Sunday, February 5, 2012

Skills we need to develop in our students

I frequently think about the ICT skills students need to develop while at school. I have found that at tertiary level it is assumed that the students already have these skills but the fact is that a lot do not - it is like reading secondary schools assume that students will have developed reading skills during their primary schooling but sometimes this does not happen. These are some of the skills I think are important in today's world.

Typing skills: so many students are at a disadvantage as they do not have typing skills so to type an essay takes them a long time. Today typing skills are essential.

Creating and formatting a document: the skills required to format documents are often transferable so while Office Suite is still the most commonly used package other suites are also used but the skills are similar. Students need to be able to create, format and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Internet: I have found all the students are able to use the Internet but generally for social networking and playing games. They need to develop strategic skills to enable them to search the Internet to find the information they need.

File management: including saving files and knowing where they have been saved so that they can retrieve the files at a later date. Many people just click the save button without having a clue where the file is being saved and often have difficulties retrieving the file at a later date. Included here is having back up copies of files.

Social media: Social media has become part of everyday life, it is important that people use these sites appropriately and understand such issues as cyberbullying and what material is appropriate to put on these sites (particularly as employers also look at the sites).

Emailing: using language appropriate for the situation e.g. if it is a friend or if it is a boss. Understanding the etiquette of emails such as capital letters denote shouting. 

Citing your sources: understand the copyright laws and that when they are using part of someone elses work that they must cite their source. They need to know how to do this.

Using Help: Many people seem to think that they shouldn't need to use the Help feature, I am not sure why this is but the Help feature offers many solutions to problems people face.


  1. You should get some tips from my website for some of your content :) Your blog looks good btw great subject choice

  2. Hi Di
    I think you teach in New Zealand. I read your post about ICT in Education with great interest. In 1977 I trained to be a typing teacher, then took full teacher training, followed by an Open University degree. I then took a course to teach dyslexic students. I campaign constantly for school children to be taught keyboard skills and the full range of functions available in word processing which will enable any child - dyslexic and non-dyslexic - to achieve the best possible results in education. After the 16+ exams, A Levels and University courses are very demanding and a thorough knowledge of word processing (via WORD or other program) PLUS touch typing skills will ensure they are not typing three and four thousand word essays with two fingers. Touch typing liberates dyslexic students and they blossom.
    I have tried to put a link to my blog but please drop by to read the first few I have put on about ICT being taught PROPERLY.

    ps I would love to hear from other teachers in other countries about this failing in our schools

  3. I am in Christchurch New Zealand (with all the earthquakes at the moment).

    I am interested in your comments and I too fail to understand why touch typing is not just one of the basic curriculum today however I guess that it won't be long before we see a new development which may not require us to be able to do this...