Computer Technology                                           Course Outline                            Dave Mulkey, Oct 2016

Student Background

There will be a large range of skills and experience among the students.  We structure lessons to be accessible to the less skilled students, but still interesting and valuable for the more experienced students. We assume that virtually all the students have some familiarity with computers and basic computer usage, so this is not a "beginners" course.  Less experienced students must seek individual help from the teacher to ensure their success.  

Student Needs

The major needs of the students are to develop skills and understanding to enable them to use computers and IT tools effectively and successfully.  That includes the following areas:


Instruction will be activity-centered.  A typical lesson starts with a brief explanation or demonstration, accompanied by web-based instructions, then followed by ample time for the students to perform the required task(s).  Lessons include both practical products and theoretical/vocabulary expectations.

Lessons are task-oriented, not tool-oriented. For example, rather than learning a long list of word-processor features, that might be useful "sometime in the future", the students are given a task to perform (e.g. produce a flyer for a concert) and must learn the features connected with that task.

Some lessons will require group-work, but most work should be individual.  The teacher spends significant time giving individual help and advice to students, and relatively little time giving lectures to the entire class.

A typical topic should require 2 or 3 lessons - an explanation during the first class, then a quick review and reminder with more working time during further classes.  Most topics will produce a project to be graded - a few topoics will end with written tests or a task to perform in limited time.


  1. Students are expected to maintain a positive, cooperative, productive attitude at all times.  When they encounter difficulties or obstacles, they should ask questions to avoid wasting time.  
  2. Students need to attend class every day, as the practical work may not be appropriate as a "take-home" exercise.  The teacher presents demonstrations (lectures) almost every day - it is difficult for students to "make-up" missed lectures.  Frequent absences usually result in poorer achievement.
  3. Students may discuss assignments with other students and help each other, but they must not copy work from other students.  Practical work must represent the personal work of each individual student (except in teamwork assignments).
  4. Students must use computer equipment responsibly - this includes avoiding dangerous behavior which might damage the hardware or corrupt the software.
  5. Students are responsible for saving their work frequently, and making backup copies of all work.  Lost work must be redone for credit.


Assessment should focus on the following:

This table shows suggested criteria for marks in these areas.  Some topics might not be marked in all these areas.


Completion of Task(s)

Quality of Product

Effective Skills 
and Habits

Recall and Use of
Vocabulary and Facts


Completed quickly, correctly and easily

Innovative, creative, or highly efficient

Uses skills beyond the standard skills

Always recalls and uses relevant vocabulary and facts correctly


Completed and submitted without delay

Product is correct and efficient, showing thorough attention to detail

Uses standard skills with no errors

Usually uses relevant vocabulary and facts correctly


Completed with some delay or difficulty, or with minor defects

Product is adequate with only a few missing or incorrect details. 

Standard skills are used with few errors

Often recalls and uses relevant vocabulary and facts correctly


Mostly complete, with noticeable defects, or with moderate delay

Largely satisfactory, with many missing or incorrect details

Standard skills are used with some errors

Attempts to use relevant facts and vocabulary,  but makes occasional errors


Only part of the task is complete, or contains numerous defects

Not satisfactory, containing numerous or large defects

Standard skills are used, but with many errors on routine tasks

Often attempts to use relevant vocabulary and facts but makes frequent errors


Only a small part is complete, or it took far too long

Few parts of the product are satisfactory

Few standard skills are used successfully

Rarely succeeds in recalling and using relevant vocabulary and facts


Turned in but almost nothing completed

Turned in but none of the parts are acceptable
No evidence of successful use of standard skills No evidence or no attempt to recall and use relevant vocabulary and facts


Nothing was completed

Nothing was completed

Nothing was completed

Nothing was completed


The topics for this course should support the goals associated with students needs (above).  The topics are multi-faceted rather than highly specific.  Basic skills are repeated and reinforced in various topics.  Topics should be accessible to the less skilled students, but still interesting for the highly skilled students.

We must acknowledge the growing importance of the Internet and communication uses of computers, and the reduction in importance of more technical and mathematical uses and skills.  We must also accept that rapid innovation in the computer industry, along with technical issues, will require frequent changes in the curriculum of this course.  Teachers and students will be solicited for suggested topics.  So this list of topics will always be provisional and should be viewed only as suggestions, to be altered later.  The order is only suggestive and will change each year, keeping up with changes in the computer industry.

