The faster you teach students to be problem solvers, the more they’ll learn. Computers are a foreign language. Even with small class sizes, the more students can do for themselves, the more fun they’ll have learning the intricacies of technology.
The good news is, students love to be independent. They find it cool to know keyboard shortcuts for getting stuff done. In my class, students can help their neighbors, and they love showing off their problem solving skills. Here are 9 tricks that cover many common problems students will face using MS Word:
It takes a while for users to get accustomed to saving files on a network. Often, documents end up lost (in my school, students must drill down through five levels to get to their unique location). My students learn early to use ‘search’ on the start menu.
The ‘insert’ key is so confusing I’m told it is being inactivated in the future. If students complain they lose data as they type, this is probably why. Show them how to push the ‘insert’ key and all will be fixed.
Kids try to strong-arm Word into doing their will–often the wrong way. My favorite is ‘enter enter’ as a shortcut to double space. It seems to work until they have to edit the document, and then everything gets messed up. Have students push the show-hide button to see if they’re using the double space tool. Then, show them where the icon is.
Teach it to kids early and use it often. It will save you miles of distress.
It takes until Middle School for students to remember the date. Before that, they will always ask. Show them the Shift+Alt+D shortkey that inserts the current date into Word. They love it and it saves a lot of time for you.