Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hands-on Learning in Technology Education

Students need hands-on training and hands-on experience to become prepared for competition in the marketplace. With technology education common in high schools, opportunities exist to give students hands-on experience in combination with traditional classroom instruction.

“Many schools agree that hands-on learning helps students better understand lessons in the classroom,” reported Converge Magazine last week. Realistic, practical experience may be the best way to reinforce and bring to life what instructors teach in class lectures.

At Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon, technology instructor Doug Adkins incorporates hands-on learning in a major way in his Web Design class. "Our kids get to experience the full range of building a Web site, from the interviewing of a client to building the site and hosting the site ourselves,” he said. Students have helped build business for local companies through the Web sites they’ve developed.

Students in computer science classes also gain hands-on experience at Sprague High School. Practicing tech support skills, two on-call students each class period respond to help tickets filed by teachers. The students may help fix software or printers, or they may help set up Web cameras for recording teachers’ lessons. Senior student Ian Kennedy said, “It gives you opportunities to branch out and see different fields but doesn’t force you in any one direction.”

Does the technology department at your school offer students opportunities for hands-on learning? Leave a comment or email us at experience@testout.com.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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