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General Information

The Computer Lab curriculum is designed to be flexible based on the student's interests and needs. There are no prerequisites and it is self-paced. The instructor will assess the student to determine appropriate placement.
Students who express a desire not to take formal keyboarding may go on to other software packages. Students may focus on one or several software packages which include Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, GED Programs, and Pre-GED (Reading & Math). The Internet, E-mail, and Employment Prep Activities are also available.

Computer Lab Methodology

The class is scalable to varying numbers of students, from one-on-one up to larger class sizes utilizing overhead projection. Because the class curriculum is based on using the Windows operating system throughout the course, instructors should have a basic hands-on knowledge of Windows XP through Windows 7 Operating systems. The office software mandates that the instructor has a working knowledge of Office 2003 with knowledge of the nuances of Office 2007. This knowledge should include the subtle differences in the operating system types and office suite versions to ensure that functional differences can be addressed.

Knowledge of the Internet and the ability to teach learners how to do a web search is important for students. Employability skills for our students will require internet use of on-line forms and email.

Ideally, for the lower level ESL (4 and below), this class should be team taught, with the Computer Lab instructor as a co-instructor aiding the ESL instructor, if needed.

Teaching materials for each class are listed in the Lab Setup section.

Student Set Up and any Students Prerequisites are listed in each named section respectively.

The technical requirements for the lab are listed for the teacher and technicians in "Computer Settings", "Software", "Hardware" and "Lab Files" to ensure that the student files are loaded in the proper locations and that the minimum computer requirements are met to ensure a smooth transition from one skill to the next.

Also included is a list of materials to be made available to each student as handouts and reference sheets, as well as suggestions for a possible box of material to pass around as hands-on samples. These materials for the instructor should be collected before the class leaves.

Student Resources for on-going reference, including Web sites to visit, sources of free employment materials, names of possible leads, magazine references and various other worksheets are included as part of the course.

Instructor Responsibilities

The instructor should make sure the lab is set up for the next class coming into the lab. That may mean the instructor has to make a lab schedule and share it with other instructors to establish the best time for each class. The instructor should have the lab machines turned on, the desks and stations straightened and the ELMO, Smartboard or the Video Machine set up and ready for the class to begin. While the class is running, the instructor should field any tech or setup questions and help the instructor during the class as needed. After the class the chairs should be pushed in, headphones returned to their place, papers cleared and the station straightened out.

The instructor should make sure the computers are turned off, fans off, presentation media (Projectors, ELMO, Video Machines etc.) are turned off and that the computer lab is locked.

Computer Lab instructors are also called on to lend support throughout the day. ELMO carts, printer set up and general software help are part of the daily routine and working knowledge of the equipment is essential. Studing the manuals and "How To" instructions will make for stress free troubleshooting.

Physical Set Up of the Lab

Classes are:

  • Self paced - All offerings are self paced, so students come in and continue where they left off.
  • Folder locations - All student folders are located in the "My Documents" folders (shortcut on the desktop) in the "Students" folder.
  • Data disk locations (My Documents » Lab Files » Book Name)
  • Book locations - Books and CDs are located in the black cabinet, Phone books and dictionaries are on the desks througout the labs.

Each lab should have available:
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Computer tables at approx 33" high
  • 1 extra print cartridge. Exchange the old one for the new one with PW.
  • Wiring inside of harnesses or neatly secured
  • Lighting evenly distrubuted
  • Office equipment and supplies (staplers, tape dispenser, pencil sharpeners, paper punch, file organizers etc.)
  • Tissue boxes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • File drawers for storing folders
  • Cleaning supplies (windex, Screen wipes, alcohol, spray air)

Be sure to return the used print cartridges in the original box to the front office when picking up a new cartridge.

Computer Settings

The computers are set up with a logon so that students cannot change settings or save software on the computers. Some lessons will teach you how to manipulate the system and will not work on the lab computers, so the lessons that reference system settings are for reference or home use only. On your own home computers it is possible that by changing system settings the computer will operate and react very differently than when you started it. It is important to remember: Shutting off and restarting the computer will not reset these settings!! Make your choices very carefully. It is wise to write down system settings before you change them, so that they can be changed back if there are undesirable consequences.

Our classes will show you where these settings are located and how to adjust them, and basically what they are used for.


Class Handouts

  • Handouts can be printed and stored for ready access to counsellors or students or other instructors as needed.
  • Policy For Internet Users (Signature Item)
  • E-Mail Set up instruction sheets are usually laminated or in sheet protectors in the front of the room.
  • Computer Lab Connection (pub changes by quarter) placed in holders throughout the campus.

Class Sign in

The class sign-in sheet is located on a table in front of theroom. If students come from another class and are signing in and out there, they do not have to sign in or out in the computer lab. However, if students are coming in during off hours and have not signed in anywhere else, then signing in at the lab ensures that the hours will be included in theirr attendance file.


Presently, for windows classes, Windows XP or above should be set up on all of the computers in the lab. Additional software requirements are:
  • Office 2010 suite or above with Access and Publisher
  • Firefox or Internet Explorer
  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Deluxe
  • MHC Interactice GED
  • MHC Interactive Pre-GED
  • Easy ESL 1 and 2
  • WOIS (or use the WOIS website)

Computers should have permissions for file creation / save in My Documents NETWORK SHARE Folders, BUT NOT the DESKTOP.

