Project 1: Using the World Wide Web and the Internet to Enhance the Communications Technology 2104 Curriculum
Communications Technology 2104 is a course which explores various methods that are used for communications. Emphasis varies from person-to-person communications, person-to-machine communications and machine-to-machine communications. Internet connectivity can provide a good example of the later two of these modes: Students can study the technical requirements and setup needed for separate computer workstations to communicate, both on a local area network as well as on the broader internet. Further, students will study the various communications protocols needed to allow the many and varied computers that comprise the internet to communicate and exchange information with one another. Students will be presented with a person-to-machine mode of communications as they learn how to operate various software to setup, monitor and maintain computers on a local area network and how to control several types of software (gopher, FTP, web browsing, e-mail) to allow their ideas to be communicated via the computers of the internet.
Internet connectivity and resources would seem to have a natural link with a communications technology course. In fact, a major portion of the course is devoted to computer networking (unit III). While the curriculum guide devotes much of the unit's work to network terms and concepts and local area network (LAN) functionality and usage, it is important that the difference between local networks and the internet be stressed. Further, the curriculum guide requires that students gain experience with internet tools such as on and off-line mail reading, using newsgroups and performing web searches and browsing. None of this would be possible, in any meaningful way, without a reliable, available internet connection which would provide students with time to individually use and explore internet resources.
Other than the formal requirements of the networking curriculum, internet access could be very beneficial in other ways, and at other points in the course:
who are enrolled in the same course. This would provide a means to share
information, ideas and experiences through e-mail exchange.
Students could work jointly on small group projects. The results could be shared
A portion of the communications technology course is devoted to audio
Note: While this project specifically addresses using the Internet to enhance the Communication Technology curriculum, Internet access could also be used to enhance other computer / technology courses. Specifically, computes 1100 and 2100 have the options for elective units. An overview of the internet and web browsing would make for excellent units of study.
Internet access is an essential resource to complete the curriculum requirements of the Communications Technology 2104 course. Connectivity costs are high and without the connection which is to be provided by the STELLAR Schools initiative, student access would be practically non- existent. STELLAR schools will serve as a resource which will allow students to have individual, long-term Internet use.
Other than the Internet connection provided by STELLAR Schools, other resources are required for this project. Specifically: Access to, and usage of, the school's LAN which is running Novell Netware 4.1. Various print/text references. Rather than provide a detailed list of these resources here, I will refer to the listing contained within the Department of Education's Curriculum/teaching Guide for Communications Technology 2104/3104. More specifically, reference is made to pages 13-14 of the guide and to Unit III of the 2104 course.
As this project is tied directly to the prescribed curriculum for a senior high course, the criteria for evaluation of student achievement are also prescribed. A detailed discussion of evaluation for Communications Technology is provided in the above-referenced guide on pages 26-28. The following evaluation practices will guide the student evaluation for this project:
students must have an understanding of the technological and strategic changes taking place
students must demonstrate the ability and willingness to initiate his/her work and to work
students must demonstrate a willingness to get the job done and to be conscious of time on
students must be able to work cooperatively with other members of the team and to desire to
students must demonstrate an appropriate level of research.
students must be able to identify a range of possible solutions to given problems.
students must demonstrate an appropriate level of technical quality and technical skill in
students must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the communications process.
Evidence of student achievement in this project (as well as with the course overall) can be obtained by measuring student performance on a range of tasks. Sources of evaluation data include:
Observations: Informal: conducted discretely during independent student activity