Project 1: Using the World Wide Web and the Internet to Enhance the Communications Technology 2104 Curriculum

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Lead Teacher:David Warren
(dwarren@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
Grade Level:Level II and III students of Communications Technology 2104
Number of Students9
Project Start and Finish Dates:Course is offered in second semester of the 1996-97 school year. Internet resources will be used throughout the semester in researching various topics, but usage will focus on the period of mid February to mid March when students will study the networking component of the course, unit 3.

  Project Overview

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.

  Curriculum Connections

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:

     Students could be setup as "keypals" with other students from around the province
       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
       electronically. For example, a fair portion of the communications 2104 course is
       devoted to desktop publishing. Students are taught to develop concepts of page
       layout, balance and graphic design. While these concepts are certainly applicable to
       conventional "paper" publishing, they apply as well to information published
       electronically. Students should be given exposure to proper layout of web pages as
       well as using software to create their design ideas in an HTML format which can be
       displayed to the World Wide Web.

     A portion of the communications technology course is devoted to audio
       communications. Within this time block, students will study and work with both analog
       (tape recorders etc.) and digital (computerized) audio. A microphone and sound card
       will allow students to capture, edit and mix digital sounds and speech. The results can
       be played back through the local computer, or they could be sent as an attachment to
       an e-mail to a student in another school. This would serve as an extension of the
       "keypal" experience described above. Further, several packages (such as Internet
       Voice Mail by Vocaltec) make composing and sending of text/voice messages very
       straightforward.

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.

  Resource Connections

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.

  Evaluation

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
   in industry and the workplace.

 students must demonstrate the ability and willingness to initiate his/her work and to work
   independently without supervisory help.

 students must demonstrate a willingness to get the job done and to be conscious of time on
   tasks.

 students must be able to work cooperatively with other members of the team and to desire to
   achieve higher standards for a common group goal.

 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
   project work.

 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
              Formal:  deliberately for a specific purpose and needs to be done
                      systematically and regularly.

 Student-teacher interviews

 Projects

 Presentations

 Work samples

 Peer Evaluation

STELLAR Schools footer
home Previous Page