Teaching ICT (Microsoft Excel 2007)

In the last two weeks, I was given the opportunity to teach ICT in Sekolah Agama Menengah Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi (SAMBBST), Sepang. The class was for the Form 3 students who has just taken their PMR.

So, even before the class started, my eldest sister
(who is in charge of ICT at the school) had warned me that the students might be a handsfull because they are all so eager to go home for the holidays after the big exam. Since I was so inexperienced (not to mention the lack of knowledge in ICT stuff), my sister and I had discussions on what we should actually teach the Form 3 students.

I was told that I was required to teach the students how to use Microsoft Excel 2007 (the class was more of an introductory class).
Due to the time constraint, I was required to teach each of the five Form 3 classes for 3 hours each day (i.e.: 3 Adil on Monday 11-2.30 p.m., 3 Ehsan on Tuesday 11-2.30 p.m., 3 Iman on Wednesday 11-2.30 p.m., and so on). For your information, the classes were supposed to be 4 hours for each class (but of course there was no possible way to fit the 4 hours sessions, so we had to make do with 3 hours). For each lesson, this was (roughly) my time allocation:

  • 11.00 - 11.30 - Introduction to Excel, its features and how to use the function button (during this time, students were not allowed to touch the computers at all)
  • 11.30 - 12.30 - Students attempted to use the software to edit the given document (during this time, teacher goes around the classroom to guide students whenever needed)
  • 12.30 - 1.00 - Break (students were allowed to play games, surf the internet, carry on with the Excel task or take a walk outside the room)
  • 1.00 - 1.30 - Teacher explains on how to create different graphs using Excel
  • 1.30 - 2.00 - Students attempt to create graphs and design them according to their taste
  • 2.00 - 2.30 - Students were given extra tasks that requires them to use the skills they have learnt earlier
From the discussion with my sister, I was able to better understand why my sister had suggested for me to consider following the task-based approach to learning. Since we expected students to be unmotivated to be in the ICT class (we were proven right when some students voiced their reluctancy and some didn't even attend the class at all), we had to figure out a way to attract their attention towards the lesson.
Here you will find a bit of information on task-based learning.

So, I tried to come up with tasks that would help students understand the function of Microsoft Excel 2007 and also practice using the software to create a good work. With the few days I had, I decided to use a name list of a class of students I taught in my previous school and teach the students to alter the document and use several of the function in the Insert Function command.

Note:If you're interested to see the lesson content I prepared for the class, feel free to download from here.  It's in Bahasa Malaysia for now cause I had to teach in BM.  If anyone needs it in English version feel free to ask for it.




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~ an English teacher, an eager learner and still figuring out what it really means to be a TEACHER

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