4 Big Benefits of eLearning for Computer Applications
Many computer applications teachers who are reviewing eLearning curriculum for their classroom ask us questions like: “How is eLearning curriculum different than lesson plans and activities I create myself?” and “Are there certain benefits of eLearning I can’t get from another curriculum option?”
While there are many great options out there for your classroom materials, eLearning curriculum is certainly different than the other choices. One of the reasons is due to the benefits a teacher can receive, without spending any extra time on prep work!
A great example of a teacher who has found success with eLearning curriculum is Reginald Patterson at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Polk County, FL. Reginald uses the Business&ITCenter21 eLearning curriculum in his Computer Applications for Business courses to help him overcome big frustrations and challenges he was facing.
The benefits of eLearning for computer applications classes are:
- Saving time with grading and lesson planning
- Increased student engagement and understanding
- Differentiated instruction is easier to do
- Easy to incorporate blended learning
In this article, I will review each of these benefits and how eLearning can help a middle school computer applications teacher succeed.
Save Time with Lesson Plans and Automatic Grading
When Reginald first starting teaching computer applications, there were no resources available for him to use as a base for planning his lessons. He spent a lot of time searching for resources, and even more time creating his own lessons and activities.
“The biggest challenge for me was they did not have any resources available to use. Everything I was teaching, I had to research and develop myself. I had to teach myself the software. I had to develop my own lessons and activities from scratch. Then I basically did that every year, so students weren’t doing the same thing over and over again every year… It was an extreme amount of time.”
Even after he built up his resources and homegrown lessons, Reginald still struggled with spending too much time on lesson planning and grading student work. Computer applications teachers like Reginald can have up to 125 different students daily. More students means more time spent prepping middle school computer lesson plans and grading student work.
Two big benefits of eLearning are that lesson plans and other resources are ready to use, and student work is automatically graded by the system.
“I like immediately getting the grade feedback. It makes it very easy to keep up with grading and getting stuff entered quickly for the students.
I also like the electronic worksheets that go with the lessons, instead of having to print out 200 copies every time we do a lesson. It’s easy for me to pull up and access them from the teacher site.”
Increased Student Engagement and Understanding
For any middle school teacher, keeping students engaged is a seemingly impossible task. Not to mention ensuring students understand the topics you are teaching! Luckily for Reginald, using Business&ITCenter21 has helped him face these challenges head on. He explains that the program is another way for his students to learn the content, and that it is often better than him just lecturing:
“I think it adds another learning opportunity for some students. I can stand up there and lecture to them and demo it myself. They will get a feel for it, but they may not totally understand it.
By watching the videos and then trying it there on the computers, it’s just another way for them to get a deeper knowledge of what we're trying to learn. I think a lot of students do get a benefit from that.”
Reginald has found that by spending less time lecturing, and giving students access to the eLearning curriculum, they are more engaged and focused. He believes that students need to be working on activities and other things to keep their interest. Business&ITCenter21 has helped with that, by giving students hands-on projects to complete within the Microsoft Office applications.
“From my experience, students like you to teach for 15-20 minutes, then have them working on something. Business&ITCenter21 is beneficial for that.
Students aren’t going to stay focused for the entire class with you standing up there talking. They need to be working on things. Teach them the content, make sure they understand what you're trying to cover, and then get them busy doing it.
They have to be busy, so either you create your activities yourself. Which is very time consuming, or you use a system like Business&ITCenter21, to help with that.”
eLearning Makes Differentiated Instruction Easier
Any middle school electives teacher knows that differentiated instruction is important to help your wide variety of students succeed in the classroom. Unfortunately, finding ways to differentiate your lessons can take time that you just don’t have to give.
With eLearning curriculum like Business&ITCenter21, students are able to work at their own pace to complete lessons, which is a huge step forward in doing differentiated instruction. Also, eLearning curriculum is often narrated which can help students better retain information and works out perfectly for students with IEPs.
For Reginald, he found that mixing in other activities with Business&ITCenter21 was a great way to balance the classroom and differentiate instruction for various students.
“Students like Business&ITCenter21, but I do my own things too. I use the program differently for various students… to differentiate.”
eLearning Allows for More Blended Learning
Going hand in hand with differentiated instruction, a blended learning teaching style helps students learn better. But gathering multiple resources and finding ways to make them work together best is yet another thing that takes a lot of time.
By using the Business&ITCenter21 eLearning curriculum, Reginald is able to multitask with different student groups and keep them all moving forward. He has found that by using a group-based blended learning approach, students can get more done and learn better. Because Business&ITCenter21 is self-paced for students and does not depend on direct teacher help, Reginald’s students can work autonomously when necessary.
“It allows me to be teaching multiple topics, like Microsoft Word, or a business software and a design software, at the same time. I have 30 students in a class… It allows me to take a group of students, maybe 10 of them, to the ‘Fab Lab’ where they will be working with the design software.
Then I know over here, they’ve been assigned the AES curriculum. We’ll review it when I come back. Then the next day I can take another group to the Lab. It lets me multitask in different software, instead of just doing one and being stuck in that silo. I can branch out and get more things accomplished with my students.”
Get Started with eLearning for Computer Applications
Now that you have read about the 4 benefits of eLearning for a computer applications teacher… how can you get started? You can learn more about the Business&ITCenter21 computer applications curriculum here: eLearning Curriculum for Computer Applications, or you can sign up for a free trial below: