I would encourage the smart notebook and inspiriation.
Try gearing your tech classes to reinforce the classroom instruction.
I teach in North Missouri
I teach 6th Grade Computer and Technology Integration. I have the students on a block schedule, and I get about 170 students one day, and 170 different students the next. So my class is the equivalence of an 18 week course. I am in my 8th Year of teaching this class and I have my complete curriculum aligned to the NETs Standards which have been adopted in Indiana. Here is a link to the NETs Standards for Students!
In 18 Weeks, here is a very basic overview of what we do and what we cover:
Hopefully these will give you a few ideas to run with!!
This is an awesome and thorough list of the topics you cover. I am an Instructional Technology Specialist K-8, and I teach a Technology Course to grades 6 and 7. I have no curriculum, however, so your list is extremely helpful to me! I was wondering if you have a website or any resources that you use for your projects that you would be willing to share. Feel free to send me an email. I'm interested in more details and/or resources on some of the lessons.
Sounds like you have a really good program in place.
Wow! I just reread one of my older post. Way out of date now.
First let me state all of our technology courses are in an online envirionment on Moodle. We don't print, or use text if they are not digital. This reduces much of the costs. It also enables the students to work at school, at home or on vacation, and reduces the lost homework or I gave it to you already excuses.
Let me update what we do at my school. In 8th grade we integrate technology with the Constitution. We just couldn't fit everything in with the social studies classes. After all that is a field that keeps on growing. I teach the kids how to make podcast and smartboard applications with the subject being the Constitution. The podcast are recorded on MP3 players and then edited on Audacity. Everything is geared to passing the Constitution test.
In the 7th grade it is all about economics. We integrate technology with that subject by teaching the studentst how to write webquest using HTML code. Then they are to create a game in the second semester. All of these things are geared toward learning economics.
In the 6th grade we teach word, and excel. We teach word formatting, and integrate that with language and reading classes. We teach excel and enhance the math and science depts. We make salary spreadsheets, grade averages, formatting and much more. We begin by playing monopoly and using checks. We input the checks into a spreadsheet and create a check registry. When done we balance it by writing a formula.
Our philosophy is that if it isn't reinforcing the curriculum of the other classes and teaching students how to use technology as a tool to help with their studies, what is our purpose for having technology.
It is so incredibly awesome that your middle school sorts placement into technology classes by grade level. While I am not longer teaching a technology class (due to budget cuts) I found it incredibly frustrating to have to work with three grade levels all one time thus being unable to support much of anything from the core classes - outside of English. And even when we did that it had to be on the generic side as each grade level was working on different concept... And, oh yeah, I only had them for three months at a time... :(
So impressed with what you have in place!!!
Have students create issue oriented music videos...
Here are a few tech resources I have gathered recently:
Really Cool! Guided tours of FotoFlexer, Animoto, & Typewith.me http://budurl.com/j9ru
Web 2.0 site to create awesome student portfolios via interactive digital books. http://budurl.com/vtvk
Top 50 School Technology Blogs http://j.mp/ouxi7i
Check out agoogleaday.com - a great resource for teaching students how to search efficiently - plus, it's just kind of fun...
It seems that one of the important things that students need to know, but don't is how to search: http://yhoo.it/qnShGq