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Old 01-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #1
yeehi
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Question Help! Please save my a** : teaching computers


Gotta teach computers!
No books. To beginners, thank goodness.

I need a good free online curriculum that could be used to prepare lesson plans.

The students would be high school level.

They would need/want general and practical help/training in having a computer, applications, that sort of thing.

Thank you so much for reading. I really hope you post a link to something to use
 
Old 01-19-2007, 11:37 AM   #2
devbro
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Well here is some idea:

1. intro to computer hardware (talk about general parts and how they work)
2. intro to OS (talk about what OS is, show them dos,windows and linux)
3. intro to computer math (some math stuff mostly binary and hex and why they are important, show them the blue screen of death a an example as well as a hex editor)
4. Intro to software ( you can focus on office software, ms word excel power point, it can be extremely useful to them)
5. Computer ethics and free software foundation OR you can teach them how internet works
6. security, hack, virus, ...

I hope it helps
 
Old 01-19-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
yeehi
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Ooh!

The ethics is a great idea!
This is going to be for a course, rather than a single class.

Should be able to do a bit on binary, too.

For something online, in sort of chapters (ie lesson sized chunks) can anybody recommend something?
 
Old 01-19-2007, 12:42 PM   #4
devbro
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Is it for an online course or a in class course?
what kind of hardware do you have access to?
and last but not least what level of students do you expect? ppl interested in computer or general students?
 
Old 01-19-2007, 08:03 PM   #5
Jorophose
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Continuing on devbro's advice:

If you can, show them as many OSes as you can. AIX, Linux (With GNOME, KDE, XFCE, XPDE, and others) Windows, Mac OS X and Classic, DOS, FreeBSD, BeOS, etc.

If the students taking the course are going to attempt to look at source code, and possibly make an app themselves, get them to make something like Notepad2/++ or a Tetris game, or something. But that might be too much for high school students. I'm at that point myself, and I doubt anyone 'cept for me in my year has ever used Linux. Sad. But a few know their way around DOS-based systems, and a few are kiddy black-hat-wannabes. But of course, I'm bald when it comes to hats, so ;P

If you're showing apps, make sure to show them multiple types, don't limit yourself. OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, GNOMEOffice, KOffice, Nvu, even MS Office, anything that is related to computing.

I've had some bad experiences with my "computer tech" teacher. If you want to know, all we've done is a slideshow with powerpoint (but I used impress =D) and random things with Adobe Flash. And then Dreamweaver's on the list. What a craptastic class. I wanted something like Perl/C++/PHP, at least looking at them, and instead of dreamweaver, actual HTML and CSS.

But I think I've gotten side tracked. Extra info would be helpful.

Cheers,
Joro, local idiot.
 
Old 01-19-2007, 08:50 PM   #6
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devbro
3. intro to computer math (some math stuff mostly binary and hex and why they are important, show them the blue screen of death a an example as well as a hex editor)
I'm not sure computer math is really necessary. The user doesn't need to know anything about it to use the computer for basic office use (or even quite advanced computing).

Some people might find binary interesting as a maths subject, but it's irrelevant to practical computing. Deep computer theory can also be a dense subject to try to understand and is likely to put a lot of people off.

Apart from that the basic outline curriculum is a good place to start, but I'd probably skip that step.
 
Old 01-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #7
devbro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hand of fate
I'm not sure computer math is really necessary. The user doesn't need to know anything about it to use the computer for basic office use (or even quite advanced computing).

Some people might find binary interesting as a maths subject, but it's irrelevant to practical computing. Deep computer theory can also be a dense subject to try to understand and is likely to put a lot of people off.

Apart from that the basic outline curriculum is a good place to start, but I'd probably skip that step.

I would say that the math is important for two reasons. It gives an idea to students on how a computer may work as well as provide them with knowledge on why computer programs have some limits (ever heard of 64000 limit on total records ).

Personally I know that the math is not as helpful as other possible chapters but it is part of computer and knowing it helps.
 
Old 01-19-2007, 09:09 PM   #8
devbro
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Regarding possible topics for teaching:
1. History of computer ENIAC and so on and things before that.
2. History of computer software, compilers, punch cards.

