This might not always be possible. Schools have tight budgets, and other subjects might get funding more than a computer class.
The goal of any computer class is to familiarize students with the programs and applications they will need in the future.
If you’re running outdated versions of Microsoft Word, students won’t have relevant skills when they need them to succeed.
So if you have the room in your budget, get the latest version of Microsoft Word.
Your students may not realize it at the time, but it’ll help them succeed.
2. Let Students Work on Their Own
Working individually is one of the biggest perks of a computer applications class.
Every student comes to your classroom from a different point of reference. Some students may spend most of their time online, while others may not even have Internet access at home.
(It may sound far-fetched these days, but it’s true!)
That’s why self-paced learning is so important.
Students with limited computer experience can go at a pace that helps them learn —notthe pace of the rest of the class.
Likewise, students who regularly use computers can get ahead of the pack by zooming through the beginning lessons.
No matter how you spin it, this self-directed learning creates an excellent environment for students’ long-term retention.
If students have questions, they can ask. If they need to review something, they can do it without disrupting the entire class. And if they want to zip through everything, they can!
This also means you have to serve a dual purpose as the instructor. On the one hand, you’ll always be the lead authority in your class.
On the other, you’re also responsible for supporting students. That may entail spending one-on-one time with them or appointing faster students to help those who are struggling.
Regardless of how you manage your classroom, independent learning is a great way to helpallof your students thrive.
3. Help Students Who Need It
The best part of independent work is that you can quickly get an idea of which students need your help.
Some students will stay on pace with your curriculum mapping, but others may struggle.
Fortunately, independent work allows students to ask questions as they need. More importantly, it removes the stigma of asking questions because everyone is too focused to pay much attention to a short question.
You can answer the question with a few words or hop over to a student’s computer to give them a little more direction.
Either way, you’re helping the students who really need it in your classroom.
That gives those students a better chance of retaining information long-term. It also builds your students’ knowledge so they can pass MOS certification exams, if needed.
(Depending on the state in which you teach, that could even get you more funding for your class!)
Regardless of the outcome, you can always get satisfaction from the fact that you’re helping an entire class by using independent learning.
You can always modify this strategy, too. But on the whole, it’s a great way for you to get (and keep) your students on track.
4. Line Up Bonus Lessons for Fast Workers
Like we said earlier, some students will work faster than others. That’s just a fact of life in a computer lab.
As a result, it’s important to have additional lessons and activities lined up for your fastest workers.
These lessons can cover a lot of different areas. Most teachers choose to teach more Microsoft products like Excel or Publisher.