Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CAT may not be necessary

A local primary school now expects all their learners in Gr 3 to do all their homework on tablets (digital not chalk!). Those learners may be forgiven for not doing CAT when they get into high school, however ALL other students going to higher education need ICT and problem solving skills taught in CAT. (All this school's older learners do most of their work on tablets or their laptops.)

Designated subject

Congratulations to all those wonderful school principals who have made CAT compulsory at their schools. Those principals have the concern of their learners in mind. This 'designated' thing is so silly – designated for what? For university? For university you NEED computer and problem solving skills.

Let me tell you what I am doing now – I have just gone back to studying at university, UNISA, this year doing Archaeology, Greek and Roman myths and legends, Ancient Rome and Introduction to music – all things to broaden my cultural background after having retired from the CAT school-classroom 3 years ago.

Thank goodness I have gone to university with computer and problem solving skills. I am aware that this is 1st year and we only started on 1 July. However these are a few of the IT skills used so far:
  1. The study guides are available in print and in PDF format. The print guides are posted and the PDF files have to be downloaded once you have gone into their web portal.
  2. To complete a multiple choice question test I did a 'search' for the key words in the PDF guide, then was quickly able to work out the answers.
  3. To find the dates of events I did an online search. To sort the dates in chronological order in Word I did a 'Sort'.
  4. Writing the essays – well Word is an absolute essential.
  5. The MCQ test was submitted online.
  6. Etc.
Bottom line you need computer and problem solving skills if you hope to succeed at university. Students should arrive at university knowing the skills, at running speed, especially at UNISA where the courses are 6 months long and where there is no time to waste. Therefore if a school pupil/learner hopes to go to university they should have ICT skills. Basic ICT skills are in almost every CAPS subject at high school, e.g. Accounting, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, etc. but CAT is where a thorough grounding is given in ICT and problem solving. How CAT could not be considered not a 'designated' subject for university is beyond me!