It started a couple days ago, when my principal emailed me about Office proficiency in our school. I'll spare you the entire story, but it boils down to this. Her husband (who works for a major corporation you have heard of) and two kids (both in college locally) all use Office products exclusively for their workflow. Excel, PowerPoint, and Word are what their bosses/professors expect them to use. If we are truly trying to prepare our students for the world after high school, shouldn't we be teaching students to be proficient in Office products?
It's a fair question that made me step back and think about what and why I teach in my computer classes.
There is a groundswell of Google product love among the tech savvy K12 educators on Twitter, and for good reason. While my school sadly made the decision to stay with Microsoft, I love the cloud storage and collaboration of Google Drive. I envy those of you who get to work with Google workflow. But, does this prepare your students for future success in college and career?
As I pondered these questions, I came to realize that if you know Office, you can easily transition to Drive. Likewise, if you know Drive, you can easily transition to Office. I have very little experience with Apple's productivity apps, but I imagine the same would ring true. Sure, there would be a learning curve, but it would be small. Right?
This whole thing really boils down to two questions:
- If I dedicate my computer classes to productivity software (forget the software's name for now) what important things are my students missing?
- How much of this proficiency load needs to be carried by the regular classroom teachers?
As we grapple with these thoughts in the upcoming weeks and months, I'd love your input. Please comment below or tweet me or email me.
Now, on to these surveys I've been tweeting about...
I wondered if Office is really the gold standard of productivity software outside of K12 education. So, I created these super-short surveys to see what software is being used in colleges and businesses. I would love it if you would send these surveys out to your friends, family, and followers so I can get a good sample size. Let's see what is truly happening out there!
Just follow the links to see the surveys and/or results.