Many adults might remember taking a keyboard or word processing class in middle school or even high school.
The times have changed, the world has changed, and how school districts, including Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, are preparing 21st century students for college and a career has changed.
Students as young as second grade at APW Elementary School receive Computer Technology Education as part of their regular instruction.
Through a partnership with Learning.com the second through sixth grade technology curriculum is aligned with National Educational Technology Standards and is aimed to help students efficiently learn real-world technology skills and become digitally literate while also promoting more critical thinking.
Learning.com is a web-based curriculum provider that allows Computer Technology Teacher Brad Beck to create grade-specific and even student-specific lessons.
The lessons are engaging, many incorporate a video clip, are vocabulary-rich, and are aligned with the modules in place through New York State Common Core Learning Standards.
Recent lessons include: Practicing fundamental keyboard and mouse skills at the second grade level; Learning about the World Wide Web at the fourth grade level; and understanding the topics of ethics, citing, and plagiarism at the sixth grade level.
Following each lesson Beck tasks students with a reflection assignment where they are asked to answer questions about what they learned and then support their answers with evidence from the lesson.
The students utilize Microsoft Word for this which practices their word processing skills and also helps students with essential skills such as how to save a file and how to retrieve a saved file.
Learning.com also provides teachers with some unique features.
Beck has the ability to track assignments, see what lesson a student has or has not completed, and view students’ performance on a specific assignment.
The best part about the curriculum is “students can learn at their own pace,” according to Beck.
Students who are more advanced can proceed ahead while students who might need a little bit more support on a particular topic can reach out to a classmate, the teacher or review a lesson again.
Beck can also set up additional supplemental lessons to help a student or students on a particular topic.
Another unique feature is that Learning.com is available from any computer with internet access.
Each APW student has their own unique log-in credential and parents/guardians are welcome to log on with their child to see what he/she is learning about in class.