Just wondering how many of you have this same issue. (conflict with the upper level grade instruction tract)
In 6th grade I teach keyboarding, but have seen a large decrease in student abilities due to the elementary curriculum changes. Now the elementary teaches computers and keyboarding by playing games for about 1/2 hour a week. The instructor is part time and uses a mobile lab. They used to teach keyboarding a couple hours a week but budget cuts have limited their instruction time. So the students come to me keying about 10 words a minute. About 15 words a minute slower than they used to key.
I have them type word documents, work on formatting, accuracy and speed. We take timed writing test about every 3rd day and students are expected to improve by 5 awpm each time they retest. To cover keying numbers we type spreadsheets in the spring instead of word documents. Timed writing is part of their grade.
In 7th grade I have moved from teaching keyboarding with the mandate that we teach more 21st century skills. I instruct the students on how to program html, css, edit audio, edit video, write ebooks and enhance them, make smartboard applications (games), and presentations to review core lesson materials. We use economics as our subject matter to support lessons in the social science classrooms. This is a subject I am familiar with and which the core classes have difficulty fitting into their year.
In 8th grade we study the U.S. Constitution making podcast, videos, using online classrooms to work collaboratively with other classes in different hours over the internet.
All my classes are provided online in a flipped (podcast and vidcast) format and I use class time as lab time to work on the projects. The kids work in teams and have to make contracts with each other and assign jobs. Each kid gets part of the project and they combine them over the internet.
My problem is; Should I go back to just teaching keyboarding, word and excel? You see, once the kids leave my class and go to High School they do not get any of the programming, podcasting, vidcasting or online format classes. They don’t take my lessons to the next level. They don’t work online collaboratively or anything.
What they do is type. Word processing, research papers, power-points and excel.
I have been told that I am not preparing my students for High School because I do not stress these topics of study. However I feel that 1. there is more to technology than typing and business. and 2. what is the point in teaching them something over and over that they will be getting more instruction on in HS? How does just teaching business and keyboarding instead of programming, use of online classrooms, and multimedia preparing our students for the 21st century?