I knew business, but I didn’t really know how to go in there and create lesson plans. And the last teacher told me about Business&ITCenter21. When I saw what was available to use, it helped me.
Business&ITCenter21 makes my job really easy. I can look at lesson plans, or put together lesson plans right from your presentations.
Holcomb Bridge Middle School
Do you struggle to meet CTAE Georgia performance standards in your middle school introduction to business and computer applications courses? At Holcomb Bridge Middle School in Fulton County, one teacher has found a way to successfully meet those standards.
William Graham is a business and computer science teacher at Holcomb Bridge Middle School. And he knows business, having acquired his Masters degree in business administration and Bachelors degree in Marketing. But teaching business is a relatively new game for Graham, who has just a year and a half of experience in the classroom. In making the transition from an industry career to teaching, he met some challenges along the way. The biggest ones were covering Georgia performance standards and finding enough time to get everything done.
So how did he make it through the transition? He found some exceptional resources to help ease the way, including Business&ITCenter21. The eLearning curriculum has been a successful resource for William’s classroom because it meets his standards and helps with lesson plan development and ideas.
Helping students achieve curriculum standards has to be one of the biggest concerns of just about every teacher. So it was no surprise that Graham started out the discussion by talking about meeting standards. He then went on to explain how Business&ITCenter21 has been really good for him.
“I really like your program you have set up. It really helps me out with the Georgia standards. Everything is in-line with Georgia standards. You’re spot on with your stuff. That’s why I wanted to take time to give you guys a little call out, because it really helps out.
I was just coming into teaching and needed help with getting students through the lesson plans, but you have to follow Georgia’s standards at the same time. I would tell any teacher to try Business&ITCenter21 because it follows all Georgia standards that we have to learn.”
But Graham is a new teacher himself! And that was another major hurdle for him. That first year or two in a classroom can make or break a teacher. Graham explains what that was like…
“I knew business, but I didn’t really know how to go in there and create lesson plans. And the last teacher told me about Business&ITCenter21. When I saw what was available to use, it helped me.
Business&ITCenter21 makes my job really easy. I can look at lesson plans, or put together lesson plans right from your presentations.”
His advice to new teachers?
“Just spend time on it. With my situation, I actually got thrown into the position. I came in as a long-term sub, and the position became available, I just kind of came in, and I didn’t have the time to do anything, I was pretty lost. So, as a new teacher, Business&ITCenter21 really helped me out a lot last year because of lesson plans.”
So Business&ITCenter21 has been a success in Graham’s classroom because it meets Georgia standards and it helps with lesson plan development and ideas, even as a new teacher. But how does it actually work?
“So, having you guys ... It’s almost like I have a teacher’s aide. I’m teaching the class, but then they have someone else to help me teach the class also. Business&ITCenter21 is really easy to use. I can create tests, customize tests. I do quizzes... I do everything with your program.
I can get online with my headphones and listen to your tutorials on the subject. And then I teach from it, and they love it. I like the animations you have and the videos. Everything about it. And it’s really spot on when it comes to business.”
And after students work through content and take quizzes and tests, you can see the automatic assessments. Graham really sees the value that a teacher can get from Business&ITCenter21 with all of the time that can be saved.
“It gives you a nice report, and students can take the test over again. You can see how many students passed and see the average. It’s like a cheat, really, if you don’t have the time to put together your own lesson plans. You know, you’re going to have to study the PowerPoints, so you can present them, but, you know, this is a great cheat.”
There’s nothing so valuable as to have a fellow teacher explain how they use, integrate, and modify a resource in their own classroom. Graham gives a great description of how he uses Business&ITCenter21 in his courses. He usually starts with a lecture/discussion time and uses the PowerPoints within Business&ITCenter21 to support those discussions. After discussion time, students log in and go through the eLearning lessons.
“Well, as far as Business&ITCenter21, I pretty much start with the PowerPoints. I might add a few of my own little notes into it, and maybe add a couple of slides in there. But I use your PowerPoint. They’ll go into the program, put the headphones on, and listen. They’ll hear me talk about it. Then they have a backup. Have someone else go over that same material, but in a different way.”
Because Graham teaches multiple courses and grade levels, Business&ITCenter21 has been a great resource. Rather than find curriculum for each course, he has been able to use pieces of Business&ITCenter21 in each one. Graham particularly likes the Professionalism and Job Seeking Skills modules.
“I have them go on there and do applications...real life applications. About the dress code, I use a combination of the Professionalism module with our school’s dress code. I do a Venn Diagram of business casual dress versus formal dress. And I’ll do your presentation, and I do some of my own stuff on there, also.”
6th Grade Course: In line with the Georgia standards, sixth graders do the basics, such as computer fundamentals. Then they learn about careers, which Graham uses the Business&ITCenter21 Job Seeking Skills content for. In combination with Business&ITCenter21, Graham uses the Georgia Career Information Website which is more in depth and covers more careers. Sixth graders also do keyboarding activities with Edutyping.
7th Grade Course: Seventh graders go into more spreadsheets, with more lessons about creating spreadsheet. “Business&ITCenter21 has a program for Excel that can teach them how to use it and actually do a spreadsheet.”
8th Grade Course: “Eighth graders go more into practical usage, they’ll do more career orienting, like accounting and business plans... it’s more hands on. I actually have them do accounting projects. The activities are really fun. The tests are pretty challenging for the kids, also. I do little activities in class, like I’ll teach them what an asset is, what a liability is, what an income statement is, and I’ll do really small activities in class. But then I’ll test them using the Business&ITCenter21 tests. I put together a customized test.”
Graham says that just the act of signing on using the program to complete assignments is helping students understand the world of computing. He explains:
“Just the ablility to take a number and plug that number in to create a username and password, it really helps them with computers. So, at the same time, they’re learning computers, they’re learning how to log into a database, find a connection, take tests, log out, remember passwords.”
Beyond that, the age-appropriate and relevant curriculum helps keep students checked-in. Graham praises the real-world examples as easy for his students to follow and relate to. And that’s what it’s really all about. Teachers need tools that support state and national standards and are easy to use. But that’s all irrelevant if it’s not reaching the students.