Each month in the Tech Lab, students work hard to expand and improve their computer skills. The Intermediate Computer Skills class focuses on a wide selection of material ranging from Microsoft Word to social media, such as Facebook. The curriculum gives the students an opportunity to work in various programs and seek out areas of interest. One student who completed the class was especially interested in working with PowerPoint. As the teacher of this class, I had the opportunity to sit down with James and find out a little bit more about what made it all ‘click’ for him.
PowerPoint seems to interest many students because of its practicality and relevance, but it also leaves room for creativity. Further, the integration of creativity and computer skills attracts many students just like James Joyner. James said,“being that I am somewhat of an artist, I can connect and put my skills to use.” While editing images and exploring different animations, James quickly caught on to the technical aspects and created an excellent presentation. The students are asked to create a PowerPoint including a favorite quote, place, animal, food, and other particulars that might be inspiring. Upon hearing the prompt of the project, it might sound potentially dull; yet, students like James are able to bring the presentation to life. James was very precise about all his images and the animations that went along with them. Particularly, one of his slide included pictures of dogs carefully formatted and edited to highlight the excitement of his love for dogs. His final presentation reflected his diligence and creativity with each slide.
In addition to the Microsoft Programs, the class explores social media. Although many students are familiar with social media, they are often eager to learn more about it. There are many benefits and as James noted, “stay away from the negatives and focus on the positives.” The students cover a large amount of material, and the course is just a jump start to expand their computer knowledge and skills. James said “there is so much to learn and I’m trying to gain it all.”
James hopes to continue moving forward with PowerPoint and Excel. The Intermediate Class motivates students to move forward with technology. It is tough to keep up with the ever-evolving technology, but proactive students like James accept the challenge as an opportunity for growth.