For Teachers

Advice for Teaching Word Processing

By The Room 241 Team March 4, 2013

Teaching word processing is a valuable skill in modern society. As more technology is developed and students are expected to understand the basics of typing and using word processing programs, teachers will need to provide basic education in the use of different programs and options.

Start With Basics

Due to modern advances in technology, many students will have some basic knowledge of using computers for purposes other than word processing. Students might play games or engage in web browsing on a family computer at home. Since some students might not have any knowledge of word processing systems, teachers need to start at the beginning with basic skills.

According to Education World, it is important to start teaching word processing with opening the program, saving files and printing documents. Typing is only one part of word processing, but it should follow learning the basics about using the program for its intended purpose.

Even if students have a foundation in the basic usage of computers for games, online tools and other programs, they might not have a solid understanding of the educational purposes. By beginning from the basics, teachers are preventing students from feeling confused. It also ensures students with limited computer knowledge are not falling behind more computer literate peers.

Keep Typing Simple

Although students will eventually need to know effective typing skills, they do not need to start out with complicated lessons in typing. Instead, teachers should show different word processing tools with simple words and limited written aspects.

Only after students are prepared to use the system effectively are they ready to focus on the typing side of word processing. They will need to know all of the basics, methods of adjusting the fonts and steps to obtain different results before focusing on composing.

According to Eastern Michigan University, composing at a computer is a unique activity that many students will need time to master. Since students are not using a pen and paper to type, they will need time to focus on that part of word processing. By allowing students to learn the basics of the program and system without a major focus on writing skills and typing, teachers are allowing some time for adjustments to the new activity.

Ask Questions

The best way to get students to think is through questions. Take time to ask the class questions related to the lessons they are learning. According to Education World, teachers should not simply tell the students their lessons. By asking questions about different tools, items and functions, a teacher is getting students to explore and think.

When students are thinking about the answers to questions, they are focusing on learning and trying different ideas. By focusing on learning, the students are able to master the programs at a faster rate. They will naturally explore to find the answers rather than following the directions of teachers without any comprehension of the results.

Provide Time and Activities for Practice

Practice is a vital part of learning any new skill, including word processing. According to Education World, students should have as much time and opportunity to practice word processing skills as possible during the first steps of lessons. When students are able to master the basics, they are ready to move onto more advanced skills. Without practice, it takes longer for the lessons to sink in and students are likely to make more mistakes.

By providing several opportunities to practice and work on word processing skills, teachers are encouraging the students to explore and keep trying. It also allows time for the lessons to sink in and for students to get used to the basic tools.

Although students need time to practice, teachers should provide opportunities to ask questions as well. When students are struggling with the word processing program, teachers can give hints and reminders that help improve student achievement.

Teaching word processing does not necessarily mean reviewing skills the class already knows. In many cases, students do not know the basics of word processing because they use computers and electronic devices for different purposes. By starting at the beginning and working toward more advanced skills, teachers are giving students the opportunity to succeed.

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