I have had the opportunity to teach computer applications for the past 7 years to middle school 8th graders. Well with the exception of last year when the higher ups thought it would be a good idea to cut the class and make the computer teacher teach reading. But that was squashed and I am back teaching computers once again.
With the budget cuts that have been happening I am finding it more difficult to branch out of my normal routine. I have a classroom of 34 computers all with the district required software. ZERO budget.
Current semester course: (Designed after talking with high school tech teachers)
Computer Basics - Computer History, Parts of a Computer, Binary, How to build your own computer, How the internet works, viruses
Typing - We use a computer based program Type to Learn.
MS Office - Word, Power Point, Publisher (variety of projects in each)
HTML - Basic programming, students create a web site based on their school schedule
Is anyone using low-cost/no-cost programs that can add or enhance these current areas? Or any other ideas? I feel like i am in a rut and want to make my class even more interesting than it already is.