5 Basic Computer Skills  every Teacher should have

In the Philippines, teaching jobs are highly in demand. And so, the competition to get to a regular/permanent position (we commonly call an item) is very high.  Don’t worry. As long as you have computer skills certificate training, you have an edge over other applicants.

As I recount on my previous posts having a second thought about being a teacher or not on “Should I become a teacher, but I ended up being one… now, I’m going to tell you that in my heart, I still love technology, computer and social media etc.    I believe all of these tech skills have held equally important as teaching skills.You know why. Through this, I got the job and I (almost) got a promotion or responsibility to manage  an Information and Computer Technology (ICT) office or an e-Library.It is almost because I quit my teaching job at the end of the school year after our ICT coordinator gave me the new job responsibility. I’m sure he is sad to hear about my decision to leave. But my point is, you will always have more opportunity if you got the skills.

Let’s go back during the time while I was applying for a public school position in 2010.It’s really in demand that time to get a computer skills certificate to get 2 points from your ranking score. And so, I enrolled in Department of Manpower Development and Placement(DMDP) in Ramos Cebu City. I was so excited to learn and I know this is my first love.  Yes. I finished the 3-month course and I was hailed as the best computer trainee. That’s passion. Obviously, it will manifest from your work. In fact, without it, I will never rank first during the application process.

My passion didn’t stop there.  Even up to now, I do self-learning and understand the principles of computer technology, communications, and programming. Someday, I am envisioned to integrate them in my teaching career.  You know our students are getting more advanced and they are usually ahead of us in terms of technology. In order to keep up with them or to get that desired job ( if you are applying for one), here are the 5 basic computer skills you might like to Unlearn, Relearn and Learn (URL).

  1. Dynamic Presentation

you-suck-at-powerpoint-by-jessedee-18-1024I didn’t just say Powerpoint presentation, but it’s dynamic presentation. It is no ordinary presentation because  this is captivating, organize, and animated when you are giving lectures. Also, it is motivating and memorable. For example, advice from “You Don’t Suck at PowerPoint,” Jesse Desjardins, if you don’t overload your slides with too much information and you give one main point in each slide; you keep your students motivated and you bring your presentation to life if you add visuals  and creative designs(you can experiment and do research) then you are creating a dynamic presentation. Again, I want to remind you that this is not the usual presentation in which speakers just read everything that’s on the slide. Yourself is the best presentation. Make sure you are prepared (practice on how you will use the slide and  interact with your audience) and memorize your presentation/discussion by heart as much as possible.

2. Typing Skills using Word processing

In the public school here in the Philippines, we are always bombarded with/from year-end/monthly end reports to lesson planning and syllabus. It is a necessary for teachers to know how to type or even use a word processor unless you hire an encoder. But, most of the time, we , teachers do the job. For first timers, I want you to go over the basics of the documents – Saving a document, opening blank pages or saved documents, Desktop, Text, Tool Bar, Cap lock, Delete, Enter/Return, Spacebar, Font, Shift, Menu Bar, Tool Bar. Then, you should identify important keys on your computer and practice on how to place your fingers on the keyboard properly.  Here is sample free lesson for you to practice typing from sense-lang.orguntitled-picture

3. Excel Spreadsheet Skills

Are you familiar with the electronic class record? Yes. This was introduced by the Department of Education in 2015. It is so easy. It is a pre-program excel in which all you have to do is to input all the scores and automatically gives you the final grade. You can also use this when you want to make a tracking document like attendance, anecdotal, cleaning records and many more. As teachers, we don’t have a to be very expert in programming such as this application. –But, it is our responsibility to double-check the results after calculations because again computer or any program  is not perfect. Knowing the basics by familiarizing how the spreadsheet works like  entering and formatting accurate data, calculating totals and summaries using the formula, creating a chart for your report and troubleshooting if an incorrect/error occurs are very important for us in keeping the accuracy of the data. For now, I want you to get to know with the basic parts of excel from this chandoo.org. Here is an Excel tutorial for you.

4.File management and Backup Storage

jump-lists-with-background
http://www.makeuseof.com

This is the most important of all the skills. Why? It is simple. Because without this skill, you can’t have your documents physically at hand. Once you lose or misplace them, it’s gone. Indeed, it’s a waste of your time creating another document. Especially in the Philippine public school (in my own experience), our principal won’t give a definite deadline of the documents for submission. I should have it ready whenever she needs them. Here’s the simplest way to organize your file. First, make sure you must start organizing your file now. Don’t delay. It’s going to be chaotic whenever you  do. Then, make sure, you  have a storage device (like flash drive or hard drive or cloud) anything you can use for backing up your file if in case you accidentally delete it on your desktop. Next, you must properly create an organize well-labelled folders — categorize them according to file type or events or a category that you can easily remember when you need to pull up them. For me, it is effective to organize the folders by year or office projects (is it related to classroom works or office documents), then another folder inside of the main folder depending on their file type category and relevance. To know more about organizing your file please refer to this helpful website makeuseof.com.

5. Web Navigation or Topic Research

Now, we come to the last of all the basic computer literacy. This is also another important skill for teachers because we rely on the power of online research whenever we are running out of resource materials. Reminder: The Internet is not always the best place to start for research. If you can find a library, then better to start from there. Especially in the public school, we have very limited resources and sometimes, it’s unavailable. Here, I’m going to introduce to you the important steps in downloading a file on the website  and  how to research or navigate it. First, before you use the web search, you have to list down all the questions you wanted your students to know. Through this,  you can narrow down your topics of research. Then, if possible list down the possible sites where you probably like to explore and you can also check some media elements online that might help you in your research.Next, when you start to navigate the search engine, don’t just rely on one, but use a variety of search engines not just google, but you can also try The Search Engine for the Students and Sweet Search (these are educators websites),  to get the resources right for you and for your students.As according to the advice of Ten Steps to Better Web Research, that we should evaluate every material go and dig deeper because not all materials you found online is reliable. After you found the necessary websites, next thing you do is bookmarking. As you can see on the right page of your website it has a star, then you can click on it to bookmark your favorite links or websites or you can use Delicious : Bookmarking Site to organize important links. Here are the steps from Microsoft.com support on how to download the file from the website. If you have any questions, then I think it is the best time to apply your web research skills now.

There are more technology skills you must learn, so don’t stop yourself from having that opportunity to grow as a tech and web savvy teacher. Students surely love your class when you know how to integrate technology into your teaching. Keep on learning and don’t stop from believing in yourself that you can.

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