Wednesday, November 21, 2007

PAT - Value of

Seeing these final OMEWA PATs made me again realise how valuable the PAT is. A while ago a teacher posted a message on the CompStudies mailing list and one of her comments about the PAT were that she felt that there are too much emphasis on finding and gathering information and that it was unnecessary since most CAT learners do not go to university.

Whether you go to university (and many CAT learners will go), or not, LO3 is a very valuable LO. This is where everything we do in CAT 'comes together'.

Most of the tasks we all do every day life, irrespective of our career and job function deal with 'problems' to solve - problems where we need the right information before we can solve it / come to a conclusion, etc. The PAT gives the learner the opportunity to show if he/she can solve a problem and also use a computer to help him/her find and gather information, to organise and manipulate it as well as present the result/solution to the problem effectively.

I wrote the following on the CompStudies list: I saw the value of the PAT when a guy came to school yesterday to use my computers to book an airline ticket. Firstly he faffed and fiddled about the date, the time and then how to pay. If he had asked the right questions before he began looking - what, when, how - he would not have wasted so much time. He looked at 5 airlines, did some calculations, and eventually bought the ticket. The process took ages because he was not clear where he was going. If this had been a PAT we would have needed a Conclusion indicating we had a ticket, and had checked prices on 5 airlines and decided on SAA because …
This airline booking incident showed me how all learners whether they do to university or not, need the thinking and planning skills of a PAT (LO3).

A secretary must organise and plan for a visit of an overseas delegation from Japan to visit their city and look at their company for investment purposes.
* Where and how can one book/get their flight information?
* Will there be any special dietary needs for this group?
* What food should (or should not) be served at the welcoming function?
* What information needs to be given to the delegation the form of an information brochure?
* Where can one get welcoming words in Japanese for the CEO of the company?
* Where will they stay – for how long?
* Do they need transport?
* What budget is available for their stay and functions?
* Will they need transport arranged? Will an interpreter be needed or be helpful?
* Will they have time to take in local tourist attractions - which ones?
* Which staff will be invited or required to attend the function? Do they need formal invitations or will an inter-office e-mail/memo suffice?
* Is there money available to purchase each member of the delegation a small memento of the city?

An administrative assistant has to facilitate the process where different provinces send their teachers for teacher training. What details about these teachers must she keep and save?, whom must she contact in the provinces?, when and how will she communicate with the teachers? - and many more…. The 'boss' does not have time to spell out EVERYTHING and the assistant is expected to be able TO THINK FOR HERSELF!!!! OK - she will use the Office Packages in the process - and it IS very important to be able to do it efficiently and effectively (LO2) - BUT that is not where the focus should be anymore. The packages are a tool or a means to an end or a solution, not the end itself.

The PAT does also provide an opportunity to revise the use of the packages, especially concepts that might have last been worked with in prior terms. (Working through exemplar papers and exam type questions will also naturally help!)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Videos - Downloading off the Internet and YouTube

There are many ways to get videos off the net and YouTube but most cost dollars! I do not have money to spare so try anything for free. So …

Go to and download the Free FLV Player program. Install this program. Do not bother to add any of the extras offered/suggested during the installation process as they are not necessary for this purpose.

Find the video you want to download and want to see off line. Copy its URL.

In the box on the page paste the URL of the video you want. Click to download. Now look lower down the screen (below the grey bar) and find Download again and click on it.

It downloads without a file extension and with a silly name. So rename it and give it the file extension of flv. If you have the Free FLV Player program installed, open the new flv file with the Free FLV Player program. Great! Acknowledge the creators of the video. So easy and you can now view the video offline.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gr 11 PAT - Value of OMEWA for revising

By using the features of Word, Excel and Access themselves and talking about it with their neighbours the learners processed the skills again and again! We write on Thursday and it will be interesting to see how they do.

When they created the survey in Word they revised tabs and tables.

They went through the list of functions available in Excel trying to find something they could understand and something suitable for solving the problem they had set.
They saw that when data in a cell changed there were changes elsewhere in the spreadsheet.
They revised the way of typing a cell phone number in a cell.
They created graphs to show the results of every question in the survey – created a graph for every question – revised graphs for every question. They fiddled with the types of graphs to find the one suitable for their needs – revised types of graphs.
They put graphs on worksheets and renamed the sheets – revision again.
They revised every aspect of Excel in doing their PAT on Omewa.

They used Access themselves and had to decide on the datatypes and field sizes themselves – saw that they could not type anything anymore because the field size was too small. Had to change the field types to suit their needs – the date was a problem which many had to redo. They used the memo type for the descriptions of their animals. Creating the table they revised tables.
Doing their own queries they revised queries.
They used grouping and calculations in the reports and revised this.
When they created their forms they revised the layout of forms.
When they used photographs in the form they revised their knowledge of inserting images, i.e. from a file or copying and pasting.
They revised every aspect of using Access. (After doing all the activities in the Gr 11 book and their PAT on Omewa the learners cannot understand all the fuss about Access as it appears so logical and easy to use.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gr 11 PAT - Phase 5 and 6

Here are a selection of the final reports of the PAT from Justus, Kleinhans, Kolbe and Meiring. Marking this phase was very easy and quick. I felt very satisfied with the students' work. I particularly focused on the spreadsheet, database, Introduction and Conclusion.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gr 11 2007 CAT and RTT National Practical Papers

These are the 2007 Grade 11 National papers I have managed to resource.

English Question paper and English Data Files
Afrikaans Question paper (Please compare this paper with the English paper and correct any mistakes you find) and Afrikaans Data Files
Marking grid which may be helpful