Improving Computer Savvy in Online High School Students

Posted on September 23 2013

Digital literacy is more and more becoming a “basic skill”. More and more, it is a given that the 21st century-employee or entrepreneur is already proficient with the computer. This involves the basic knowledge of using the Internet and knowing how to use word-processing programs, number-crunching programs and programs geared towards reports and publications. For some, it even extends to the intricacies of computer programming and producing web content.

Developing computer know-how is one of the recognized advantages of an online high school since lessons are delivered primarily through computers and an internet connection. As a virtual high school student, the challenge is to be able to harness technology as a powerful tool towards learning.

As your child’s learning coach, make sure that your child is continually growing in his computer literacy. It can help prepare him for virtual high school, as well as for the challenges of the modern world. Here are a few simple tips to help your child improve his computer savvy:

  • Start with the basics. Your child should know the basic programs available. There are a number of online courses that teach the rudiments of using a computer. Start with what he needs as an online high school student. Among the first skills he should know are: learning how to communicate to teachers and peers via the Internet, writing an e-mail and attaching files, accessing lesson material (videos, PDF files, tutorials), producing papers and reports through word-processing and spreadsheet programs.
  • Loosen up those fingers. Typing skills are a must when you are using the computer. There are programs that help your child towards this goal, helping him learn how to type the right way. Through the years, as your child continually uses a computer, his proficiency will also go from the basic two-finger-only typing to typing some 60 to 80 words a minute. Provide him with plenty of opportunity to practice his keyboarding skills by letting him type reports, letters and emails, his daily schedule and other documents.
  • Navigate the basic programs. Word processing and spreadsheets are programmed for intuitive usage. However, there are also some nifty parts that you or your child may not be aware of. You don’t need a complicated tutorial program to learn more useful areas of the software. You can simply go to the help or tutorial section. This will introduce your child to other features of the program such as programming formulas in spreadsheets, adding charts, tracking edits and changes made in the document, using a combination of word processing and spreadsheet software to merge lists and so on. There are step-by-step tutorials and videos on these operations.
  • Explore the computer. The American Academy also has technical personnel who can help you with your computer issues but it is always useful to know how to do it yourself. Your child should also have at least a rudimentary understanding of hardware and software troubleshooting, as well as how to get and stay connected to the internet. These are important skills for a student who is getting an online high school education.
  • Explore other programs. Let him also try his hand at creating or editing graphics, developing simple databases or recording and editing videos and music.
  • Improve on his internet navigation and researching skills. The World Wide Web is an amazing environment that opens up a lot of information to your child, especially when he knows how to get to the websites concerned. Let him practice using different web browsers and search engines. Teach him how to properly use internet sources in formal papers and to provide the right citation of these sources.

As your child becomes more and more exposed to new technologies, foster curiosity and a can-do attitude. This will be key in helping your child become more computer, internet and technology savvy.