Today’s high school students graduate with a whole new level of computer literacy and technological know-how. This is because teachers are using technology in the classroom more than ever. In order to continue this trend, and help adult students catch up, college and adult educators should implement “technology education” in their classrooms as well. Here’s how:
- Lectures. Convert your lessons into PowerPoint. In addition to visual appeal, lectures can be uploaded to your blog/website for students who missed class.
- Presentations. There is a host of free technology designed specifically for presentations. From PowerPoint to online options, students can collaborate on presentations without ever meeting in person.
- Video/Voice Chat. Take advantage of Skype or other video/chat options to communicate with students and encourage students to use it with one another outside of class.
- Games. Even in the world of adult education there are days when students need a break from the norm. Use Jeopardy or another fun app that’s group friendly to shift the energy.
- Website. It’s easier than ever to make your own website, which is a helpful way to localize class info, syllabi, informational resources, etc.
- Inverted Classroom. You can use a webcam to record your lessons and upload them to your website. Have students watch the videos before they come to class, maximizing classroom time for practice.
- eBooks. Scrap traditional textbooks and look for eBook and web-based learning platforms which imbed technology education into their process.
- Online Assessments. Research assessment tool options to enhance your hands-on learning approach and simplify assessments, grading, and gradebook management.
The computer lab, like any classroom, has its own set of unique challenges. However, at the end of the school day, teaching in a computer lab is incredibly rewarding. Here are some suggestions for working with the challenges of computer labs.
Increase Collaborative Learning. As Mary Beth Hertz points out in her article, The Pros and Cons of Computer Labs, group projects can be difficult in a computer lab. Until more schools acquire laptop, tablet and wireless technology, computer labs are virtually impossible to rearrange. Group projects can become mayhem as throngs of students gather around a single computer. To combat this, talk to administrators about larger indoor spaces that may be reserved on campus. You can have students meet an alternate classroom for a class or two as they work out the details for their project. Then they can return to the lab to work on individual portions of the project.
Academic Resource Station. Many primary/secondary schools have had to shut their library doors due to budget cuts. Your college students may arrive with a shocking gap in research skills, having never been properly trained. Teaching in a computer lab is about more than teaching computer literacy. It provides the chance to teach adult students how to use the internet for academic research, determine if a website is a reliable source of information, and/or how to access academic journals and publications. These are critical skills for the returning student.
The benefits of teaching in a computer lab far outweigh its challenges.
As educators of adult learners, it is important to understand the effect stress has on their ability to achieve academic goals. The more you can help to reduce student stress and provide textbooks and learning tools that are aligned with your students’ needs, the better your students will perform. Here are ways you can help adult learners overcome academic stress.
- Learn About Them. It is a good idea to spend a portion of the first day or two of classes learning about your students. Provide note cards so students can write down their academic strengths, weaknesses, fears, goals, etc. You can have them take a pre-course test – not graded – to understand their level of skills. This can help you tweak your curriculum to meet their needs and/or to communicate with them about the many resources that will be available throughout the course.
- Practice Stress Reduction Techniques. Marjory Jacobs, a career adult education instructor, emphasizes the importance of teaching stress management techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness. Taking a little time out to introduce these coping mechanisms can provide lifelong learning tools for your students.
- Choose the Right Curriculum. Choosing the right learning resources can make the difference between keeping your students motivated or watching them spiral down a well of frustration. Choose solutions that are designed to meet students with various learning styles. Labyrinth Learning offers products geared specifically for adult and/or second language learners. Seek out teacher testimonials or references that provide detailed feedback on the learning tools you’re considering.
Visit Labyrinth Learning for more information on easy-to-use educational resources to reduce adult learners’ stress and enhance their learning process.
Teaching Microsoft Office 2013 is easier than ever with the right materials, instant assessment tools, and ample teaching resources. Labyrinth Learning has designed the most innovative, user-friendly, textbooks and software for Building a Foundation with Microsoft Office 2013. Here are some of the benefits of using our innovative teaching approach.
Stand-alone Features. This curriculum is set up using 25 individual lessons. Rather than being abstract or conceptual, our eLab courses are direct and to the point, providing step-by-step instructions for specific, relevant skill building exercises. We have eliminated unnecessary reading so that students can spend the majority of their time working directly with the simulated Microsoft Office environment and improving their computer literacy. Available in print and tablet formats, Building a Foundation with Microsoft Office 2013 is fully supported with free instructor and student resources.
Helpful Add-Ons. In addition to the standard package, many customers take advantage of our add-ons, which are designed to make the course even easier for both students and instructors. Teaching Microsoft Office 2013 is more effective using our eLab Course Management System. It includes additional hands-on simulations, which record students’ keystrokes so you can monitor their progress, video tutorials, pre-built assessments and tests, gradebook management options, automatically graded projects, and more.
Other add-ons include a 180-day trial of Microsoft Office. Contact Labyrinth Learning for more information about our Microsoft Office learning solutions.
Are you beginning to feel like your attention to course management, such as creating assessments, analyzing student performance, and updating grade books, is taking away from the
thing you love best – teaching? Here at Labyrinth Learning we love teaching too, which is why we have spent the last two decades creating one-of-a-kind online tools for teachers. Shop our eLab products and experience the most innovative and engaging course management system (CMS) on the market.
Our textbooks are geared towards students at every level of computer and software literacy, and dozens of them are enabled to work with our eLab skills evaluation tool.
- Hands-on assessments: Whether you choose to use our pre-built assessments or prefer to customize your own, you and your students will receive immediate feedback on their computer literacy, which materials need reinforcing, and how much students have improved their skills through the duration of the course. Individual and group progress can be analyzed in seconds.
- Grade Books. Keeping track of grades has never been easier because our CMS does it for you. eLab CMS is a tool that complements our textbooks and provides automated grading and online training tools as a supplemental component for courses. (It is not an online course.) Students use their individual license keys and work online. All completed work and test scores will be deposited right into your grade book.
- Communication. Students who need specialized help and training have a direct communication line with you, which keeps your teaching time relevant and on point.
For more information on how online tools for teachers will enhance your classroom experience, visit Labyrinth Learning and register to view our online catalog.