Why Computer Skills Are An Important Part Of Online Learning

Digital knowledge is the basic knowledge needed to build an effective digital presence.

Why Computer Skills Are An Important Part Of Online Learning

Image Source: Getty / Cris Catliff

Even though online schools are often cited as a way to improve graduation rates and students’ chances of successful employment post-graduation, an analysis conducted by Supernova and TalentPad found that the majority of online schools don’t focus on computer skills. Some 63% of schools had their students take at least one course in online, instructional web programming, the report found. There are several reasons to consider teaching computer skills and improving online learners’ overall learning experience.

If Students Are Catching Up To High School Algebra

More Americans now are enrolling in four-year colleges than ever before. Since college offers the promise of major career progression and financial security, it would make sense for students to start in high school with basic math skills. Teachers often are unaware of some basic information, but face pressure to meet standardized testing requirements. Many teens know how to calculate quadratic equations on a certain level, but some students don’t have the basic concepts necessary to succeed in the world of algebra.

When students fall behind or can’t learn concepts due to scheduling constraints or access to necessary materials, they have difficulty with meeting necessary deadlines. If students are taught basic math skills, such as algebra, early on, it opens the door for success later in life.

Giving Students More Control

Online learning can give students more control over their learning, both through scheduling and materials. Families often are unable to travel to the school to see the work they are doing, for example. However, it’s easy to view the work logged on a student’s computer and have a presence over the work and research.

Being able to see the outcomes and assess where work is headed in a traditional classroom also could provide students with opportunities for self-reflection. Having access to screen time and a designated learning zone within the classroom can alleviate stress that can occur due to the demands of the work load. More time for observing, identifying with and reframing the decision process can make a difference in students’ outcomes.

Helping Students Stay Interested Throughout the Class Period

With standardized tests becoming the most rigorous ones ever, students are highly motivated to master concepts. If they have struggling tracks, it can be difficult to stay engaged with the material. Students may notice they are doing better in a certain area and decide to focus on it. But, if they don’t see the logic behind that, they may decide to focus on more challenging tracks or leave the learning altogether. The approach of allowing students to focus on areas of interest is an effective way to keep students engaged throughout the class period. By focusing on student-driven material, teachers can provide students with opportunities to take tests or quizzes and possibly on assignments.

Having the ability to communicate with one another is an essential part of learning. A collaborative environment allows students to share knowledge and feedback. It also aids in an educational environment. Someone can have an idea and ask for feedback or share resources and ask for help. A “matrix” is a simple concept that helps students easily identify how one action contributes to the next. Without someone’s input, it becomes a guessing game. A “matrix” creates an approach to problem solving so students can apply ideas in a learning environment.

Skills Make an Economic Difference

According to a March 2018 study by the Education Commission of the States, every dollar invested in education generates $10 in benefits. By having students develop core computer skills, it encourages them to pursue further study in the field.

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