Our Middle School technology teacher would like to update her curriculum. She has the students for 50 minutes, every day for only 9 weeks. Suggestions or documents that would assist her? What do you feel is MOST important to cover?

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If she hasn't read it already, David Warlick's Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century provides a good starting point for teaching technology skills that our students will need, no matter how the technology changes.

I teach 6th Grade Computer and Technology Integration.  I have the students on a block schedule, and I get about 170 students one day, and 170 different students the next.  So my class is the equivalence of an 18 week course. I am in my 8th Year of teaching this class and I have my complete curriculum aligned to the NETs Standards which have been adopted in Indiana.  Here is a link to the NETs Standards for Students!


In 18 Weeks, here is a very basic overview of what we do and what we cover:

  • Touch Typing
  • Microsoft Word Basics (We do several creative writing Journals, we write Diamantes and dress them up, and type several research papers for Language Arts and Social Studies).
  • PowerPoint Basics (We create Historical Figure Presentations and Internet Browsing Vocab Presentations)
  • Excel Basics (We create a Solar System Discovery Spreadsheet with 3 graphs showing the Planets' Distance From the Sun, Our Weight on Each Planet (Excel Formulas do the math for us), and our Age on each planet (again, with Excel Formulas doing our math).
  • Then we create our Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations in Google Docs so they can do them in Google Docs and Microsoft Office.
  • Internet Safety (We create Anti Cyberbullying Comic Books and Internet Safety Posters on GlogsterEDU, we devote half of a class,  one day a week,  to Internet Safety Discussions). 
  • Internet Searching and Boolean Searching Discussions and Strategies (to help my students learn how to be effective researches of online information).
  • We create Podcasts in Audacity in small groups of 5 covering a variety of topics students can choose from. 
  • We write school related Rap Songs and Record them in Audacity as part of a Rap It Up project where the students create fictional rap groups and plan a full summer tour, creating T-Shirts, planning a route in Mapquest, Creating Logos in Logomaker, creating presentations about the Cities we are visiting, 
  • We find out what our Ecological Footprint is and create Brochures in Publisher for our Community to share tips on how to make our community "Greener."
  • And much more!!


Hopefully these will give you a few ideas to run with!!



Hi David,


This is an awesome and thorough list of the topics you cover. I am an Instructional Technology Specialist K-8, and I teach a Technology Course to grades 6 and 7.  I have no curriculum, however, so your list is extremely helpful to me!  I was wondering if you have a website or any resources that you use for your projects that you would be willing to share.  Feel free to send me an email.  I'm interested in more details and/or resources on some of the lessons.


Thank you,



@ Merle,


It is so incredibly awesome that your middle school sorts placement into technology classes by grade level.  While I am not longer teaching a technology class (due to budget cuts) I found it incredibly frustrating to have to work with three grade levels all one time thus being unable to support much of anything from the core classes - outside of English. And even when we did that it had to be on the generic side as each grade level was working on different concept...  And, oh yeah, I only had them for three months at a time... :(


So impressed with what you have in place!!!  

Here are a few tech resources I have gathered recently:

Really Cool! Guided tours of FotoFlexer, Animoto, & Typewith.me

Web 2.0 site to create awesome student portfolios via interactive digital books.

Top 50 School Technology Blogs

Check out agoogleaday.com - a great resource for teaching students how to search efficiently - plus, it's just kind of fun...

It seems that one of the important things that students need to know, but don't is how to search:


We have a list of skills which we include into projects for the core subjects.

We start with the basic desktop applications and as they get older we begin to incorporate Web 2.0 applications (Google Docs, Animoto, eduGlogster, etc)


Hope this helps:



Proper Posture & Position

Proper Fingering

Proper Use of Special Keys





Proper Posture & Position

Proper Use of Buttons





File Management

File Address

Use of Storage

Open/Close Files

Use Menus

Use Networks

Use Help & Find Features

View File/Disk Contents

Create Shortcuts

Create a Folder

Rename a Folder/Files

Save/Move files to Folder or USB



Cite a Source

Copyright & Watermarks


Illegal Downloading

File Sharing

Identity Theft & Privacy Agreement



Enter & Edit Text

Use Font Formatting

Align Text

Select, Delete, & Undo Text

Use Styles

Create New Lines & Use Line Spacing

Use Character Spacing

Use Paragraph Formatting

Change Margins

Use the Spellcheck

Use the Thesaurus

Use Find/Replace Function

Use Print Preview

Print a Document or Selection

Use Save & Save As

Insert Borders

Use Textboxes

Use Images & Wrap

Use Instant Alpha

Use Shape Masks

Use Shadow, Reflection & Opacity

Publish a File (ePub, PDF, Quicktime)



Create & Edit Documents

Navigate a Document

Use Indentation

Insert Columns & Tables

Insert Bullets & Numbering

Insert Header & Footer

Insert Page & Column Break

Insert Page Number

Format a Page

Use Template Chooser



Create & Edit a Slide

Navigate a Presentation

Add a Background

Modify the Master Slide

Insert Graphics

Insert Tables and Graphs

Insert Audio Clips

Add Transitions & Effects

Add Interaction

Add Hyperlinks

Add Notes or Comments

Change the Slide Order

Print Notes or Handouts

Export to PDF, PPT & Quicktime



Create & Edit a Sheet

Navigate a Spreadsheet

Enter & Edit Data

Align Text

Add/Delete Columns & Rows

Format Cells

Create & Format Graphs


Use Fill Down/Across Function

Format Sheet

Write Simple Formulas

Use Conditional Formatting

Print a Document or Selection



Create / Edit a Drawing

Use Paint / Draw Tools

Use Flip, Resize, Rotate & Skew

Use Select, Copy, & Paste

Use the Color Palette

Use Pattern Fills

Use Layers

Save an Image

Use the Text Tool

Crop an Image


Use Mask

Modify Vector Points & Bezier Curves

Use Blur, Smudge, Stamp & Sharpen

Work with Color Saturation & Hues



Recognize Social Media & Web 2.0 Applications

Use RSS feeds

Publish on the Internet

Use Sharing Settings



Design Content, Navigation, Treatment, Experience

Basic HTML

Create Links

Insert Tables and Columns

View Source Codes

Insert Video / Media

Insert Images



Access a Website

Understand Web Addresses

Use Links

Transfer Text and Images from the Browser

Use Image Capture

Safety on the Internet

Recognize Commercial Intentions

Personal Information & Private Identity

Use Passwords

Use Online Reference Sites

Practice Netiquette

Use Search Engines & Keywords

Evaluating Websites



Create / Edit an Animation

Use Paint / Draw Tools

Use Flip, Resize, Rotate & Skew

Use Select, Copy, & Paste

Use the Color Palette

Use Pattern Fills

Use Layers

Use Mask

Work with Timelines & Keyframes

Use Morph and Motion Tween

Work with Symbols

Manage a Library

Insert Audio Clips

Insert Hyperlinks

Save an Animation Project

Import & Export Files

Use Onion Skin



Create / Edit a Movie Clip

Work with Timelines & Keyframes

Insert Audio / Movie Clips

Insert Transitions & Effects

Manage a Library

Save a Movie Project

Import & Export Files

Use Use Clip Trimmer

Use Stabilization

Mark Audio Clips

Change Clip Speed

Use Screen Recording




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