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 into my existing computer lessons?

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

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 schools 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 activities out there, including Microsoft Word practice 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: Google Docs Lesson Plans: Missing in Action

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.

Digital CitizenshipBeing a Good Digital Citizen

Why Digital Citizenship? Here’s what Common Sense Education has to say:

“Every day, your students are tested with each post, search, chat, text message, file download, and profile update. Do they connect with like minds or spill too much information? Do they behave creatively or borrow ideas recklessly? Do they respect relationships or inadvertently damage reputations?”

What can students get out of being taught to be good digital citizens? In this post, Celestial Holmes explains the following:

  • Teaching digital citizenship opens up a dialogue about what behaviors are acceptable.
  • Teaching digital citizenship prepares students for the workforce.
  • Teaching digital citizenship can help students avoid or minimize awkward or inappropriate situations.


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

Cyberbullying is an important topic for any computer applications class, especially in middle school. If you’re in search of middle school computer lessons about cyberbullying, here’s a few tips.

Web Research

Are your students well-prepared to gather information from online sources? We hope so, but if not, how can you help? It’s simple: include some web research lessons in your computer applications class!

If you’re stuck wondering: What should web research lesson plans look like? You can read about Web Research lesson plans here, and even download a free lesson:

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