20 Technology Skills Every Educator Should Have

During the last 15 years, we in education have moved at light speed in the area of educational technology. Whether you are involved in higher ed, secondary ed, elementary ed, or special ed, all of us find it difficult to catch up, keep up, and put up with fast-moving computer-based technology. Not since the introduction of the blackboard have we seen a piece of equipment make such a difference in how we teach. Today, not only do we use computers, but we also have laptops, wireless laptops, and tablet PCs. In addition, we have the World Wide Web, scanners, CD burners, USB drives, digital cameras and digital video cameras, PDAs, as well as video and DVD players. And most educators use a variety of tools-including video, e-mail, desktop conferencing, online programs such as WebCT and Blackboard, as well as video conferencing-to teach. Thus, it is no longer acceptable for educators to be technology illiterate.

With that in mind, here is a comprehensive listing of the technology skills that every educator should have. Because as computer and associated technologies continue to change and evolve, educators must continue to strive for excellence in their work. Today that includes continued time and effort to maintain and improve their technology skills (as much as some educators do not want to admit).

Here are 20 basic technology skills that all educators should now have:

  1. Word Processing Skills
  2. Spreadsheets Skills
  3. Database Skills
  4. Electronic Presentation Skills
  5. Web Navigation Skills
  6. Web Site Design Skills
  7. E-Mail Management Skills
  8. Digital Cameras
  9. Computer Network Knowledge Applicable to your School System
  10. File Management & Windows Explorer Skills
  11. Downloading Software From the Web (Knowledge including eBooks)
  12. Installing Computer Software onto a Computer System
  13. WebCT or Blackboard Teaching Skills
  14. Videoconferencing skills
  15. Computer-Related Storage Devices (Knowledge: disks, CDs, USB drives, zip disks, DVDs, etc.)
  16. Scanner Knowledge
  17. Knowledge of PDAs
  18. Deep Web Knowledge
  19. Educational Copyright Knowledge
  20. Computer Security Knowledge

1. Word Processing Skills

Educators should be able to use some type of word processing program to complete written tasks in a timely manner. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

2. Spreadsheets Skills

Educators should be able to use some type of spreadsheet program to compile grades and chart data. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials on these skills.

3. Database Skills

Educators should be able to use some type of database program to create tables, store and retrieve data, and query data. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials on these skills.

4. Electronic Presentation Skills

Educators should be able to use electronic presentation software to create and give electronic presentations. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials on these skills.

5. World Wide Web Navigation Skills

Educators should be able to navigate the World Wide Web and search effectively for data on the Internet. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials on these skills.

6. Web site Design Skills

Educators should be able to design, create, and maintain a faculty/educator Web page/site. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials on these skills.

7. E-Mail Management Skills

Educators should be able to use e-mail to communicate and be able to send attachments and create e-mail folders. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

8. Digital Cameras Knowledge

Educators should know how to operate a digital camera and understand how digital imagery can be used. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

  • Digital Photography Review
    www.dpreview.com
    Digital Photography Review is an independent resource dedicated to the provision of news, reviews and information about Digital Photography and Digital Imaging published at the Internet address www.dpreview.com.
  • How Digital Cameras Work
    www.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera.htm
    How Digital Cameras Work by How Stuff Works.
  • The Casio Classroom: 1001 Uses for a Digital Camera
    http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ucfcasio/qvuses.htm
    This site is designed as a reference tool putting educators in touch with creative educational applications for digital cameras in educational settings.
  • Digital Cameras in Education
    http://members.ozemail.com.au/~cumulus/digcam.htm
    Web site by Keith Lightbody - ICT Consultant Digital cameras are one of the single most successful Information and Communications Technology purchases you can make in a school. Promote visual literacy - encourage students to use digital cameras!
  • Technology for Teachers: Digital Cameras
    www.bhsu.edu/education/edfaculty/lturner/Technology_for_Teachers.htm
    A listing of Web sites about Digital Cameras and related information

9. Network knowledge applicable to your organization.

Educators should know the basics of computer networks and understand how their school network works. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

10. File Mgmt & Windows Explorer Skills

All educators should be able to manage their computer files and be able to complete the following tasks; create, and delete files and folders, move and copy files and folders using the My Computer window and Windows Explorer. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

11. Downloading Software from the Web Knowledge - including e-Books

All educators should be able to download software from the web and know of the major sites that can be used for this purpose. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

e-Books

12. Installing Computer Software onto a Computer System

Educators should be able to install computer software onto a computer system. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

13. WebCT or Blackboard Teaching Skills

Educators should be aware of these two online teaching tools and know about them and/or know how to use them to teach or take classes. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

14. Video Conferencing skills

Educators should be able to use a video conferencing classroom and understand the basics of teaching with Video Conferencing. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

15. Computer Related Storage Devices Knowledge.

Educators should understand and know how to use the following data storage devices: disks, CDs, USB drives, zip disks & DVDs. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

Diskettes

CDs

USB Drives
(also known as pen drives, flash drives, key chain drives, portable hard drives)

DVDs

Zip Disks

16. Scanner Knowledge

Educators should know how to use a scanner and what OCR capacity is. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

17. PDAs Knowledge

Educators should now what a PDA is and who to use one. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

18. Deep Web Knowledge

Educators should know what the deep web is and how to use it as a resource tool. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

19. Educational Copyright Knowledge

Educators should understand the copyright issues related to education including multimedia and Web-based copyright issues. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

20. Computer Security Knowledge

Educators should know about basic computer security issues related to education. See the following Web sites for helpful information and tutorials.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.

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