What computer/technology skills are being taught in your schools?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2011
What computer/technology skills are being taught in your schools?
5
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 12:18pm

I'm concerned that our kids are not being taught enough in our private school.  We have a 7th and 4th grader.  They used to have a weekly computer special, but abruptly ended it in the middle of the year last year.  They were supposed to 'integrate' the computer learning into the core classes by doing projects on the computer etc.  My kids have not had any keyboarding skills taught, no Excel, a little Power Point, and almost nothing else.  My 4th grader's computer work is essentially playing online math games which she could do at home.  My 7th grader does not know Excel, Publisher, etc..and has a small amount of experience with Pwr. Point and Word  He has never been taught keyboarding.  They once started keyboarding back when he was in 3rd grade, but never followed through and it just disappeared.  I am concerned he will be way behind for high school. 

 

What skills are your kids learning in elementary through middle school?  What should we expect to be taught in these grades? 

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
As far as the elementary school, they do most of their state testing and skills testing on the computer, which I think helps with keyboarding. They do a few typewritten assignments, but not many. This year in middle school, my 6th graders will have a full semester of computers, where they will be working on typing skills and do some Excel, Word and Powerpoint. They also have projects in at least one other class that will need to be done on Powerpoint. I don't how much they can really grasp Excel in middle school, but should be something they need to learn in high school. Unless you have a need for it on a pretty regular basis, you won't really remember it. I believe that they'll have another semester of it next year, but I can't remember how they handle all the electives.

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Its been a bit of time since mine was in middle school, but I know she had a semester of computer class in 6th or 7th grade for sure. She always did a ton of computer work at home, including publisher, word, etc. so I was never concerned about it at school. She did have some exposure to it in 5th grade now that I Think about it because I remember going to a presentation and her having to put together a power point presentation for it specifically because I was amazed at how much more she knew about it than i did at the time. My middle on is in kindergarten now and they do computer stuff almost every day, in fact we are struggling a bit with discipline with her in school at the moment and because she likes the computer so much her teacher is using extra computer time as an incentive for her. But she is way "behind" what my older one was with the computer at that age only because i have limited computer exposure for my little ones compared to the older one.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005

I'll be honest, that doesn't seem like much. As far as Excel, my kids use it all the time (5th and 7th grade). It might be because they're somewhat advanced in math (in pre-Algebra and Algebra, respectively), but it's not just for formulas and spreadsheets, although they do use it for that. Ds10 does his spelling homework on there so he can alphabetize automatically. Ds12 used it for all his science fair graphs last year. They're both comfortable working on it. Ds10 is doing an enrichment project for his teacher on Excel and he just showed me the "merge and center" button (which I hadn't used). They both use PPT extensively. Ds10 especially loves it and can do animation, sounds, etc...  At the middle school, there is one semester in 6th and one in 7th of computers, which is required to graduate MS, although ds12 took both last year because he is taking year-long electives this year (orchestra and Spanish). His keyboarding wasn't great going into 6th, but it's pretty good now. Ds10 isn't great because they've done it sporadically. They've both done many, many things on Word and feel completely comfortable. We don't have Publisher, although ds12 has used it at school.

Most of the teachers by 5th or 6th grade much prefer work done on the computer. In fact, in middle school, many of the teachers require it. I guess if you don't have one you go to the public library or probably talk to the teacher, but I don't blame them. I can't imagine reading all the long papers written in bad handwriting. And a lot of what he does in 7th requires a references page and in-text citations. Again, what a mess to write by hand. How do your kids do their homework, especially your 7th grader?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
We are in an ALE in WA, (think homeschool charter school.) My older two took a keyboarding class last spring (grades 4 and 6.)

This year my now 7th grader is in a STEM program. They were able to get iPads for the class, which they are using for note taking, the calendar, emailing group members (essential because they meet only once a week) and some presentation stuff. They are supposed to learn PowerPoint and Prezzi this year.

The iPad was new for our family, but we all were able to figure it out pretty quickly. It can be fun, and it also can be highly distracting. I think I prefer the desktop so that there is more parent monitoring involved and less time watching anime.

I am pretty sure that any computer stuff that my kids learn now, will be different than what they need for college, which will be different than what they need for the workplace when they graduate from college. I am not really worried if they get a lot of experience with it or not as I know that they can pick it all up quickly when they need it. Yes, there might be a small learning curve, but they are bright and I know they will be able to do it.

My 7th grader does most of her homework from her class on her iPad, because that is what they want. For writing an essay for a contest she is using Word. She does Khan Academy for math, but I do have her write notes in a notebook (on graph paper as it helps with keeping stuff lined up properly) so that she can easily refer back to them when doing the practice problems online.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2012

Excel and Powerpoint are not the kind of skills your kid should be learning. More like web development and basic computer programming. Most of this can be learned online or they can participate in one of many code camps. Looks into a robotics team like FIRST. Don't let the school let your kid down.