ACTE Techniques May 2012 : Page 40

TODAy’S STuDENTS Hi-tecH for tHe DiGiTAL GENERATioN ILLuSTRATION By ISTOCk.COM BY DIANE CARVER G 40 etting students to learn new technology skills can be a challenge. After all, they know everything about computers and the Internet, right? Ninth grade students in Mrs. Aszklar’s Digital Media Tools class at Spanaway Junior High in Washington state quickly discov -ered they might not know as much as they thought. From Internet safety to iMovie and computer game design, Mrs. Aszk -lar’s students and the rest of the Bethel School District ninth graders are learning about freeware and other digital resources and how to use them in a business setting. From day one in Mrs. Aszklar’s Digital Media Tools (“Digitools”) class, students Techniques Ma y 2012 become employees of a classroom-based simulated business. Students are hired and given tasks to complete within the context of a fictitious business enterprise. Students soon forget the business is not real and they are not really employees, but that is the idea. Competition, perse -verance and pride are all evident in Mrs. Aszklar’s class as students work diligently to complete activities for their jobs. When students are having fun, it is easy for them to forget that they are learning. The les -sons learned in this course go far beyond computer skills to address business prac -tices, business plans, advertising, work -place communication, problem solving, creativity and innovation. “My assignments and activities are designed around my students to make the classroom learning environment not only rigorous, but also extremely relevant. My students come to class excited to learn and are engaged for the entire period,” says Aszklar. am I Hired? In one of the first Digitools assign -ments, students navigate through the job acquisition process by preparing a résumé, writing a cover letter, complet -ing a job application, participating in a job interview and composing a thank-you letter. In this unit, students explore career clusters and pathways within business and

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