Computer literacy is "Knowledge and an understanding of computers combined with the ability to use them effectively." (Microsoft Press Computer Dictionary) It is, however, very difficult to judge whether someone possesses an understanding of computers or the ability to use them effectively. The needs of one operator may be entirely different than another. A home computer differs from a computer connected to a network environment. A PC differs from a Mac which differs from a Linux system. After many years of independent research and several years of teaching, I have come to the conclusion that computer instruction is learned more than taught. Learning the correct skills from a knowledgeable teacher is very important, but true literacy is gained by spending time using computers. I have therefore structured the computer literacy class to be primarily kinesthetic. The class has been designed in what I believe to be a logical progression from simple to complex. Two major areas are discussed and applied, Microsoft Office and Internet Awareness. Microsoft Office applications include Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Internet Awareness focuses on safety, history and web savvy.
Computer Hardware - 1-2 week
Computer hardware is a term that comprises all of the equipment that a student would normally be exposed to at home, work or in a school. Students will be required to identify the various parts of a computer and create a diagram that labels these components.
Microsoft Word - 2-3 weeks
Microsoft Word is a powerful word processing application. Basic operations such as text formatting and graphic manipulation will be introduced and applied. Copying, cutting and pasting operations will also be introduced. Skills gained in this unit will be practically applied in an independent house design project.
Microsoft Excel - 2-3 weeks
Microsoft excel is an exceptional spreadsheet application. Basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division will be introduced and applied. The creation of graphs and/or charts will also be introduced and applied. Skills gained in this unit will also be practically applied in an independent house design project.
Independent House Design Project - 3-4 weeks
Students will design an imaginary house. They will be responsible for creating an interior and exterior view of their home using the Microsoft Word drawing tools. They will also create a spreadsheet including graphs which calculates the approximate cost of their house. An overview of the design process will be summarized in a ½ to 1 page document.
Internet Awareness - 3-4 weeks
The Internet Awareness unit shall encompass 3 sections. Safe surfing and/or the dangers of the Internet will be discussed and reviewed. An Internet vocabulary shall be created by each student that will define several important terms. A concise history of the Internet shall be discussed in a brief essay created by each student. Webpage design shall be introduced by having students create local homepages.
Microsoft PowerPoint - 2-3 weeks
Microsoft PowerPoint is a simple computer assisted presentation application. Students will be required to learn the basic steps in creating a unique presentation design using meaningful appropriate experiences. They may also be introduced to using the scanner if time allows.
Quizzes will be announced and administered at the discretion of the instructor. Each student, at the conclusion of the class, will complete a final exam composed of quiz questions. Simple non-violent computer games may be used to enhance mouse skills and/or enthusiasm.
Terms and Current Events - 20% of the 6 week grading period
Quizzes - 40% of the 6 week grading period
Projects - 40% of the 6 week grading period
Final Exam - 20% of the final grade
Important Note: Late assignments will not be accepted, barring absence due to extraordinary circumstances. Projects that are not received by an established deadline will be considered forfeit and a 0% will be recorded for that assignment.