Middle School Computer Applications Lesson Plans: Why so Boring?

Middle School computer applicationsWhy are so many middle school computer applications lesson plans so boring!?! I asked myself that question after a recent trip to a local science center.

Our family saw things like life sized animatronic dinosaurs. We made stop motion videos and launched paper airplanes. We built cars and raced them down  a ramp.

My husband finessed his race car’s design, through trial and error, until he’d scored the fastest race time of the day.

And best of all? We watched my almost three year old learn in a playground of fascination and discovery for young people. We were learning! If learning can be this fun, then, again, I ask – why do many middle school computer applications lesson plans bore students to tears?

What Can a Science Center Teach us About Middle School Computer Applications?

Science museums are amazing places. There’s no formalized lecture, yet you leave with all sorts of new knowledge.  The lessons are tangible. You’re also encouraged to experiment and try different things in a safe environment. Even if you already know what is going to happen, finishing a task leaves you feeling accomplished. And maybe even in a little in awe. Ultimately, it’s a fantastic example of project based learning. And talk about engaging!

Project Based Learning and Middle School Computer Applications

I think we can all agree that we learn better through jumping in and doing, just like we do at the science center. Arguably, it’s the most natural way for us to learn, especially as young learners. So why are Middle School Computer Applications lesson plans so boring!?! The answer is: they don’t have to be.

This summer while you’re hopefully enjoying your summer break, the product development team at AES is finessing and tweaking our Middle School Computer Applications lesson plans. We want to get the students actually “doing things” in the applications sooner. We want to significantly reduce lecture time. And we want students clicking, trying, and experimenting sooner.

We want to get students learning more through discovery. Let’s give students sample documents for experimentation. Have them apply different font styles and effects to see what they look like. To explore and be creative. Bottom line – we’re talking about some really exciting stuff around here!

The rubber is just hitting the road, but we can’t wait to help you stop boring your students!

(And in case you were wondering, my paper airplane launched further than my husband’s. I win.)

2 Responses

  1. Deena says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Way to go on the winning paper airplane. And great job promoting the learning opportunities of museums and the value of educational interactivity. Our students in America need so much more of that to prepare them for the future of this world. Bravo and well done!

    Cheers,
    Deena

    • Kristin Savko says:

      Thanks Deena! Museums are such a great resource. I don’t want to be told why a Van Gogh is great, I want to go see the thickness of the paint myself. And I definitely enjoy a good project…even as an adult. :) Thanks for reading!

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