Let’s admit it. We all have those clothes in our closet that we go to when nothing else seems to work. Or maybe it’s that simple recipe we keep in our back pocket when we can’t think of anything else to make for dinner. Software applications are just the same. I seem to always gravitate to the same programs and applications.
Just recently I purchased a new computer with Microsoft Word 2010. Why is it that I still find myself lugging home my school computer? I can answer that one very easily. My school lap top runs Microsoft Word 2003. I am familiar with that program and can very quickly type letters or create worksheets and activities. I also have my lesson plan template saved in Word. This makes creating new plans very easy. The structure is already there and all I have to do is add the objectives and procedures. I will even open a Word document just to spellcheck a word! I would be lost without some version of Word. My goal is to become just as comfortable with Word 2010 as I am with 2003. Another software program I use daily is Easy Grade Pro. Gone are the days of recording grades in a paper grade book and then staying up for hours calculating totals for each child. With the touch of a button, I have missing work reports, class averages, and progress reports ready to send home.
I have also used many PowerPoint presentations that I have found on-line. The students love the sounds and pictures that accompany these presentations. I also think they like the fact that they don’t have to wait while I write on the chalkboard or the overhead. While I use many PowerPoint lessons in my room, I have actually created very few of them (okay, none of them). Learning how to create my own PowerPoint presentations along with sounds and animated pictures is another goal of mine.
So I have my goals, but where do I start? The first thing I need to do is quit dragging home my school lap top. This will force me the use Word 2010 and become more familiar with its layout and functions. Currently, I am working on my very own PowerPoint along with graphics and sounds. I am continuing to find sites on-line that allow me to download sounds and graphics. Although I have been tempted to throw my computer through the window a few times, my presentation is almost ready for my students. I hope to have at least one PowerPoint to use with my students each week. I have a feeling my lap top is about to become my new best friend!