and Students in the Family Computer Literacy Class
Instructors in the FCLP have students that
come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. A majority are immigrants
of color that live in low income areas.
Because of the diverse backgrounds that each
student will have, instructors will have to manage a class where some
students are able to move at a much faster pace than others. FCLP is offered
in the language of English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Classes taught
in Spanish, Portuguese and French are available to students who's first
language is not English, but one of these three.
The classes taught in English are for students
who have an intermediate grasp of the English language.
This, however, can be extremely challenging. Sometimes it is difficult
to explain certain 'computational theories' in English, when the student's
first language isn't English. Here are some useful suggestions:
- Be patient, calm and understanding
- Use as many
visual aids as possible
Make sure a blackboard
or eraser board is available for you to draw pictures and diagrams.
If there is a projector
available that connects into the instructional computer you are
using, you can display diagrams or drawings that you have already
prepared or found from the internet.
- Every time
your students do something that convey their understanding of
what you have taught them (even if it is something as simple as
learning to use the backspace function), congratulate
Using the Keyboard and the Mouse
Because most of your students
will have never used a keyboard and a mouse, you will find that some
students may fall behind. FCLP does not offer keyboarding
skills preparation. Students would have to enroll into a keyboarding
skills class in order to become proficient with this aspect of the computer.
A keyboard is like a musical instrument. When someone first learns how
to play the piano, they have to coordinate their hands and fingers with
their brains. After much practice, people eventually become proficient
in playing the piano. Of course, this takes time and practice. The same
applies to the use of the keyboard and the mouse. Students will have
to develop this coordination. You may find that some
students will become frustrated with this portion of the learning program.
Let them know that they are doing fine and that they simply need to
go to the computer lab at CCTV to practice as much as they can. Tell
them that it simply takes practice. Explain to them
how long it took you to become comfortable with the keyboards.
is another type of 'instrument'. You will find that even thought the
mouse is a 'point and click' mechanism, some students will encounter
difficult with using the muscles in their index fingers. Clicking a
mouse button "as fast as you can", takes a lot of practice
and a build up of strong index finger muscles. Like the keyboard, it
too will take practice. Advise them to simply practice in the CCTV lab
or at the home computer.
This document is an excellent
source to read, so you can understand the complexities of "keyboard
anxiety" among students who cannot type proficiently. The
Impact of Keyboarding Skill on Computer Anxiety in End Users (.pdf
You will have students that
have Visual and Physical impairments. Many times, students cannot see
the monitor or the keyboard. Before students start using the computers,
ask them if they're able to see the keyboard and the monitor. If not,
you will have to adjust the resolution of their screen. For keyboard
usage, some facilities offer keyboards with bigger and more pronounced
characters. You will have to contact the person who is in charge of
the technology department in the facility you are using. Explain to
them that you need equipment that is designed for people with disabilities.
Before becoming a full fledged
FCLP instructor, many of you will first become a teaching assistant
to the FLCP instructor. This is an excellent way to get your
feet wet, learn the ropes, and prepare you to teach a class of your
Once you're promoted from
assistant to teacher, you will be given an assistant of your own. The
assistant is an invaluable source. If some students are ahead while
others are behind, the instructor can split the class up into two sections.
The instructor can teach the advanced students while the assistant can
instruct or help the slower students (or vice versa). You may also want
to give your assistant a chance to teach a class on his or her own.
For each class, have handouts prepared for
what you will be covering. Outlines, definitions lists, instructions
and diagrams are VERY helpful to students.