Technology Literacy Strategies

(These are contributions of teachers within the Secondary EdTech Network. Feel free to post your submissions.)

Data - Charts of 2009 Tech Literacy Results

2008 - 2009 TLA Data -

2009 - 2010 TLA Data -

Word Processing

Systems and Fundamentals

Students are naturally curious about the computer but dont care. While some think of it as a toy (to play computer games), or a device (to chat and socialize online), many ignore what's inside as long as they can use it. From this perspective, best practices involve lots of hands-on dismantling and assembling of old unusable computers, and designing their own dream computers. Another way to redirect attention and make it a bit more casual but more compelling is to show videos. An example of a succesful movie to watch is Tron (1982), in an academic setting, with a teacher to pause and explain the film, is entertaining and very memorable. Through that movie, the teacher can explain the history of computers, hardware/software/programs, interactions between programs, and many more. Comparing the contents of the movie to current technologies allows the teacher to differentiate and opens other avenues of technology speak. A caution though, any film shown in class must be within the parameters set by the Fair use act.

Social and Ethical


Students frequently think of spreadsheets as "boring". Best practices usually involve a combination of using content and exercises that are relevant (i.e. a lemonade stand) and a delivery method that involves the student. I would usually add a dash of storytelling to generate tension and anticipation and give students a chance to "save the day". Having exercises that build up knowledge and skill is what teachers want to happen, our kids see and hear a funny story (and create even funnier solutions to it). We all win.

Here is a link to "How to Become a Millionaire without Winning the Lottery." It is a project I created for my Tech Apps students 10 years ago.
I think it is a great culminating activity for spreadsheets.

Multimedia and Presentations

The newer Powerpoint(2007)(yes, please dont laugh) that students have been using this school year is of course much better than the 2003 version. Many students still have the 2003 version at home. So best practices involve collaborative work (small groups) and exercises/projects, that link their presentations with other classes, but with value-added *FUN*. A hilarious example would be a music video that involves the drama class and the history class. Add video, audio, and software editing from the computer class, add a dash of funny songs, have the kids do the storyboarding-visualization-dialogue-filming exercises and students will learn a much more comprehensive package of technology TEKS.

Telecommunications and Internet