Introductions to Computers

Credit: Business, Art

Introduction to Computers class has two segments. In the first segment the students learn basic Word Processing Applications such as WordPerfect and in the second half of the semester students work with Hypercard a MacIntosh based computer language. It is our belief that it is essential that each student have daily access to a computer, therefore each student has their own computer station from which they save all their assignments into their respective electronic folders on the file server.

In the word processing segment students learn keyboard configuration and the format of common business documents. The instructional strategy that is utilized is full class demonstration after which the students create a practice document where they practice the skill that has been demonstrated. After the practice the students complete an assignment which requires the use of the skill they have just been taught. Students learn the skills through the formatting of documents that require basic word processing features such as Boldface, Center, Indent, Right Justification, Save, Word wrap, Underline. Students also learn formatting commands and menus. They create business documents such a One�page reports, multipage reports, Forms, Letters and Interoffice memorandums. Also, the documents that the students create incorporate beginning editing/revising operations such as copy, delete/undelete, insert and move. They complete various exercises which require the use of all of these features. The text that is used is 101 Word Processing Exercises.

Students are assessed on their daily assignments for what they have learned in each unit. Students then have the opportunity to revise their work. After an 18 exercise set is completed proficiency is assessed by giving the student a two page report containing rough draft revisions which incorporate the various word processing features and operations that the student has learned. The student will work on this assessment until they achieve 100% proficiency.

There is always a student intern in the class, usually a student from a prior semester, who works with the students and helps model the various exercises during the lessons. The intern and the teacher also work one on one with the students. Students also bring in work twice weekly from an English class. These assignments contain rough draft revisions and the student is expected to apply the word processing skills that they have learned to their English class assignment. This has always made the process of revision less tedious for the student. They especially enjoy the Spell Check feature of the application program.

The second half of the term is dedicated to Hypercard. Hypercard incorporates text, graphics and sound. The students learn the use of Hypercard tools and menus. They learn how to create various types of fields and how to copy a field from one card and paste it to another. They learn the use of single and multiple backgrounds. They learn the scripting of buttons and the use of visual effects to enhance buttons. They learn how to add clip art to a stack. They use the drawing and pattern tools of the program to create original art work for their stack. They learn how to create motion within a stack.

The student create stacks from the text Hypercard Flying Solo.After they have completed the required number of stacks they are required to create an Autobiography in which they have implemented the various Hypercard features they have learned. The Autobiography is the final project upon which they will be assessed. Assessment is based on appropriate and correct use of language; the. level of creativity; and how effectively they demonstrate their knowledge (within the project) of the skills that they learned in the class. The final step of the Autobiography assessment is the presentation of the Autobiography to a panel of students and teachers. At the end of the class each student is given a hard copy of their Autobiography in book form.