Ask your students what they want to learn, web, network, programming, graphics. Based on their answer you can select more specific course outline and teach them only that for the second half of the course.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 06:55 AM   #9
graemef
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You could have a look at the European Computer Driving Licence
 
Old 01-21-2007, 03:28 AM   #10
yeehi
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This is a classroom based course, with snr highschool students studying computers not in their native language. They have a general interest in computers. (At least, their parents hope they have! They are not specializing.)

They would like to get familiar with computers, as it is their first proper encounter with them, beyond maybe playing with their friends' gameboy.

The more i think about it, the more i realize that what i really need is something like a collection of lesson plans.

Thanks for that great link to the ECDL! I will definitely look into that more.

Any other suggestions?
 
Old 01-21-2007, 09:47 AM   #11
devbro
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here is what I would suggest then:

1. The history of computer (why did they make computer in the first place)
2. Intro to parts of the computer (open a computer and show them the inside parts, stay general don't get into too many details)
3. How computer does some stuff (how it stores image, audio, movie, data , ...)
4. introduct to OS (teach WIN and LINUX, cover their history, basic working design, simple file stuff, a little permission, and command line)(it is the main part of the course)
5. teach them simple stuff of the net (how to use http,ftp,telnet)
6. how to work with a router ( i know but it can be a good time killer)
7. security and hackers
8. Computer ethic (you may want to introduce this earlier)
 
Old 01-21-2007, 10:13 AM   #12
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeehi
This is a classroom based course, with snr highschool students studying computers not in their native language. They have a general interest in computers. (At least, their parents hope they have! They are not specializing.)

They would like to get familiar with computers, as it is their first proper encounter with them, beyond maybe playing with their friends' gameboy.

The more i think about it, the more i realize that what i really need is something like a collection of lesson plans.

Thanks for that great link to the ECDL! I will definitely look into that more.

Any other suggestions?
All the more reason to "show" other OS, but base it on Linux - considerably more easy to set the different language/localisations and the like. I'd guess that they'd learn more that way - unless of course the "Education Authority" actually stipulates a specific curriculum - with it's accompanying hardware/software etc.

regards

John
 
Old 01-21-2007, 04:27 PM   #13
dasy2k1
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is this a computing or ICT (information & comunication technology) class. the differance is vast!
compuiting deals with how and why computers work and programming.
ICT deals only in how to use a computer.

if its Ict and they have never really done anything with computers
i woudl start with the interfaces,
show them linux (any distro with KDE and Gnome) show them windows (XP sp2) and mac OSX mabie solaris if you can get hold of it

spend some time on the simalaritys and differances on design and ethos.

the move on to the most populiar office apps,
MS office sadly is teh most populiar and shoudl be covered but i woudl maily use openoffice, on all 3 operating systems if possable.

and internet. i woudl use firefox as a browser on all OSes and siffenrt email clients, (Outlook, Kontact evolution, groupwse etc.)

only towards the end would i introduce teh command line.



the ECDL is a good cource and idea ( i am form europe so i know a bit about it) however it deals only with microsoft products (office and windows)

a sound versing in linux and OSX would be invaluable
 
Old 01-21-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
graemef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasy2k1
the ECDL is a good cource and idea ( i am form europe so i know a bit about it) however it deals only with microsoft products (office and windows)
I have to disagree with you here. The syllabus is fairly OS/product neutral and that is all that ECDL provide. They then leave it up to others to develop the course material, which is where OS/product bias can arise.

Getting back to the original request. A few thoughts:
  1. Keep it simple, adding multiple OSes is great in theory but do you want to set up a lab with dual boot systems when (as I gather) you've not managed a computer lab before?
  2. Make it fun, one example is to install the various games that help improve typing skills
  3. Focus on outputs not technology, one output is (I suspect) to be able to use a word processor not know what bit patterns the keyboard send when the letter A is pressed
  4. Give the students sufficient time to learn and practice what you teach, if it takes you ten minutes to explain and demonstrate a particular feature give the student at least thirty minutes to do it themselves
 
Old 01-22-2007, 04:29 AM   #15
yeehi
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It is an ICT course.

The "focus on outputs" is a great suggestion.
 
  


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