Seven Computer Skills Your Child Should Have by GCSEs

by Christine Chadwick

Building on the foundation established during primary school, secondary school students rapidly expand their repertoire of computer skills. Media classes are one opportunity to expand basic computer knowledge while middle school students will find themselves using computers and mobile devices in and for many classes as they advance toward high school.

Both school supplied and personally owned computing devices offer practice and applications to bolster digital expertise. By GCSEs students should expect to have mastered or become more proficient with the following tasks and skills.

Improved Keyboarding Skills

Practice makes proficient and middle school students should take every chance to improve their keyboarding speed and accuracy. Students will be using typing for documents and communications, including emails and online classes or portals.

Word Processing

Students will be required to complete assignments using specific formats. The ability to set margins, tabs and use the broad range of editing and search tools within word processing programs or applications will be stressed. Headers, footers and page or section breaks will become routine. Expect homework or projects to be accepted online as a requirement or a convenience.

Creative Digital Presentations

Using graphics, animations, slideshows and videos will make projects and presentations intriguing and entertaining. Adding narration and music and applying a variety of visual details are ways to make final products appealing and looking professional. Saving projects to physical media such as flash drives or DVDs should become routine. Cloud applications may make physical saving unnecessary.

Advanced Spreadsheets

Improving on the basic spreadsheet functions learned in primary school, middle school students should be able to plan and design spreadsheets to display and compare date in meaningful ways. Spreadsheet functions will be explored providing many practical applications for the more complicated requirements of school assignments and even personal applications.

Exporting And Embedding Spreadsheets

Students will be able to design a spreadsheet or set of spreadsheets as part of a larger presentation or project. Graphing and other accessible ways of displaying data will need to be competently exported and embedded in documents and other presentations.

Understanding Of Basic Web Design

Middle school students will learn the fundamentals of web design, including using hyperlinks and inserting text, images and links onto web pages, perhaps of their own design. Classroom web pages or personal web sites may be created or maintained.

Basic Understanding Of Platforms And Servers

Grasping the rapidly evolving options of stand alone personal desktops, local servers and remote or cloud based services will develop, depending on the systems used by the school, instructor or district. Saving to the cloud and working remotely, including completing online classes if appropriate, will be introduced and mastered.

Individual schools and districts will introduce these concepts on their own schedules. Personal and mobile device use instead of desktops may impact how quickly concepts are adapted and added. Expect much variation.