Business&ITCenter21 Update: Microsoft Essentials Blog Feature
Chris Zook

By: Chris Zook on August 10th, 2017

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Business&ITCenter21 Update: Microsoft Essentials

AES Updates

At AES, we constantly work to improve our products.

That means making regular updates to our existing curriculum options at no additional charge.

This summer, we’ve created, tested, and perfected a major update to Business&ITCenter21 — new modules on Microsoft Office Essentials coming out Saturday, August 12

These modules are all based on Microsoft Office 2016, allowing students to learn the most common office computer tools in the world.

We’ll take a look at each of them below.

1. What’s New with Microsoft Office Essentials?

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For Microsoft Office Essentials, we split our update into two parts: focus and content.

Focus covers the overall emphasis of the modules. It’s the running theme that you’ll find in every lesson.

Content refers to the modules, units, and lessons you’ll find in the update.

We’ll start with the update’s focus.

2. Focus: Vocabulary

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The biggest addition to this module is its focus on vocabulary.

We know how important it is to keep language consistent in education. Mixing jargon leads to confusion, which makes it harder for students to successfully complete their work.

Plus, life is just easier when everyone uses the same words for the same concepts.

That’s why we wanted to stress vocabulary so much.

We even added quizzes and other challenges to our module that focus on vocabulary.

Clarity plays a major role in student success.

When instructions are clear, students have a better chance to succeed.

3. Content: Building from the Bottom

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We took Microsoft Office and broke it down into manageable parts that any student can learn.

The modules are designed to work in a specific order:

  1. Essentials (basic information, no experience required)
  2. Fundamentals (app-specific information, some experience required)
  3. Skills (competency information for each app, experience required)
  4. Business (application information, experience required)

We understand this order doesn’t work for everyone though. That’s why you still have the freedom to mix and match different lessons as you like.

This versatility forms the cornerstone of our Microsoft Office update.

If you don’t want to create a lesson plan, you can use the structure we’ve laid out.

If you do want to create a lesson plan, you can do it at any time.

That way, everyone can use these modules however works best for them!

4. How Does Microsoft Office Essentials Teach Students?

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At AES, we firmly believe in the four phases of learning.

  1. Explore
  2. Learn and practice
  3. Reflect
  4. Reinforce

This is the methodology we use for every curriculum we produce.

The explore phase allows students to get their feet wet with Microsoft Office.

They learn basic concepts and consistencies across all of Microsoft’s products.

Then, they move to learn and practice, which is when they learn product-specific information and apply it.

This phase continues as students build upon their previous lessons with increasing levels of complexity and difficulty.

Third, students encounter the reflect phase. This is when they review what they’ve learned to gain a better long-term understanding of it.

Finally, there’s reinforce. This is when students take their final assessments and prove they’ve retained the information they need to succeed.

It’s also the time when they learn what they don’t know so they can focus on building strong office skills.

With this learning system, students can acquire, retain, and apply the information they learn much more successfully than in a freeform environment.

5. What’s Changed with Microsoft Essentials?

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If you’ve used Business&ITCenter21 for a while, you’ve noticed that we already have multiple Microsoft Office modules.

These modules cover every modern version of Microsoft Office, starting with 2010.

This update only applies to the 2016 versions of Microsoft Office. We’ll maintain our current curricula for Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013, but we won't update those curricula any further.

In addition, every teacher will get access to Microsoft Essentials 2016 through Business&ITCenter21, even if you use Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 in your classroom. 

We’ve also added multiple touch points for major concepts in Microsoft Office. So when a student learns about a new feature of Microsoft Office, they’ll then be asked to implement that feature in greater levels of complexity.

That helps them nail down the basics while getting exposure to more complicated concepts.

This system works perfectly with the four phases of learning, and it’s especially useful in younger age ranges like middle school.

That way, students grow up with the information and continually expand their knowledge of it as they learn more.

6. How Can You Start?

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This update is free for everyone who uses Business&ITCenter21.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get your hands-on Business&ITCenter21 today.

Are you ready to build your students’ careers?

Start your free trial today!

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About Chris Zook

Chris Zook is the content marketing manager at AES. He enjoys everything about online marketing, data science, user experience, and corgis.

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