In the past, incorporation of technology into classroom curricula was more of a luxury than a necessity. But in today’s technologically advanced society, bringing technology into the curricula of K-12 students is crucial. The truth is that most students possess knowledge when it comes to computers, but they need direction in order to learn important skills for college and careers.
Many students come to school with an existing arsenal of computer knowledge, but all students can use more guidance and computer education.
Students from households with computers often develop an array of skills depending on which programs their home computers have. They generally don’t have access to programs like Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint, or even Microsoft Word, which all cost quite a bit for home users. Because of this, many computer-literate teens find illicit copies of Microsoft’s Office suite. This can be avoided by recommending open-source alternatives to costly software products, such as StarOffice, which has versions for both PC and Macintosh.
Students with no access to home computers need to learn basic skills and then move on to programs like PowerPoint because these skills will serve them well in high school, college, and the workforce. Each core or elective subject has its own uses for computer technology if the school has an easily accessible computer lab, and many of these skills are applicable to multiple disciplines: Creating graphs and displays for math or science classes, doing research and word processing for English or history classes, using interactive maps and resources for social studies like geography, designing graphics for art classes, learning to write and play back compositions for music classes, and countless other uses depending on the curriculum — including programming languages students can learn in computer science classes.
There are also some charities which donate computers to classrooms:
Computers for Schools offers refurbished computers to schools for 1/3 of the price that they would traditionally cost.
Each student should have allotted time to use school computers in order to produce confident, computer-literate workers and college students. If possible, computer labs should be supervised and available for set times outside of the school day for those students whose classes may not utilize the labs but who still want to keep up with software and skills.