Any Computer teachers out there?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by CanadianTeacher, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Nov 26, 2008

    I have one 40 minute period per week where I have my grade 8 spec ed students (10 of them) for computers. I'm okay on computers, I can do what I need to do, but I'm no computer teacher. I'm looking for an easy project that they could do. Something where they could independently follow simple steps, that would take several periods to complete (to save on trying to find more ideas too soon), and that they would find interesting as eighths graders. Also something that doesn't require any special programs because our tech resources sort of sucks. :( Right now they are doing a music video where they have to create a powerpoint slideshow to go with a song that they will attach to the file. In theory, this sounds very cool but these kids aren't great problem solvers, half of our computers don't have the powerpoint program and corel presentations doesn't seem to be as user friendly. In short, I am not comfortable with the project but it is what they were starting when I took the job. A few of the kids are into it and I was thinking of letting them go with it as long as they were able to work through figuring things out on their own (even with only 10 kids, I already find I'm jumping around so much and too many can't seem to just try things:dizzy:). For the others, I wanted something simpler that they could actually do on their own after I give them initial instruction. Does anyone have any cool projects that are simple?:help:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2008

    Why don't we start with what the computers DO have that's reliable.

    Do they have internet access? Can they Google something?

    Do they have access to a printer? Color or B&W?

    Do they have access to a Word Processor-- Word or Wordperfect or something?


    How about graphics-- are they limited to the Clipart feature of Word or can they access more?

    I have pretty much no computer background. But I figure that if we approach this from the standpoint of what's available, it might be easier to get a handle on what you want.
     
  4. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    If you do have internet access have the create a webquest along with instructions.
     
  5. trina

    trina Companion

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    Nov 26, 2008

    My husband is our computer teacher, and he has the older kids doing the same kind of music video, but you can use Windows Movie Maker (it should be on all the machines under programs-accessories), and it's better than PowerPoint for this. Pretty user friendly, too.

    Another thing he's doing right now with some classes is having them make out their Christmas wish list in a simple Word document. But he then has them go to the internet and import a picture to put beside or below each item on the list. They are learning about formatting the pictures (size changes, moving it around, etc). With older kids you could have them also "price shop" the list at a few major online retailers.

    He also just had the middle schoolers make a crossword puzzle using Excel. He taught them how to make all the rows and columns even so you have a grid, etc.
     
  6. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Internet--yes. They can google.
    B/W printer--yes
    Word processor - yes
    graphics--not sure as this isn't something I've done much of myself
     
  7. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    These kids can barely read and write so it has to be extremely simple. They are not problem solvers, so having them create a problem solving situation (or solve one) would be harder for them than this music video is...this is spec ed--grade 8 working at about grade 3 (lower when it comes to reading and writing)
     
  8. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I'll look and see if I can find windows movie maker--however, I still dont really have any ideas of what to do with it...

    I don't know how to use Excel, so I'd like to stay away from that. I don't know how to format picture sizes...

    I really resent being thrown into teaching something that I have not mastered....
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 28, 2008

    Can they make up a tourism brochure of the city of their choice? (Even Disney World/Land)

    They could find the things that make a particular place special, cut and paste a description together, include some graphics or photograps. If they do it in 3 columns they could make up a trifold brochure.

    I'm computer illiterate and could manage this, so I'm guessing your kids could do it??
     
  10. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2008

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