Education & Training

5 Computer Skills Every Teacher Needs to Learn

A modern teacher has the advantage of technology to assist in some of the teaching tasks. It is a far cry from days gone by when the blackboard was the primary teaching tool.

Tablets, laptops, and PCs have become common features in most classrooms. From a very early age, students learn to use such devices. The interaction with such begins right from home.

By the time most kids get to school, they have a basic grasp of using them. The teacher must keep up with the kids or they’ll lose out.

Learning institutions are also using technology to streamline their operations. Applications such as Goschooler provide ways for seamless communication. Such technologies provide savings on resources such as time and money through automation.

So, what are some of these computer skills every teacher needs to learn? Let’s look at some of them in our article below.

1.  Computer Skills That Can Help With Productivity

Many computer packages can help the teacher increase efficiency and productivity. Such include:-

  • Typing skills are crucial for the use of computers. It doesn’t mean that you need to achieve high typing speeds like a secretary. But it helps to know things like finger placement and the position of the letters.
  • Word processing skills help with written communication. Teachers have to learn how to create and edit documents. Document formatting, hyperlink creation, saving documents, and so much more are also critical. It is vital to be comfortable with the different features like cap locks, space bars, shift and even delete can make work easy.
  • Spreadsheet skills that can help with grading students. Do you need the skill level of an accountant? The answer is no. But, teachers must take the time to know the basics. Inputting data, formatting, and calculations are essential. Excel also has graphs and charts that can help teachers with presentations. It allows for the breakdown of complex information into simple, easy-to-understand bits.
  • PowerPoint for presentations. It allows for the use of slideshows and audiovisual cues. It makes teaching and learning more engaging and fun. Studies show that students are more interested and have better attention spans with such methods.
  • Database management helps with the creation, storage, and retrieval of data. It helps to have documents in digital form. It saves educators from having to carry loads of files everywhere they go. Further, there is the benefit of better security for documents. Backing up files means easy retrieval of information in case of the loss of the original one.
  • Digital calendars and to-do lists will allow teachers to organize their days better. With busy schedules, it is easy to forget important tasks. It helps to have a reminder so that nothing falls by the wayside.

2.  Web Navigation Skills

Gone are the days of needing to go to a physical library to do research. The internet has opened up a world of information and resources. A crucial computer skill teachers need to have is web navigation skills.

Teachers must know the best sites to get information. Bookmarking, for instance, provides quick access to such sites. It also helps to know how to download web files and so much more.

While the internet has so many benefits, it can also be a security threat. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for areas of vulnerabilities. They use such to access school systems.

Once in, they can cause damage to the networks or even steal important information. Teachers must learn how to navigate the online space in a safe way.

It helps to know the threats and how to avoid them. With such knowledge, you can teach your students how to remain safe while online.

3.  Email and Other Communication Tools

Emails provide an effective way to communicate. Educators must know how to craft, send, and receive messages. Mass emailing improves efficiency when dealing with a large number of students. Creating folders will help organize emails for easy access.

There are many other tools that educators can use to collaborate. Knowing how to use Skype or Zoom facilities like video conferencing is essential.

The Covid 19 pandemic forced many people to use such for remote working and eLearning. And now, it is a skill that everyone needs to have.

4.  Use of Social Media

The use of social media has gone beyond making friends. Nowadays, it is a powerful tool for marketing, networking, and even self-learning.

As an educator, it also helps to be where your students are. You get valuable insights on what they interact with and how to engage with them better. We are not saying that you need to befriend them on such platforms. After all, it helps to keep your professional and personal life separate. But there is a lot to gain by seeing students in their true element.

Social media platforms are excellent for professional development. LinkedIn, for example, will get you in touch with like-minded individuals. There are specific groups that you can join for networking opportunities.

Teachers can share ideas, get information and build valuable contacts. You also get advice from mentors and other people who have been in the field longer than you.

5.  Basic Hardware Knowledge and Troubleshooting Skills

You don’t want to run to the IT department every time you have a computer glitch. It helps to have basic hardware and troubleshooting skills.

Let’s say the power button doesn’t come on. It could be as simple as ensuring that you have plugged the cables into the power socket. Other basics are restarting the computer, scanning, and freeing up hard disk space.

Now here is the best part about learning basic skills. You don’t need to go to a college or classroom. All you need to do is dedicate a few hours to read the tons of resources available online.

Final Thoughts

Educators must take the time to learn computer skills. It helps improve efficiency and productivity. The world as a whole is moving to the digital space. Further, modern students already have access to such devices from a very early age.

As a teacher, you cannot afford not to have the right knowledge. Take advantage of your web navigation and research skills to educate yourself.

Also, if necessary, consider it an investment to sign up for learning institutions. You get more instruction on some of the more challenging computer skills.

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