Some background info first. I am a first year teacher. I am a social studies major with some technology experience. I am going to be teaching computers 8 and 9 in a small rural school. 8th grade is an entire year and 9th is only half the year. The students have had some computer instruction in previous grades but only about 1 hour a week.
Right now I am creating the 8th Grade Computers outline for the year before I start creating units and I could already use some feedback and ideas.
The below link is the educational technology standards and expectations for the state of Michigan
In the syllabus I am working on I have watered it down to 5 categories.
Understand and apply basic computer operations and concepts including keyboarding, terminology, troubleshooting, file storage, etc
Identify and evaluate social, ethical, and human issues including cyber bullying, identity theft, privacy, plagiarism, social networks, etc
Utilize various productivity tools including photo editing, word processing, database creation, publications, programming, etc
Employ communications tools including email, group discussions, web collaboration, presentations, web page, newsletter, video etc
Use research tools including search engines and databases and assess content for accuracy and bias
For a moment I thought it would be orderly to cover each area one at a time. However these categories have a lot of overlap.
How would you break these standards into manageable units?
After I familiarize students with google docs/bookmarks/calendar/etc. I will most likely start with research
The idea was if I start with research than any new concepts or ideas students would be able to research and learn on their own. I also considered reviewing keyboarding. I will have to wait and see where my students skills are when school starts.
Then maybe go in to MS Office or Internet safety or computer history or...? For example it would be nice if students could present their research on computer history with a power point or blog entry or voice thread. But that would require them to know how to do that first. That is why I am asking:
What would you cover and in what order? Do you even have set units?
Thank you in advance. You have no idea how much your advice will help =).