Skip to main content

The Ultimate Guide to Computer Applications Lesson Plans

The Ultimate Guide to Computer Applications Lesson Plans

Are you in search of stellar computer applications lesson plans for your students? Though computer lessons are abundant, the great ones are few and far between.

Before putting your lessons together and letting your students loose on the computer, take a moment and think:

What do great computer applications lesson plans look like?
Where can I find computer applications lessons that are perfect for my students?
How can I easily add new lessons and ideas to my existing computer lessons?

After all, choosing the best computer app lessons for your students could be the difference between them understanding the essential digital skills they need to succeed or falling behind their peers.

In this article, we’ll share some of the most important topics to cover in your middle and high school computer applications classes and where to find resources. After reading this page, you will better understand what you want to cover in your course and the next steps you should take.

Great Computer Lesson Plans Should Engage Students

Computer Applications lesson plans should engage your studentsIf you’re like many others, when you took a computer applications class it may have been very focused on keyboarding. But times have changed, and many of your students are already pretty adept at typing. So how can you make sure your computer applications plans don’t bore your students into oblivion?

Here’s a few tips:

  • Use media to increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes.
  • Try adding metaphors to help students remember details.
  • Give your students a real-world context with extra projects to reinforce skills.
  • Provide practical practice within your lessons. Making it relatable will do wonders.
  • Find ways to include differentiated lesson plans in your computer classes
  • Incorporate bell ringers to quickly engage students each day

Computer Lessons for Middle School and High School – What’s the Difference?

Computer Applications classes are found both in middle schools and high schools. Though some of the topics covered will be similar, it’s important to recognize that computer applications lesson plans are not “one size fits all.”

Some middle school students will come into your classroom with little to no knowledge about how to use Microsoft Office applications. Getting these students up to speed on the basics will help them succeed in other courses during their middle school years.

On the other hand, if you are teaching a computer applications class in high school, your students probably have a good background of the basics. In this case, including some other skills with your standard computer applications lessons could be beneficial for your students.

Computer Activities for Middle School Students

So you know that engagement and context are a large part of great computer applications lesson plans. But how do you use those concepts in the classroom? One place to start is by including hands-on computer activities – not just lessons.

There are many resources out there, including Microsoft Word lesson plans and activities created by some dedicated computer applications teachers. You could easily incorporate one of the activities into your existing Microsoft Word lesson plans.

Want more ideas for middle school computer lessons and activities? Check out one of these articles:

Computer Applications Lesson Plans for High School

High school computer applications classes are often more focused on the Microsoft Office Specialist certification than middle school classes. To help your students prepare for certification, you most likely need more than just a lesson or two. It might be beneficial to include test prep material in your lesson plans.

If you need computer applications lesson plans for high school, read this post or try one of these computer applications resources.

For tips on how to best prepare your students for certification, check out these articles:

Remember: It’s Not Just About Microsoft Word Lesson Plans

When we think “computer applications,” we can be quick to associate that with the Microsoft Office applications, like Word and Excel. But it’s important to remember that your computer applications lesson plans should not only focus on Microsoft Office.

Though these applications are important, there are other areas that need your attention just as much in a computer applications class. For example, the IC3 Certification requires students to pass exams in three different areas.

Want some other lesson ideas? Here’s a few extra topics you should include in your computer curriculum.

Google Apps Lesson Plans

With the rise of Google Drive usage in the workforce it might be a good idea to introduce some Google Apps lesson plans to your computer applications classes. The Google Apps suite is gaining traction in schools for many reasons, a large one being the fact that it is saving schools money.

There is an abundance of resources out there for using Google Docs in the classroom, but not very many to actually teach your students how to use Google Docs and the other applications.

If you’re in search of lessons to teach Google Docs, this article is a great place to start: Top 3 Google Docs Lesson Plans for Middle School

Whether you cover Microsoft Office or Google Drive, it’s important to remember that building your students’ competencies and skills is more important than focusing on a specific tool. Becoming adept with a broad range of applications will help your students become more flexible and employable.

Digital CitizenshipBeing a Good Digital Citizen

Digital citizenship is an essential skill students need to learn early to function effectively in an internet-centric society.

Becoming a responsible digital citizen requires students to understand the realities and permanency of the internet and develop good boundaries for what they say and do online, particularly when it comes to treating others respectfully.

An effective set of digital citizenship lessons can cover the basics of responsible internet use, including:

  • Opening a dialogue about what online behaviors are responsible and acceptable.
  • Preparing students for workplace professionalism, particularly when using technology.
  • Helping students avoid or minimize awkward or inappropriate situations by encouraging safe internet practices.

Including digital citizenship resources in your computer applications curriculum can ensure students are prepared to appropriately use technology in their future classes and careers.


Though many people include teaching students about cyberbullying as a part of good digital citizenship, it’s important enough to warrant some extra attention.

Since cyberbullying often affects children and young adults, it is an important topic for any computer applications class. If you’re in search of middle school computer lessons about cyberbullying, read about the Best Cyberbullying Resources for Middle School.

You’ll learn about some of the best resources to equip your students to combat cyberbullying and help them better care for one another.

Web Research

should know how to effectively evaluate quality sources to determine what is worth using in a research project, paper, or presentation.

To help students become better researchers in their classes, why not include web research lessons in your computer applications class? Since much of today’s research happens online, web research lessons can ensure learners develop transferable skills that will help them anywhere.

If you’re looking for web research plans you can use right now, download these free web research lesson plans. You’ll receive presentation slides that will help you cover the most important aspects of effective web research with your students.

Teach Computer Applications Today

To teach effective computer applications classes that engage your students, it’s paramount to have the right resources at your fingertips.

When you don’t have computer lesson plans that are relevant and compelling for today’s students, you could find yourself lost and scrambling to gather better materials. If many of your lessons are outdated, you can quickly feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

If you are just looking for a few lessons to improve portions of your existing computer applications curriculum, any of the lesson plans in this article could be a great fit for your students.

If you need to replace a lot of your content, consider a comprehensive solution, like Business&ITCenter21 from AES. Business&ITCenter21 includes hundreds of hours of computer applications curriculum that is relevant and continually updated.

Want to find out if it’s right for you? Watch the demo video to see everything AES has to offer.

We also recognize that middle and high school computer applications teachers face many other challenges that can keep them from being successful in the classroom.

To learn more about five of the biggest challenges teachers face and how you can overcome them, download your free guide. You’ll learn more about what these challenges are and how meeting them can help you better engage your students.

Overcome Your Teaching Challenges