My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the Fourth Edition, updated to MS Office 2007/10. It includes many more samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections and how-to’s that are age-appropriate for a second grader. At 72 pages, it’s much more like a tech lab-in-a-binder than a mere 32 projects. The Amazon blurb says it all:
The six-volume Structured Learning Technology Curriculum (Fourth Edition, 2011) is the all-in-one solution to running an effective, efficient, and fun technology program whether you’re the lab specialist, IT coordinator, classroom teacher, or homeschooler, and is the current choice of hundreds of school districts across the country. Newly updated and expanded, each volume now includes step-by-step directions for a year’s worth of projects, samples, grading rubrics, reproducibles, wall posters, teaching ideas and hundreds of online connections to access enrichment material and updates from a working technology lab. Aligned with ISTE national technology standards, the curriculum follows a tested timeline of which skill to introduce when, starting with mouse skills, keyboarding, computer basics, and internet/Web 2.0 tools in Kindergarten/First; MS Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Earth, internet research, email and Photoshop in Second-Fifth. Each activity is integrated with classroom units in history, science, math, literature, reading, writing, critical thinking and more. Whether you’re an experienced tech teacher or brand new to the job, you’ll appreciate the hundreds of embedded links that enable you to stay on top of current technology thinking and get help from active technology teachers using the program. Additional items included in each volume are wall posters to explain basic concepts, suggestions for keyboarding standards, discussion of how to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom curriculum and the dozens of online websites to support classroom subjects.
For a limited time, if you order a print textbook, the publisher will send you a discounted digital copy when you email them the proof of purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: I am one of the editors for this series, though it’s a collaboration of a team of technology teachers.
Here are reviews posted on Amazon.com
I love this series. It shows exactly what to teach, when, so I don’t try to introduce a tech skill too early (without the appropriate background). There aren’t steps for each skill–I contacted the publisher before buying and I agree with them; there are just too many differing platforms out there. The important part was keeping tech fun by introducing only the skills they were ready to learn.
The author often lists free versions of software if the user doesn’t have the suggested version, or you can contact them for ideas. And, they thought ahead to putting the entire workbook in a three ring binder, making it easy to remove reproducibles for copying without ruining the book.
BTW–lots of grading rubrics, samples, and a wonderful list of kid-friendly websites. If you’re a homeschooler, this is a great resource.
I’m a very careful buyer so I spent a lot of time on the Look Inside feature of this book, and then on the Scribd version (you get different pages over there). It delivers exactly as promised. Not only are there a year’s worth of technology lessons integrated into classroom units, using software like PowerPoint, Excel, MS Word, Google Earth, email, internet skills, there are also over a hundred safe internet sites for fourth graders–organized by topic, over twenty common tech problems that students and adults can solve by themselves, samples of lesson, reproducibles and even homework if you’re a lab teacher. All I needed was the software.
As you might expect, because of the breadth of topics, there aren’t step-by-step lessons, so if you’re looking for that, you’ll need to spend a lot more on about fourteen software-specific books. If you have computer basics, you’ll be fine.
Overall, a great value for the money.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.