Technology Curriculum for Middle School

About a week before school started I was presented with information that I would be teaching a technology class for 8th grade students. It is not uncommon for educators to find out last minute what they are teaching especially when being new to a school. (This also happened my first year teaching hired to teach PE, and ended up teaching 6th and 8th grade math...Luckily this was for the best as I prefer Math and didn't know it!!)

The discussions then began on what was expected of this course. The course was being restarted after a few years of sabbatical. My views on technology are far different than most older educators having been one of the first generations to grow up with computers and social networking. I have seen social networking be used for education, professional jobs, etc. My intended goal was to create a course that was relevant for today's technology needs while still teaching students the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, and typing skills.

After two quarters, I have fine tuned what I believe the students need to see, the time frame it will take them to complete it, and how to grade it.  I have also searched out a forum for students to access all this material for free besides me sending out emails/mass sharing documents.

I stumbled upon .  A open source web based creation of courses that anyone can take.  Most course creation programs currently cost money and this one was free. It had just finished beta testing so I decided to go for it.  In less than 2 weeks my course will be live. Targeted for public education grades 5-9.  All students can log in and participate in the course. In essence it is a curriculum for the modern time where none before has existed.

Below are 10 things my modules will offer:

1. Projects to teach technology for the duration of a quarter with additional projects for schools on trimester schedules.

2. Grading rubrics for every project. No more guesstimating grades and students trying to figure out what you want.

3. All programs used within the module are web based. That means with one Google Student account any school can participate. Most the modules use outside web pages the ease of Google accounts make logins a breeze. It is also remarkably easy for students to "share" their work with their instructor through Google.  (Note: Within my district I have an additional account created in Google through the school to receive my students work so it doesn't clutter my email)

4.  No more paper directions! It's technology class there should be no paper! Enough said!

5. The basics; typing programs, Google Documents, and Google Spreadsheets. In a less boring way through formal letters, submitting other projects, and balancing a budget while looking up future careers and places to live.

6. The advanced; Prezi, Coding, Digital Citizenship, Blogging, Photo Editing, Searching the Internet, and National Competitions! All things students are interested in that are current and more than relevant.

7.  A teachers resource section tying every unit to Technology standards.

8.  There is always something for students to work on because it can be self paced with a teacher suggested time frame. Also many of the lessons are based on internet programs that give students the opportunity to continue learning the skills they are interested in.

9. Simple Formatting. There are no ad's or clutter on the screen. Students select the module they are working on complete the tasks then can  move onto the next.

10.  Unlimited Support! Email me for info. on any problems that arise or hard copies wanted. It is really easy to "share" Google Documents : )


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