned - as well as electronic Bonus Chapters for even more reinforcement and skill development.

Learn more here: Learning Microsoft Office 2013, Level 1 and Level 2

Which Microsoft Office Textbook is the Best?

In all honesty, we can’t tell you which Microsoft Office textbook is the best. It is up to you as the teacher to decide which book or resource is the best fit for you and your students.  A few things to keep in mind as you investigate are:

  • Is the content age-appropriate for my students?
  • Does it meet my standards?
  • How much value does it give me and my students?
  • Can I easily integrate it into my classroom?

On a final note, don’t forget that in a blended learning classroom, a textbook may be one of several resources you use to teach your students. A great blended learning style will use textbooks, hands-on projects, lecture, online resources, and more. A textbook is a great place to start, but don’t stop there!

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About Bri Stauffer

Bri writes content to help teachers and students succeed in the classroom. In addition, she runs the AES Educator Community group to help teachers collaborate from across the country.

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