Teaching "Computers" to Middle School Students

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mintlivedotcom, May 15, 2005.

  1. mintlivedotcom macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #1
    I will be teaching Computer Applications next school year and will be using a relatively ancient computer lab. I believe most of the computers are G3 iMac and Powermac 5000-series. Also, there will be a small number (maybe 3 or 4) new Dells (but, I will be trying to trade those for G4s).

    My question is: What can I use these things for?

    Bear in mind that there is a 100% chance that they probably have only about 64 MB of RAM (if that!).

    Basically, I am free to teach whatever the heck I want. I was thinking about a simple online typing program, which I can monitor in real-time (http://www.learn2type.com/) and maybe some website that allows me to teach simple HTML and have the students create a webpage or website. Also, registering them through blogger.com to create an online journal is another idea.

    I am very chummy with the school's CNS (Computer Network Specialist), so I can ask favors.
     
  2. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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  3. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

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    #3
    rofl.
     
  4. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #4
    It maybe old fashion and not that techy, but perfect their abilities in Office. That's stuff that middle school kids could actually use if they doesn't go into a computer specific job. (I'm assuming you have Office). Some projects you could do are like making a spread sheet in Excel where you have to calculate the prices of certain combinations of items. Another project would be to make a brochure in word. Another is a Powerpoint on something they like.

    On a more advanced note, you could make widgets. (For the more advanced students). If they had a class to make widgets, I would sign up for it in a second. To me that would be way cool, and not that expensive as all you need is an HTML editor and some sort of image editor. You could get a few copies of Photoshop Elements 3 for that. Then you could get a cheap domain, post them, and then they would actually be doing something productive for other people.

    In general I would just look for a lot of freeware apps, that contain some quality you wish to teach.
     
  5. iZach macrumors 6502

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    West Bloomfield, MI
    #5
    are you kidding?
    youre going to teach 11-13 y.o.'s to TYPE and use OFFICE??!

    im 13.
    i could type and use office when i was in 2nd grade.
    i taught myself html in 4th.

    youre going to teach 6th-8th graders to type?
     
  6. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #6
    yes the widgets idea is very nice. i wish my school offered that.
     
  7. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #7
    Yeah, but your a "geek" like me. I was a teacher's assistant for the middle school computer class (When I was there), and you would be amazed. Some of those kids get rattled on a computer by the littlest thing. And then they ask for help. I also did the computer tests - some of the kids were typing under 5 WPM. You have to think about the class as a whole. They are all going to be as good at computers as you are!
     
  8. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    #8
    I have no clue what school that you go to, but most of the kids (I am a 9th grader) at my school do not know how to type that well, have remedial knowledge in Office, and frankly are not that computer literate. I think that teaching Office/typing is a great idea. The computer class at my middle school did that, and it seemed to work out alright...
     
  9. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #9
    The funny part is you thought Office was a joke and widgets were a great idea, but when I wrote it, it was the other way around.
     
  10. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

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    Brooklyn NY
    #10
    I think teaching them office isn't a bad idea. I didn't learn how to type until the 7th grade, and im a big computer person. Basic programming is great too. Widgets are perfect.
     
  11. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #11

    i dont know how old you are, but maybe back then like obviously computers were not as advanced so they were not a big thing yet so you didnt learn to type until you were older? i dont know
     
  12. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #12
    well i mean i just thought that office was so simple, and like self explanitory (sp)
    my school never taught office, i just figured it out when we got a compuer when i was like 6 or 7
     
  13. iHambone macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    #13
    I've got G3 iMacs in my classroom

    I'm an elementary art teacher, making the switch to Jr. High next year. I wrote for a grant 4 years ago to incorporate computers into the elementary art classroom. We've done quite well with the G3 iMacs, 700mhz, we received then.

    http://homepage.mac.com/danieljreinagel/artandtechnology/Menu8.html

    This coming year, I'll finally get all my equipment into one room. I've traveled between elementary buildings in the past, and have had one or two computers per room, at three separate schools. Yes, I get to take it all with me, the move is within the district.

    You'd be surprised what these computers can still do.

    I've upgraded the computers with additional grant $ since then. Photoshop Elements 2, 512 mb memory installed this year, and Tiger will be installed this summer.

    There is a lot you can do with the G3 iMacs. And you'd be suprised how many opportunities there are for grant dollars out there if you need to upgrade. I've received three separate grants, from three separate organizations to fund the program. Some as simple as 100 words or less on-line applications.

    In short, those computers are what the students in my room use. I'm the only "Mac" guy in the district, and I love it.

    Good luck!

    Let me know if you have any questions,
    Dan
     
  14. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #14
    It's not that obvious to learn how to properly use transitions in Powerpoint or how to use the sum command to add up certain cells in Excel, etc. I don't want to argue with you. I stated my opinion about what I think mintlivedotcom should teach, and that's what this thread is about. If you think I'm wrong, then post what you think he should teach ...
     
  15. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #15
    no no no, lol, sory i didnt want it to seem like i was arguing, i was just saying that we at my school knew how to use office a couple of years ago.
    sorry if it seemed like i was arguing.
    lol :D
     
  16. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #16
    I wonder if Photoshop elements will run, I wish i knew how to really use photoshop. But also basic computer stuff like office is good to know. On the first day ask to the kids what experience they have with computers. If they don't know what a floppy disk is, then your in for a long school year!! You can teach them the history of computers, and why the Macintosh was so important when it came out.
     
  17. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

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    #17

    That's what they're teaching in my kids' school... My 6th grade daughter learned Excel, earlier in the school year, and they've been dabbling in some other stuff (a little internet, video editing, and things like that)- but mastering Excel was the major task for them... My 3rd grade son has learned Powerpoint and web browsing- I'm happy with the way they're teaching them to use computers to be honest with you... Proficiency in Office is a must - for the most part... My kids didn't really know how to use it until they were taught it in school- I'm sure they're not abnormal in this...
     
  18. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #18
    sorry, i guess youre right
     
  19. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

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    South Jersey
    #19
    I don't think you're wrong- and I don't think Office is self explanatory at all... Word is, as well as Powerpoint- though some instruction is necessary, imho- But there are people who've made a good living teaching confused adults how to use Excel-
     
  20. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    LOL.. No, that's cool- but now you've got me wondering, should they be teaching them more?... lol...
     
  21. iZach macrumors 6502

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    West Bloomfield, MI
    #21
    Lol

    they dont teach us crap at my school
    i teach myself everything (my parents dont use computers, i teach them everything they know :p)

    they stopped our computer classes after 5th grade i think
    what a shame
    lol
    o and we have all pc's
     
  22. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    #22
    Really. They have like 5 different computer classes at my school. Are you in high school or middle school. If you're in middle school, then I'm sure that there will be more options once your in high school.

    Personally, I thought it would be boring, so I had to sit through a tedious 3 and a half hour test to pass out ...
     
  23. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    Jan 21, 2005
    #23
    There were never computer classes in elementry school where I live. And in middle school, there was one basic computing class. Great for first time users. But in High School, they have all sorts of stuff - BCIS I, BCIS II, Web Mastering, Typing, Computer Science, Computer Science AP, and whatever else they have that I don't know about...
     
  24. mintlivedotcom thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #24
    I currently teach Special Education to learning disabled students at the same school and most of them can't type 5 WPM. Yes, the geeks will need additional challenges from me, but I am speaking for most of the students who are too lazy to learn. I will be trying my darndest!
     
  25. mintlivedotcom thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #25
    I think I have a few of you who say Office is a must and I agree. Thanks for all of the replies. My next thread will be about the OTHER classes I will be teaching: music, public speaking, and drama!
     

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