Practical Office 2007 and 2010 How To and Certificate How To


Use the Master Certificate Template with resume paper and add a raised seal on the bottom left.
For checking student progress, projects are saved inside of the "My Documents" > "Students" > [Student Name] Folder. The tracking data for and the projects are checked for accuracy and that the skill set or process of the project is understood. Students need 80% and above to go on, so any score less than that has to be corrected before the certificate is issued. The instructor may require one-on-one time with the student. 

  • Office Computing Basics when the Office book is completed tdrough Chapter 10 and before the projects are started.
  • When Projects pass inspection, One Certifice is issued for each skill: Word Processing Basics, Spreadsheet Basics, Presentation Basics, and Database Basics Certificates on top of the Office Computing Basics they already received.
  • Basic Keyboarding Certificates are given when mastery is 30 wpm using all the keys, at 95% accuracy
  • Advanced Keyboarding is given for 50 wpm at 95%.
  • 10 Key Basic Certifications are given at 150 kpm with 95 % accuracy. The 10 Key sill is becoming a must in the workplace; Delivery Drivers, Fed-Ex, UPS, Post Office and Retail all test in these areas.
  • Internet Basics Certificates are given for completion of the Shelley Cashman Internet book.


The computers will need internet access, so either a modem or NIC will be needed. Machines should have enough processig power to run the programs, so minimum standards are not enough: TECH SERVICES takes care of this.

Student Set Up

Lab files should be set up on the hard drive or network drive with the patd ...\My Documents\Lab Files. The lab files should include the Shelley Cashman files for the office materials you are using and the Practical PC and Practical Office Data Files .

Press the name of each form from the bulletted list below. Print the forms out, read each one and have the student sign it if needed. There are no pre-requisite skills needed for the classes offered in the computer lab. The requirement for attendance is that you are previously enrolled in another class somewhere in the IEL. Pre-class inventory of skills are voluntary and only for establishing goals or matching goals with previous skill sets.

Have the student read each form, then sign the form and return before proceeding. The form will remain in the student folder.

Student Data and Lab Folder Set Up

In the beginning of the year a folder is created inside of "My Documents" called "Students". As students come in, they click on the desktop icon "My Documents", navigate to the "Students" folder where they create a new folder with their first AND last name. The student can then use this area to place their files. Their files are stored inside the My Documents \ Students \ [Student Name Here] Folder, and then all of the student files can be backed up (burned onto CDs) once or twice a year if you want to do that.
NOTE: the folders may eventually contain:

  • Tracking Data for Practical Office
  • Project files
  • Résumés, cover letters or other Portfolio docs
  • other projects, pictures or letters containing private info

Some of the lessons require student data disks. Practical PC and Practical Office require a folder in "My Documents >> Students >> [Student Name]" for the student tracking disk. The tracking is only for tests.

To set up the tracking disk, insert the Practical Office CD and select "My Computer". When the CD Icon changes, double click it and then click on "Books" to open the program.

When the program starts, select the checkmark "Save tracking data" and remind the student to do that each time. Then fill in the first name, last name and then ABE and then a number 1. Save the file as the default name and place it in the students' folder.

In the beginning of the year a folder is created inside of "My Documents" called "Students". As students come in, they click on the desktop icon "My Documents", navigate to the "Students" folder where they create a new folder with their first AND last name. The student can then use this area to place their files. The USB Flash Drives or tdumb Drives or the floppy A Drives are used as a backup ONLY!

For the Office Suite classes, student data files are located inside of the "My Documents/ Students/ Student Name " folder:

  • For Mavis Beacon all of the student files are located on the central server. Each ESL or GED Instructor can administer their class as needed.
  • For the Practical Office and Shelley Cashman files click on "My Documents / Lab Files" and select the course and lesson you need.

For Practical Office, sometimes the students move the files instead of copying them, and they can be found on the Practical Office CD. Put the CD in and close all of the windows when they open. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the CD and copy the files into the "My Documents/ Lab Files/ Practical Office" folder.

Some computer labs may still use paper folders that are given to students to store their data and printouts. The folders usually contain:

  • Curriculum sheet
  • Internet Use Policy
  • Class Rules
  • Guidelines for CCS Computer Labs
  • Keyboarding Instruction Sheet (if not at the computer station)
  • Email Instruction Sheet (as needed)

The folders are recycled at the end of the school year,(end of Fall Quarter) and the floppy disks backed up inside the My Documents \ Students \ [Student Name Here] Folder, and then all of the student files are backed up onto CD for the year. Floppy disks are then re-formatted and the labels removed, new ones placed inside the folders that are a different color for the following year.

Student Reference Materials and Locations

Reference materials, dictionaries and phone books are located on the desks in various locations tdroughout the lab. Class reference manuals, teaching books and computer related courseware are lovated in the black cabinet in the lower lab. If you need help locating anything, ask an instructor for assistance. Student Reference are placed where all can access it in plain view.

These materials include:

  • Student Dictionary
  • Telephone Directory
  • How-To quick reference sheets (Email setup, Program start instruction sheets etc.)
  • Employment Résumé Materials

Student Resources for on-going reference, including Web sites to visit, sources of free employment materials, names of possible leads, magazine references and various other worksheets are included as part of the course.