Teaching Computer Skills to High School Students

To better prepare high school students for upcoming jobs and college, they must learn proper computer skills.

Modern-day high school students have the generational advantage of growing up using computers in their daily lives. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are adept with every facet of computers. Using a computer for personal reasons is very different from using one in a professional capacity.

It is a truth of today’s society that hardly any job gets done without computers. To better prepare high school students for upcoming jobs, they must learn proper computer skills before entering the workforce. Here are some of the most necessary to cover when teaching computer skills to high school students.


Typing is the single most basic function of a computer. It is the basis for every other faculty and in and of itself is a valuable tool. Whether they are writing essays, searching for information, coding, or entering simple commands, proper tying skills are essential.

Remember, typing is not just the ability to press keys; it’s also crucial to use the proper form when typing for speed and efficiency. Additionally, there are many keyboard shortcuts beyond ctrl+c that can make life infinitely more manageable.

High school may seem too late to begin teaching proper typing techniques, but you know how the saying goes: better late than never. If children do not have decent foundations in typing, everything else will always be a struggle.

Microsoft Office and Google Applications

Microsoft Office and Google Applications are some of the most widely used programs today. While many businesses rely on Microsoft Office, more and more are incorporating Google Applications, as well. In addition, with the rise in remote jobs, working knowledge of these programs is indispensable.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are probably the most used programs. Complete lessons on the ins and outs of Microsoft Office and Google Applications will prepare students for any eventuality. In addition, many job applications require proof that applicants can use these programs effectively, so when better to start learning than high school?

Browser Research Tools

Similarly, as Google takes over more and more online resources, it has become necessary to learn how to utilize browsers properly. Anyone can type into the search bar and hit enter, but do they know how to use advanced operators?

There are more to search engines than meets the eye and more to browsers than just the search engine. How many times have you thought: “there must be a better way to do this” when trying to use a browser or search engine for something specific? Well, as it turns out, there is. There are so many tools and tricks hidden away that even Google doesn’t bother to teach its users.

Online Communication

If the last year and a half have taught us anything, it’s that most people are remarkably inept when it comes to online communications. Whether it’s email, video calls, forums, or even social media, most people have never been formally taught how to use it.

There are many forms of online communication, but due to its figure-it-out-yourself nature, most people are underprepared when communicating online, often lacking professionalism, punctuation, and seriousness. It’s no wonder so many people have made fools of themselves in the past year as we’ve collectively switched to online communications.

Etiquette and Safety

Tying into communication, etiquette and safety are often overlooked when teaching kids computer skills. They may know how to use every office program and even build a computer from scratch, but they are still just kids.

Access to the internet has become so easy that anyone can do anything on it. Don’t try to restrict students from exploring because that is how they learn best. Just be sure to teach them the pitfalls of computers, as well as the perks.

Teach kids how and when they need to use professionalism and caution online and how to maintain safe practices. There are hackers, predators, scammers, and a whole host of other issues to run into online. The internet is a wonderful resource, but it requires knowledge to navigate.

Computer Hardware

The last vital computer skill high school students should know is computer hardware. We spend so much time focusing on how to use computers that we often forget they are just machines that can break. A rudimentary knowledge of the inner workings of computers can save a lot of time and frustration in the future.

Additionally, students need to be able to recognize the parts of a computer to communicate effectively when they need to. For example, do they know what RAM is? Do they understand why it’s important? Where is the CPU located? All of this is knowledge that can help make students self-sufficient and help them in their future careers.

Final Thoughts

A basic knowledge of computers can go a long way. The world works off of computers now, and if you don’t understand them, you won’t get very far. So whether it’s common programs, research shortcuts, or physical computer components, a firm knowledge base is requisite at this point.


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