Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Unit (EQ, UQ, and CQ)

Idea for a unit:
My topic is computer safety and ethics. This includes: viruses, unethical use, illegal use, piracy, copyright violations, negative social issues related to use of the Internet, freeware & shareware, Internet etiquette, computer crimes, fair use laws, and scanned and downloaded artifacts.

Essential Question:
How do you behave?

Unit Question(s):
What ethics do you have on the computer?
Is Big Brother watching you (when you're online)?
Are you safe on a computer?

Content Questions:
1. Identify major causes of work-related accidents in offices.
2. Describe the threat of viruses to a computer network, methods of avoiding attacks, and options in dealing with virus attacks.
3. Identify potential abuse and unethical uses of computers and networks.
4. Explain the consequences of illegal and unethical uses of information technologies.
5. Discuss negative social issues related to use of the Internet.
6. Differentiate between freeware, shareware, and public domain software copyrights.
7. Identify Internet etiquette.
8. Define and discuss computer crimes, terms of use, and legal issues, inlcuding the use of scanned and downloaded artifacts.
9. Describe ethical practices in business professions.
10. Discuss the necessity of safeguarding the confidentiality of business-related information.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How projects provide opportunities for deeper thinking in the classroom.

I think that useful projects are the application of facts and details. Some projects can help to organize the information to make it more visual or to see the relationship of the details to each other. A weak project is for reiterating the facts that were memorized. A good project makes you think about the material and apply it. A powerpoint just puts the details in a nice order with pretty colors and pictures. It doesn't help you to understand the material, and students spend so much time on the prettiness of the slides that they pay little attention to the content. A research project will allow a student to learn facts plus how those facts affect other facts (cause and effect). You find real-life and scenario examples. A project can encourage students to think more about the topic instead of just reading the material. A high level project could help with mastery of the material instead of just memorization. I push for projects that use prior knowledge and apply it to new situations. Group projects don't always help students to understand the material. Some students don't contribute or contribute less than others. You are not able to truly see who does and does not understand the the material. Group projects are not accurate assessments. Doing Powerpoint slides of the materials does allow for students to "handle" and think about the material, but that is like fancy notes. You can have a good Powerpoint and not understand the material. Students could also plagiarize. It depends on the quality of the project assigned.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What thinking skills should I target for my classroom?

I want students to be able to build on and apply the new information that they are learning. I want them to be able to analyze examples for correctness. I want them to be able to put all of the information together. I really want for students to understand and buy into the fact that they will use what they are being taught later in life, either as a high schooler, as a college student, as an employee, or as a citizen (application). I want students to be able to evaluate/proofread their finished product for accuracy.