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Module One Syllabus

by Dr. William L. Honig last modified 2005-09-09 11:34 AM

Course Syllabus and Usage Ideas

Module One – Where and What Do I Do with Computers?

Description

Evoke Career and Callings module for use in introductory computer science or other science courses. