Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gr 11 Book

 Look at the front covers of the Gr 11 CAPS book for CAT. The models look good. The contents of the book is even better.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Subject choice, computational thinking and the digital divide

There is so much talk about the digital divide. The digital divide relates to the inability to access the Internet and ICT skills, and the lack of fluency in ICT skills. The digital divide impacts on education and the learners’ future in so many ways. Familiarity with computers and fluency with office applications leads to computational thinking and certain attitudes. To quote from a document from the International Society for Technology in Education and Computer Science Teachers Association 

'Computational thinking (CT) is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics:
  • Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them. 
  • Logically organizing and analyzing data 
  • Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps) 
  • Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources 
  • Generalizing and transferring this problem solving process to a wide variety of problems’ 
CAT teaches these skills – using the computer to solve problems; logically organise and analyse data; automate solutions through a series of steps; and all the steps above. These skills do not only relate to computers but to life and all subject areas in the school. 

Essential attitudes / characteristics of ICT-use are
  • 'Confidence in dealing with complexity 
  •  Persistence in working with difficult problems 
  • Tolerance for ambiguity 
  • The ability to deal with open ended problems 
  • The ability to communicate and work with others to achieve a common goal or solution’ 
These are characteristics essential in today’s world. Those who do not do not become fluent with the computer do learn these attitudes / characteristics.

Look at this list – is this not what is encouraged in the activities in the Gr 10 and 11 CAPS CAT books from Study Opportunities, particularly at the end of modules and towards the back of the book. To develop computational thinking and associated attitudes the learners must learn to use the computer to solve problems.

Subject choice is taking place in many schools now. Encourage learners to take CAT or IT as in the world of expanding knowledge and changing economies learners must learn computational thinking (the problem-solving process) and develop the associated attitudes. In every school try and break the digital divide and encourage computational thinking via ICT use.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Videos on the Gr 10 CD-ROM

I have the pleasure of teaching a part-time B.Ed. Hons CAT class at a local university. Many of the students teach CAT. I have never told the class of my connection with a CAT textbook publisher although some may know.
Today I showed them a video on tabs emphasising how tabs should be done, with distances and temperatures, etc. Many of the students recognised the activity as coming from the Study Opportunities Gr 10 textbook.
In the discussion it became apparent that they did not know about the videos on the Gr 10 CD-ROM! They will now go and get that CD and explore it further! The videos are so good for learners and teachers to learn aspects they may not know, or so the class thought. They also thought they were good for lesson preparation.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gr 10 Theory Errata

The word 'with' in Question 3.3.1 should be 'without'.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gr 10 Practical paper

When the Gr 10 learners get their practical question paper, they must first read it during the reading time. Then they must get a pencil and make notes on the question paper. They must look at every question and see how many 'questions' are actually asked in each numbered question. It is very easy to miss parts of a question.