Saturday, November 20, 2010

Browsers and the web

A must-read link for all CAT teachers and their learners - "All about browsers and the web" - a Google e-book publication.

Submitted by Charles Smith to Comp-studies list - thanks Charles

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Great excitement

I took part in my first online auction and my bid of R110 was the highest!  They are tickets to attend a symphony concert valued at R330.  Will be collecting goods tomorrow and off to the concert.  Have a look at St Luke's Hospice Online Auctions.  For a good cause.

Gr 10 Theory Memo

Grade 10 Theory Memo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Errata: Gr 11 Theory paper

There are 11 pages not 12

3.10.2 Change to 'Why'.
4.5 unwanted software
5.5 Add the word 'to' before 'locate'.

Gr 11 November Theory 2010

Gr 11 November Theory 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gr 10 November Theory Exam paper

Gr 10 Paper 2 Theory November 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Emotional consequences of communication technology

Technological communication has such a impact on our lives. Being on email/Facebook/chat,cell phone, etc. makes one so much more available to people, with its joys and disappointments.  

I was so upset to find out this week that a friend I had made on Facebook and met in Egypt in December had died two months ago. I had not realised that he had departed as people had been tagging his photos and I thought it had been him doing the tagging. I sent him a message but he had not responded. I went to his page to check his last activity only to find condolence messages. He was gone. 

This morning on chat a friend tells me her mother has just gone.

Partner has gone overseas, but obviously did not organise RoamOn with his cell phone before he went. I never thought to check. I knew he was going to use his Australian cell phone while he was there. There were no SMSs and I thought … until I realised that the silly guy had not fixed his South African cell phone.

We teach about email/Facebook/chat/cell phone technology, etc. not thinking of the emotional consequences.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Problem solving

There has been a lot of talk on the Comp-Studies mailing list about including problem solving questions in the Computer Applications Technology Gr 12 national exam papers.
I believe a problem solving question is one which has features which the learners have been taught, but presented in a different way which requires thinking ‘out of the box’.
With that in mind I have been looking at the Study Opportunities papers as I have been using old papers for revision. Currently I am going over the Excel sections of old papers with my Gr 10s and 11s.
In the 2006 Gr 10 Pug paper, question 1, the learners had to sort the names in order according to surname. They needed to do a copy and paste of surnames into a new column for surnames. They could have copied and sorted each record individually but that would have taken ages. None of my Gr 10s or 11s managed to do on their own quickly.
In the 2008 Gr 10 Snakes/Crocodile paper , question 4, there was such a lovely problem solving question which none of my Gr 11s managed to do on their own. They did not realise that the value was text.
In the 2009 Gr 10 Computer Assistance paper, question 3.1, you have to find and copy the details of those doing the Web2 tools course to a word document. The learners should have done a sort, to find those people and then copied the block of records. None of my Gr 10s managed without my help.
I am doing revision now to get the learners’ minds thinking flexibly and ready for the exams. I am most distressed at how they cannot think ‘out of the box’ and solve problems. The learners know the skills but have difficulty applying them. I am not sure how common this problem is.

I am glad that the Study Opportunity papers have those problem solving features. Maybe they need more however I have only checked a small portion of the papers.

Gr 11 November Practical Exam

Paper 1

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gr 11 or 10 PAT PPTs

The Gr 11s are producing the best PPTs ever for their PATs.  I gave them a PPT with the following slides:  Title slide, Habits/Uses, Solution1, Solution2, Solution3 and Conclusion. All the required information had to go on those slides. 


  • Title slide – wording is the introduction
  • Habits/Uses – Put in 4-8 small graphs to indicate the habits/uses
  • Solutions – Made the title of the slide, the solution. Then added suitable graphic.  Few words. Had to link with habit/use at our school.
  • Conclusion – the short punch line

To comply with rubric and the fact that somethings do not go together, they made three PPTs

  • Basic - with notes
  • Animated - maybe with sound, looping, with animations and transitions
  • Table of contents - with hyperlinks and action buttons, no sound, animations OFF