October is Computer Learning Month. When could be a better time to grow your student's computer skills and digital literacy? Granted, most K-12 students are digital natives, knowing instinctively how to navigate websites, use smart phones, and even create web content of their own. Sometimes it feels like today's generation come wired for tech use!
However, as much as your middle schooler Facebooks and your high schooler blogs, it's important to grow more than just the social aspects of computer use. Technology is also medium to grow knowledge and produce work. Without a doubt, 21st century jobs will need future employees (a.k.a. your student) to know how to use various computer operations.
Here are a few ideas for your student to do to grow computer skills and digital literacy:
1. Type everyday items to grow keyboarding skills, like to-do lists, emails, reminders, thank you notes, etc.
2. Visit websites to learn new skills, read news, and pursue supplemental reading (use multiple browsers and operating systems)
3. Navigate to a location using an online map
4. Practice software by doing homework in word processing and spreadsheets when possible
5. Take an online course
6. Watch a video on a new computer use or tool
7. Research an online application that improves a procedure
8. Explore free trial versions of software (like photo editing, illustrating or graphic creating, or programming options)
9. Cite online sources for a paper or research project (and add hyperlinks where appropriate)
10. Experiment with devices not yet personally used (like tablets, e-readers, cell phones, PDAs) when the opportunity arises
Digital literacy is more than knowing about newest cool thing; it's knowing how to properly use technology effectively. To help your student become more computer savvy, continuous exposure to devices and applications is necessary. Training or online tutorials can also be helpful if your student isn't the hands-on, self-starter type.
What's the last computer skill your student learned how to do?