Project 3: 1100 Computer-Connection
St. James' Junior High now offers high school credits in computers. It is the goal to improve students' familiarization with computers and ensure that upon leaving our school they are computer literate. To enhance this, the students will browse the World Wide Web to find computer companies with more than 100 employees. When 25 companies have been found, students will try to find a contact person with the company to whom correspondence can be sent using E-mail. A questionnaire will be sent to these individuals asking such questions as:
The questionnaire would have more questions, but they will come from student input. The students will be looking for information which they easily compile using a spreadsheet and a database. Upon collecting this information, the students will assemble a brief report of their results and provide a written summary using a word processor.
In analysing the data returned from the computer companies, some basic statistical analysis will be necessary. Mean, median, and mode of such things as salary, hours worked, number of employees, etc. will be calculated. In addition, the ability to represent data on a graph accurately will be a necessity.
Once the data has been analysed, the students will disseminate the results to others. A brief summary of the results will be written and presented orally.
To effectively record the data, the students will use a spreadsheet, database and word processor.
Initially, word processing will be used to draw up the questionnaire. Once the questionnaires are completed and returned, the information will be compiled using a spreadsheet and database. Using the three main components of Computers 1100, the students will be using up-to-date information which they have collected and get further practice using some of the applications in the course. This fits in well with curriculum plans of the school because we are incorporating relevant applications to help students direct their own learning. The teacher becomes the facilitator in the classroom as opposed to the disseminator of the information. As students are involved in the learning process, the material will be more relevant.
Technology Education Learning Outcomes
The project also addresses the intended learning outcomes for Technology Education at the Intermediate level. These include:
The school has continued to improve its computer lab to the stage where we have a computer network and once the school becomes a stellar school we will have simultaneous access to the Internet on many machines. This will be a tremendous change from the current situation with one computer with Internet access. Without having multiple connections to the Internet, this project would be very difficult to complete. First of all, availability of on-line time will be limited and students will be frustrated waiting to get access.
This Stellar school's Internet connection will vastly decrease the amount of time necessary to fulfill the project's objectives. Thus, the time frame is very realistic and would maintain student interest in the project.
Other resources that will assist with this project are CD-ROM encyclopedias to provide a list of some companies that might have more than 100 employees and the local human resources office that will provide a list of large computer companies.
Use a spreadsheet to present appropriate information.
Students searched the Internet for e-mail addresses of computer companies. Once found, contact was made and they were asked to answer a short survey. The survey consisted of such things as number of employees, software used, education requirements expected for employment, expected salary, and what the future will hold for computers. The students then wrote a report on there findings and then present them to the class.
Two Grade Nine computer classes took on this project. Each class! found more then fifty e-mail addresses. The class attempted to make contact with each company through the e-mail addresses found. The first contact was in the form of a short e-mail, asking if they would answer a few questions. Of all the e-mall sent, each class only received a reply from one computer company, this was very discouraging to the students. A survey was forwarded, the 91 data was organized, the report was written and the results presented.
Students really enjoyed the project and the opportunity to learn more of the World Wide Web. They enjoyed being involved in the project from the development of the survey to presenting the results.
The only set back to this project, besides the lack of respondence, was the speed of the Internet. If a similar project is to be carried out in the future the response time for our students will have to addressed.