Sunday, July 8, 2012

Problem solving

Problem solving is the goal of much of the curriculum in South Africa. This PISA investigation has some of the clearest headings/labels/points I have seen for what is problem solving and how to recognise it in questions (exams). Look at pages 153 onwards. Look at marking guides on page 179. Try setting exam papers / tasks which contain problem solving questions. 
My experience is that we have a long way to go in developing problem solving skills.

Computer Applications Olympiad

To prepare for the Applications Olympiad one should go over old papers. This links to all old papers. Think of the prizes. Going over these old papers will assist in preparing for the Matric final examinations. No, the data is not there but the question papers are.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 Computer Applications Olympiad Winners

Altogether 13 000 high school learners entered this year's CA Olympiad, doubling the 2010 figure. 
This year's Applications Olympiad finalists were very representative of the country – coming from six of the nine provinces. Unlike in the past when the Western Cape and girls dominated the Finals, this year there were no finalists from the Western Cape.
First place went to Ziyaad Seedat, a Grade 12 learner at the Ligbron Academy of Technology in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. Apart from winning a gold medal and the prestigious CoZa Cares Trophy, he also won a scholarship to the University of Cape Town, an Apple iPad and R3 000 prize money.
While most of the participants are heading for studies that will lead them into the IT world, Ziyaad is unusual in that he intends to study medicine next year – at the University of Cape Town.
Silver medals went to Salomè Bloem, a Grade 12 learner at the Hoër Volkskool in Potchefstroom, North West Province and Michael Harrison of Grade 12 at Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal. Michael will study Computer Science at UCT next year, while Salomè will go to the North West University to become a chartered accountant. 
Bronze medals went to Lwandle Makhoba, a Grade 11 learner at Horizon High School in Johannesburg, Thiolan Naidoo, also a Grade 11 learner, at the Star College in Durban, and Mpumelelo Sibiya of the Ligbron Academy of Technology in Ermelo, Mpumalanga.

Article above from – 1 July

The winner Ziyaad Seedat and Fiona Wallace of CoZaCares

Congratulations to the winners! The prizes make this a worthwhile competition to enter. Just reaching the finals is an achievement. The contestants were flown to Cape Town and spent 3 nights at a guest house near the venue of the prize giving awards dinner. On the first day of the contest they answered Olympiad style questions. On the second day they were taken on a tour of the Peninsula on a Red Bus and visited the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Waterfront. That evening they attended the prize giving award dinner at Kelvin Grove.
I suggest that CAT teachers start preparing their learners now to enter this prestigious competition.  The prizes may be different next year but WOW, this year's winner really went home financially better off than when he arrived.
CAT teachers – Teach the learners to solve problems.  First make sure they can perform all the basic functions. Then focus on all the practical module activities at the end of chapters AND
  • CAPS Gr 10 book – Module 7.1 (Integrated skills) and Module 7.2 (Practical problem solving)
  • CAPS Gr 11 book - Module 8.1 (Working smarter) and Module 8.2 (Case studies)
  • Gr 11 book – Chapter 6.2 (Collaboration and integration)
  • Gr 12 book – Module 6.3 (Practice makes perfect)
  • Also go over old examination papers
Go over the work of all the grades. 
Good luck for next year!