Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Procedural memory

For a CAT practical examination the skills examined should have been converted into procedural memory in the minds of the learners.

Procedural memory is a type of long-term memory of how to perform different actions, procedures and skills, e.g. riding a bicycle. This is "know how" memory. When needed, procedural memories are automatically retrieved and utilized for the execution of the integrated procedures involved in both cognitive and motorskills (Wikipedia).

Procedural memory is created through "procedural learning" or, repeating a complex activity over and over again until one figures out how to make all of the relevant neural systems work together to automatically produce the activity.

So learners should go over old practical examination papers before writing the final paper, as well as thoroughly repeat those complex procedures during the year.

2011 September Matric exams


Friday, August 26, 2011

Computational thinking

Some time ago on the CompStudies mailing list CAT and IT teachers were encouraged to join the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) at Since I joined I have been receiving printed copies of their journal.  

The article on Computational thinking as the Fourth "R" in the July 2011 edition caught my eye. The definition of computational thinking found at  and the article at describe so many activities encouraged and promoted in CAT and IT. One realises how CAT and IT are helping to bridge the digital divide not just in access but in way of thinking.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gr 10

Full ordering details of the new Gr 10 CAPS edition of Computers, part of your life textbook.

Power of social networking sites

Social networking sites can keep one up to date on what is happening. I have watched events in Egypt, England and Libya this year and know that social networking sites have kept people informed.

The terrible events on Aquila Game Reserve in the Western Cape on 20 August and the desperate battle to keep their rhinos alive are being followed by thousands on Facebook and Twitter. I only hope that the details of the poachers and the reward of R100 000 will be spread and the culprits soon caught.

New books

New Grade 10 book cover! The CAPS edition!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Google Translate

I love Google Translate!  When I was overseas walking the Camino I met many people from Sweden, Germany, Spain, France, Korea and Holland. I am now friends with them on Facebook. We have all uploaded pictures on which many people post comments in their own languages.  I can copy/paste their comments into Google Translate and set their language, for the translation.Great!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Social media

I wish that all CAT teachers discussed this with their learners – good article called 'To Teens, Tweens and the People Who Love Them: It's Time to Get "Social Smarts" ' found at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Internet access on Camino

Maybe you wondered why I have been so quiet recently. I have been busy walking from St Jean Pied de Port in Southern France to Santiago de Compostela near the Atlantic coast in Spain, 800 kms. I walked the Camino. I did the first 220 kms then my foot gave trouble, then I bussed a few hundred kms, then walked the last 100 km with two sticks and one leg.
Along the way I stayed in hostels, in tiny towns, which had Internet access machines. I was able to watch and reply to all emails but paid! When I reached the large city of Santiago I treated myself to a hotel. The hotels (not hostels) did not seem to have Internet access machines, only wi-fi. I came to the conclusion that in places where 'poor' people stay, i.e. hostels, they provide Internet access machines, but where rich people stay, i.e. hotels, they have their own iphones, ipads, laptops, etc. so access is not required. I had to walk right across town to find an internet café.
The pictures of my trip are on Facebook - start from June 27. Hope you have joined the Study Opportunities Facebook page, link at side.