In this section we will reflect upon the following points -
- What a word processing program is and how it's used.
- Ideas to develop your students' word processing skills.
- Where to find useful video tutorials.
Here comes the science bit...
A word processor is a computer program used for the production of any sort of printable material. Word processing is the creation of documents using a word processor. Basically, it is a very posh typewriter.
Word processing programmes enable the user to write articles, books, letters, documents, reports, etc. It makes editing a very simple task. The main features of word processing programs are font applications, spell checking, grammar checking, a thesaurus and autocorrection. Advanced users can also utilise Auto text, Web integration, HTML documentation etc.
Word processing programs are very easy to use. Because of the strong parallels with traditional typewriters users usually find the functions intuitive. The most common cause of frustration is the loss/erasing of work because the user has not saved the document. However, this is less common since the advent of the AutoSave function.
Ask learners to:
- plan a task on a word processing document. ask them to use the function keys (bold, italic, font, bullet points etc.) to order their work and make it more readable.
- include images in their typed documents. Ask them to experiment with the alignment. When they've mastered this, ask the to experiment with text-wrapping.
- attach a Word document to an email.
- search online for information then copy and paste sections into the word document. When they've collected text from different online sources, ask them to make to make the text uniform in size and style.
- add comments to each other's documents using footnotes.
- experiment with adding text boxes, tables and shapes.
- check an their work using the Spell Check function.
If you're a beginner, try the activities above.
If you're fairly proficient, register for a Google Drive account and upload your documents. There is another article close that deals with writing reports on Google drive. And there is another article that deals with cloud applications (like google drive) Ask colleagues to join you so that you can work collaboratively on documents such as lesson plans, policies etc.