How do I Choose the Best Computer Curriculum?

Erin J. Hill

The first step in choosing the best computer curriculum is to determine which goals you'd like the curriculum to help you meet. General computer science curriculum is much different than a curriculum tailored for students looking to get into programming. It is a good idea to choose computer curriculum that is focused on one particular subject, and appropriately presents information that stands on its own.

Computer curriculums are popular in the homeschool community.
Computer curriculums are popular in the homeschool community.

If you are a student, you should choose the computer curriculum that best targets your intended pursuits. This can include future classes toward a degree as well as particular tasks you'd like to understand. You may wish to learn to use a computer for home, meaning that classes should be tailored for the beginner. If you have a wide range of computer knowledge already, you will be more comfortable choosing curriculum that covers a broader and more complex range of study.

In order to find the curriculum that best suits these needs, speak with school advisors or instructors about what the classes will actually entail. Asks lots of questions, and go over a class syllabus to get a more thorough look at the coursework. This will help you determine if a particular class or school offers the computer curriculum you need.

Teachers may have a much more difficult time choosing computer curriculum. Not only are instructors responsible for following government regulations and specifications for coursework, but they must also try and meet the needs of every student who takes the course. If you are a teacher in search of the best curriculum for your students, you must try and determine what your students expect from the class. Often the books you use are not within your control, but you can decide which elements of your own experience to incorporate into the classes.

To choose the right computer curriculum for your students, put yourself in their shoes. If it is a beginner's course, you may choose to introduce major software applications that they would encounter both at home and on the job. You can also include programs that are not necessarily needed, but appreciated. For example, if your students are comprised primarily of women, you could provide lessons with software that would allow them to edit photos of their children or help them better organize their time.

For more advanced students who are pursuing higher degrees or career advancement, choosing curriculum is all the more challenging. You must be sure to pick lessons that are easy enough for the average student to understand, but that are also challenging enough for more advanced participants. In addition, you must also meet government regulations regarding school curriculum.

Find the right curriculum for your classes by reviewing all options. These should be available through the school where you are employed. Look through each book and lesson plan, and determine which ones are the most interesting, easy to read, and on target for your classes.

Additionally, you can take the information provided by books and lesson plans and add useful information from your own life. Perhaps you can tell about a mistake you made on the job and how it could have been avoided, or a specific time when you tried your best and it paid off. Adding a mix of academic and real world information is likely to reach more students than either method alone.

Be sure to talk one on one with students whenever you can, and use their feedback to enhance your computer curriculum and better meet their needs. You may use a combination of acceptable books and lessons to have a great effect, or you can skip over certain lessons in lieu of others. The main goal is choosing information that is relevant and easy to understand.

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