Computer Skills Lesson Plans

Teaching computer lessons to students is vital for their careers.

Lessons about computers are important because students need basic computer and online skills to survive in a modern competitive business environment. People who do not have computer skills are less likely to be employed or will be employed in lower paying jobs that do not have greater career potential. Giving your students computer lessons will enhance their ability to get and retain employment.

1 Keyboarding

Keyboarding is the first computer skill that you should teach because people should know how to type quickly and accurately. First, teach the home row keys or the basic fingering layout of the keyboard. Next, progress to teaching the students drills on the initial letters such as a, s, j and k. Proceed to simple words. Give timed practice drills to students who are ready to write full sentences and paragraphs.

There are also several software programs available to help students learn the keyboard. Programs designed for children often teach through typing games, while typing software for adult learners involve speed and accuracy drills as well as training with the home row, difficult keys, whole words, the number/punctuation row, and complete texts.

2 Word Processing

Teach the fundamentals of word processing such as how to open word processing software from the desktop and create and save a new document. Instruct your students in basic word-processing tasks such as opening and closing documents, formatting with different styles or fonts, copying and pasting text, and printing documents. These are essential skills no matter what program you use as your word-processing software.

3 E-mail And Internet 

Learning how to use email is critical for today's businesses. It is not enough to know how to use the software and various browser packages. It is also essential to understand email and Internet etiquette, such as not writing in all capital letters--the email equivalent of shouting. Teach your students about effective communication on the Internet such as how to address a business email. Other lessons that you can teach students include attaching and sending files, saving emails, and managing files in their email accounts.

4 System Administration

Teach your students to administer and debug their computer systems. Help your students learn computer administration skills so that they do not make errors that will lead to computer failure, such as deleting important files that are necessary for the computer to run. Knowledge of computer administration will also give users the techniques they need to access emergency tools for fixing problems, such as corrupted files or an unbootable hard drive. Teaching computer administration on a basic level can save time, effort and possibly money. The skills that you can teach include installing software, managing hardware such as printers, and uninstalling software safely.

5 Content Management

Content Management Systems (CMS) allow several people to contribute to a document over the Internet. You can teach your students to track changes and create reports from the manuscripts they generate. Learning about content management systems is useful for many businesses, such as publishing, in which authors make changes to books and get feedback from editors, and finance, where accountants need to create financial reports for clients. There are several free and open-source content management systems available. Learning CMS skills can help your students thrive in businesses where collaboration is necessary.

6 Graphic Manipulation

Students, especially those who are studying art, can benefit from learning graphics software that allows them to design, create, manipulate, and publish images and page layouts. You can teach your students how to create images from scratch, use functions such as grayscale or color correction, resize graphics, apply image filters to produce special effects with lighting, and prepare images and page layouts for publication.

Anne Cagle has been writing ever since she was a toddler who could scribble with crayons. Her first published article, at age 12, was in a teachers' newsletter. She was published in "Optical Prism" magazine and has worked as a reviewer for the Webby Awards. She holds a degree in English from the University of Oregon.