Microsoft Office Lesson Plans vs. Curriculum: Which One Do You Really Need? Blog Feature
Zoe Swartz

By: Zoe Swartz on December 17th, 2020

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Microsoft Office Lesson Plans vs. Curriculum: Which One Do You Really Need?

Computer Applications | Microsoft Office

As a computer applications curriculum developer, we work with thousands of teachers every year. Many are looking for new resources to teach their students how to use Microsoft Office.

When speaking with these teachers, our team hears four common challenges that lead them to search for Microsoft Office teaching materials:

  1. My computer class is brand new, and I have no materials
  2. I have Office lessons but need more engaging ideas
  3. I need to prepare my students for MOS certification
  4. I don't know how to balance teaching Microsoft Office with the other topics in my course requirements

Whether you are experiencing one or more of these challenges, there are resources to help!

But how do you know if you simply need Microsoft Office lesson plans or a full Microsoft Office curriculum for your classes?

This article will help you determine whether supplemental lesson plans or a full curriculum are right for you, based on which challenges you’re looking to overcome.

By the end of the article, you’ll have a clearer idea of what type of materials will work best for you and where you can find resources to teach Microsoft Office.

Challenge #1 - My Class Is Brand New, and I Have No Materials for Teaching Microsoft Office


A lack of materials is one of the most common challenges we encounter when speaking with computer applications teachers.

You’ve just been assigned your computer class, which may or may not have course standards and objectives for you to work from, and you need materials to help you plan and teach your lessons.

When it comes to this challenge, there are two types of teachers - those who prefer building their curriculum from scratch and those who don’t want to put everything together themselves.

Depending on your preference, the type of Microsoft Office teaching materials you’ll want will differ.

Are you a new teacher unsure of your preferred method of sourcing your curriculum? Learn more here: Digital Curriculum vs. Teacher-Made Curriculum

If you prefer building your curriculum from the ground up...

Sometimes we hear from teachers who feel it’s an exciting journey to find the perfect lessons and activities from various places to fit into their plans.

Pulling materials together from different sources allows you to build your uniquely customized computer applications curriculum.

If you love the detailed work of picking and choosing each lesson and activity, supplemental lesson plans would be a good fit.

If you aren’t interested in putting everything together yourself...

For teachers who want more structure, a Microsoft Office curriculum will make your life much easier than pulling together lesson plans from various sources.

With a ready-to-use curriculum, you don’t need to worry about finding age-appropriate lessons or creating rubrics to grade student work.

Finding the right pre-designed Microsoft Office Curriculum will ensure that you meet the necessary learning objectives without spending time finding individual activities and lessons.

If that sounds like a dream to you, a full computer applications curriculum would be a good fit.

Challenge #2 - I Have Microsoft Office Lessons, But Need More Engaging Ideas


We hear this challenge both from new teachers taking over an existing computer class and veteran teachers looking to mix things up in their curriculum from year to year.

As you get new students every year, their interests and understanding of the importance of learning Microsoft Office changes. So you want to spice things up by adding a new lesson or activity to keep your students engaged.

If you already have a core curriculum set for your class, picking and choosing additional lessons, activities, and materials can quickly help mix things up in your classroom.

If that’s the case for you, supplemental lesson plans are likely a better fit than implementing a full curriculum.

Challenge #3 - I Need to Prepare My Students for Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification


Many schools are looking to add more certification opportunities for their students. One of the most common options for business and technology classes is Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification, typically focused on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Most teachers will refer to a certification prep resource specifically designed to prepare students for the certification exam.

However, certification prep materials won’t help you teach your day-to-day classes, so you’ll still need additional materials to fill in the gaps.

Based on conversations with teachers we work with, students have the most success preparing for MOS certifications when they complete a Microsoft Office curriculum before reviewing test prep materials.

So, if your course focuses on MOS certifications, a full curriculum would be a good fit.

Read More: 7 Differences Between Digital Curriculum & Test Prep for CTE

Challenge #4 - I Don’t Know How to Balance Teaching Microsoft Office with the Other Topics in my Course Requirements


If you’re like most computer teachers, your course objectives include more than just Microsoft Office. Computer teachers we work with have a wide array of lessons to cover with their students, such as:

If you need resources to teach both Microsoft Office and other technology topics, a full curriculum would be a good fit.

With a fully designed curriculum, you’ll have access to an array of topics scheduled to move your class through the year, along with their activities and teaching guides.

Where to Find Microsoft Office Teaching Materials

After reviewing this information, I hope you have a clearer idea of whether Microsoft Office lesson plans or a full Microsoft Office curriculum will help you solve your biggest challenges.

If you’re looking for supplemental lessons and activities, check out these resources:

If you believe a full Microsoft Office curriculum is a better fit for you, consider looking into our computer applications curriculum system, Business&ITCenter21.

Business&ITCenter21 is used by thousands of teachers every year to teach Microsoft Office, digital literacy skills, coding fundamentals, and more.

To see if Business&ITCenter21 is a good fit for your classroom, watch the demo video:

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