Understanding Concepts

Using Tools

Sample Units

 Web-Page Authoring
      Basic components (text, boxes)
      Java-Script for simple DHTML
      HTML code - simple modifications
WYSIWYG Web Editor(s)
Web-Builder for graphic design and dynamic pages
     PageBreeze (or similar) for HTML + preview

Collecting Links
Rollovers and Image Links
Slide Show Hawaii
Hide and Show
Active Web-page with JS
Headline Page
Sample Student Pages

      Searching - search terms, boolean
      Extras - converting units....
Google and Google Tools

Google Searches
Google Tools
Google Sites

Internet Concepts
How web-servers work
    Bandwidth, DSL vs Modems
    Ethical/legal issues

Internet Tools
Using a web-editor to make web-pages
    Uploading web-pages to a server
    Patching web-pages with an HTML editor
    Searching with Google and others
    Downloading softwareUsing online tools
      (Google Earth, Writely, photo sharing sites, ...)
    Making a PDF file from MS Word

Ethical Issues
Techy Details
Future Developments
Better Internet
Electronic Portfolio

Graphics Concepts

     Vocabulary - pixel, resolution,
       color depth, mixing colors, etc.

Graphics Tools
Image processing with Paint Shop Pro
    Simple animations (in web-pages)
    Drawing with Open Office (or similar)
    Diagrams in MS Word 

GIF Animations
Diagrams in MS Word 
Paint Shop Pro - Various

Scripting and Automation
What is a program?
    What is a script?
    What do programmers and software
       developers do and how?
    How do technicians automate things

Scripting and Automation Tools
    Making interactive web-pages (Java Script)
        including DHTML movement
    Simple Video Games (Blitz Basic)
    Recording Macros in MS Word
    Setting up efficient options in various
          software applications (work faster)
    Scheduling processes in Windows
    FLASH Animations and Web Pages

Drawing in Blitz Basic
Snowball Fight in Blitz
Survive in Blitz
Pizza Quiz
Student Samples DHTML
Flash Animation Intro
Flash Page
Flash Ads
Flash Banner Ad for Country
3D Title

What can you do with a word-proc.?
     What shouldn't you do with a WP?
     Choosing the best tools

    Printing posters, printing business cards
    Making signs for the school / activities 
Desktop Publishing – make a newsletter
        using MS Word or equivalent tool,
        but with columns and box layout
    Math graphing tools + equation editor
        - type math problems/worksheet
    Charts and statistics with a spreadsheet
        - analyze and present data/statistics

Tiny Schedule

Business Cards
Making Signs for School
Best Thing Flyer

Computer Tools for Math
Why Are Spreadsheets Popular? 
Visualizing Data
Typing Math

Touch Typing

Home/Consumer Electronics
How to read an advertisement
     How to choose the right device
     What is possible, what’s not

Home/Consumer Electronics
Digital cameras,  Scanners, Cell phones,
      Web-connections,  memory cards
      MP3 players,  CD Burners

Memory - Digicams, etc
Follow the Data
Ubiquitous Future
Practice for Vocab Test

Technical Vocabulary
        HTML, HTTP, etc........

     How to protect your data

     How to schedule backups

Technical Tools
Encryption tools for text and e-mail
      Installing/uninstalling software
      Compression (.zip archives)
      Disk-defragmenter and clean-up
      Registry editor
      Repairing defective Windows installation
      Hard drive partitions
      External storage (USB Stick, hard drive)

Tech Tips
Tech Quiz
Using Linux Live CD 

FIS Intranet Concepts
What servers do we have?
     How do the connections function?
     Security, safety   
     How do other intranets differ ?

FIS Intranet Tools
Logging in, changing password
      Where can you store your work?
      Connecting and using printers
      Connecting to school from home

Good Habits

     How can we use computers to support
       activities and/or projects in the schooll?

Various Tools
      Use various tools in a coordinated fashion
      Work in small groups
      Divide the work to be efficient and productive

Web-site Design for Activites
  more items will be added as time permits