Technology is an increasingly important aspect of primary and secondary education — and it’s integral to college curricula. Many college students rely entirely on computers to work on assignments, perform research and accomplish tasks that in the past might have been completed with books, index cards, pen and paper. Incorporating technology into the high school classroom, therefore, is vital to ensure that students are prepared for the transition into college. However, high schools need to make sure that they incorporate technology on the same level as colleges. Here are a few ways high schools can better prepare students for using technology in the college classroom.

Formatting an Essay in MLA and APA Style
Though high schools teach students how to write essays, they often don’t require their students to format their essays in Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style. However, colleges require that most, if not all, essays follow the rules of either MLA or APA format. Though MLA is usually taught in introductory English and Composition courses, many other classes require APA style, which some students find difficult to follow. If students practice both MLA and APA styles in high school, they will master these skills quickly in college.

Using Purdue OWL
Teachers can also teach students how to use Purdue OWL, Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab. This website explains  MLA and APA citation and formatting. Additionally, it provides tips about grammar, mechanics and punctuation. Knowing how to use OWL to quickly find answers to their MLA/APA questions will greatly assist students in college.

Using Databases
Research is a crucial part of any college curriculum. If high school students learn how to correctly perform online research using databases and search engines, they’ll enter college a step ahead, allowing for an easier transition.

Creating Presentations
Presentations, whether group or individual, frequently come up in college courses. Understanding how to create great presentations using Prezi and Powerpoint in high school can make future projects less stressful and lead to better grades in college.

Google Drive
Anyone with a Google account can create and save Word documents, Excel documents, or slideshows on Google Drive. It’s a great free alternative to Microsoft Office and has many of the same features. It also allows multiple people to work on a document at the same time, which makes it a very useful tool for group projects.

Productivity Apps
Educating students on different apps and sites that can improve their time management skills would also be beneficial. Apps like SelfControl allow a user to block distracting websites for a certain period of time.

By Elizabeth Slatsky


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