This course builds on your experience in Computer Literacy 1 last year to explore more advanced topics in computer technology, research and teamwork, as we put your knowledge of computers and communications to work in areas related to your other studies at Uni High. The main activity will be a group project that you design, research, and present to the rest of the class using the computer software and techniques we have covered. Therefore, your ability to organize your work, cooperate with others in your group, and teach and learn from each other will be important to your success in this course.
As before, much of the day-to-day communications in this course will be conducted via electronic mail. You are expected to check your e-mail daily for announcements and assignments.
We will spend more than half of all class days working in small groups on the major semester project. However, during the first few weeks, we will also have traditional class sessions and assignments covering the following areas:
- Advanced HTML and other World-Wide Web authoring topics
- Advanced desktop publishing, presentation software and graphics
- Audio and video production and editing
- Doing research on the Web and in the library
- Ethical and intellectual property issues in the use of computer technology
Within the first weeks of the semester, we will assign you to teams of two or three students, and your team will choose a topic for your major project. During the last two weeks of the semester, you will make a 10 – 15 minute presentation about your project to the rest of the class. These projects are “research and development” exercises that will require you to find information about a subject of your choice, or use computer technology to complete a creative work like a computer program, a piece of music, or graphic design, then produce a paper, web site or multimedia presentation to share it with the class. The subject need not concern computer technology directly. We encourage you to choose your topic based on your individual interests or activities in other classes. How you do this project – your ability to work together in a team, organize your time and activities, and learn from the experience – is more important than what you choose to work on. However, all projects must demonstrate your mastery of the computer techniques you used to produce them and display evidence of teamwork, creativity and high ethical standards. The largest part of your project grade is based on the progress reports you will prepare and submit each week. We will use a web-based discussion board to submit progress reports and give you feedback on your work. One member of the teaching team will be assigned to each group as the main contact for giving advice and feedback, finding resources and helping as a mentor and coach to get your project completed successfully.
The two computer laboratories in rooms 113 (Mac lab) and 314 (Windows lab), as well as the Uni High library, are available to students working on projects for this class. If you need access to special equipment or software, you must make arrangements for them, but we will try to help you identify outside resources you can use when possible.
Because of the size of the computer labs, and the number of machines available, we will sometimes divide the class into two groups during the first five weeks of the semester. Half the students will meet in room 314 and half in room 113. The entire class will meet together in room 210 for some lecture and discussion sessions.
There is a web-based calendar that shows which room you should go to each day, and includes a brief description of the subjects we will be covering. Please check it frequently. From the main Uni High web page (http://www.uni.illinois.edu), click on Calendar, then Class Calendars to reach it. A paper calendar is also posted on the door of room 314, and we’ll hand out printed copies from time to time. Make sure you check these frequently.
There is no required text for this course.
All students must have a University Laboratory High School Computer Usage Agreement signed and filed in the main office before they can be issued computer accounts for this course.
Your grade will be based on a combination of homework, project and quiz scores. There are no lengthy in-class exams or final examination in this course, but there may be quizzes (announced or unannounced) covering specific topics in the first few weeks..
Time will be allocated in class to complete most of the homework required for this course. You should expect that the major project will require considerable time outside of class. We expect that students will have a Windows or Macintosh computer with Internet access at home. Students without network access from home should talk to the teachers to make special arrangements to complete all the assignments.
This course requires that you be well organized and ready to work when you come to class. Please keep a notebook for the assignments from this class, and be ready to take notes and write down assignments when they are given during class. You must bring note-taking materials to every class, and write down the important points covered in class discussions and lectures. (You may be quizzed over this material, as well as the readings and projects!)
The teachers are all available to help with any kind of problems you may be having with this course. Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment or drop by our offices whenever you feel you need some assistance. We’re all here to learn together, and want to stay in touch with you and find out how you’re doing.