Computer Applications Technology
WHAT IS COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY?
Computer Applications Technology is a new subject. It originates from and is a subset of the broader knowledge domain of Information and Communication Technologies (I.C.T.’s). I.C.T.’s are the combination of networks, hardware and software as well as the means of communication, collaboration and engagement that enable the processing, management and exchange of data, information and knowledge.
I.C.T.’s develop and change rapidly, and as a knowledge domain include the following broad knowledge categories that impact on Computer Application Technology:
* Personal computer hardware and software;
* Networked environments;
* Use of I.C.T.’s to solve problems;
* Impact of I.C.T.’s on society;
and to a lesser extent
* Cellphone technology; and
* Video, audio, radio and other digital technologies.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY?
This is a problem solving subject developing higher order thinking skills.
Computer Applications Technology is learning about I.C.T.’s and working with I.C.T.’s and is introduced to teach learners:
* Technology skills – the ability to use the facilities of technology in an end-user environment and operate it purposefully and effectively.
* Information skills – the ability to access, retrieve, store, organise, manipulate, evaluate, maintain, analyse, interpret, present and communicate information, as well as
using I.C.T.’s to process information.
* Problem-solving skills – the application of an authentic methodology for solving problems in an irregular range of cases.
* Creative skills – the ability to design, develop and produce creative and elegant solutions.
* Collaborative skills – the ability to develop multi-facetted and multi-levelled systems through collaborative teamwork; and
* Lifelong learning skills – the ability to achieve and maintain the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required in a dynamic knowledge domain.
PROFILE OF A COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY LEARNER
ENTERING THE FURTHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING BAND
Learners who wish to study computer applications and their uses in a variety of situations are encouraged to take Computer Applications Technology.
The C.A.T. learner should demonstrate the following qualities to excel in the subject:
* Sound communication skills
* Language proficiency
* Fine motor skills
* Logical and practical thinking skills
* Problem-solving skills
* Visual literacy
* A willingness to learn and apply skills in different situations
* A willingness to engage in lifelong learning
* Higher order thinking skills
The Learning Outcomes for C.A.T. have strong links with all Learning Areas e.g. Technology, Economic Management Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Natural Sciences, Arts and Culture.
Computer Applications Technology envisages that learners at the end of the Further Education and Training Band that will be able to:
* Demonstrate a knowledge of relevant computer hardware, software and wide area network environments.
* Demonstrate an understanding of trouble shooting, simple, end-user, computer-related hardware and software problems.
* Adequately manipulate files and folders.
* Identify, describe and illustrate legal, ethical and security issues related to information technology.
* Identify, discuss, value and illustrate issues related to the impact of I.C.T.’s on the environment and society in a global context.
* Apply productive methods, procedures and techniques to accurately input data.
* Apply advanced word processing techniques in various contexts.
* Apply knowledge and skills of a spreadsheet programme in various contexts.
* Apply knowledge and skills of a database programme in various contexts.
* Apply knowledge and skills in various contexts by using any end-user computer application programme other than
word processing, spreadsheet or database programmes.
* Apply logical thinking to respond to challenges in a variety of contexts in the end-user computer application environment using techniques of integration.
* Interpret written and electronic layout and editing instructions to produce accurate output in a competent fashion.
* Communicate information effectively by selecting and using appropriate communication modes and tools.
* Make informed decisions in the data collection process.
* Apply logical thinking skills when processing information.
* Formulate responses and present and communicate information in a professional fashion.
The content of Computer Applications Technology encourages the development of creativity, critical thinking, research skills, and reading proficiency and interpretational skills.
Learners need to follow instructions correctly and lay emphasis on correct techniques in the application of functions. They need to be encouraged to:
* use existing templates and designs available in off-the-shelf programmes.
* develop custom-made templates.
* use automatic functions to enhance efficiency.
* use a range of documents and applications to present information in a user-friendly way.
* develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Teachers will carefully consider learning and teaching support materials and select research projects that encourage learners to get involved in current socio-economic issues, such as HIV/Aids and poverty alleviation.
Computer Applications Technology will follow an instructional model, e.g. being responsive to student needs and requests, construct meaning and provide meaningful activities and experiences.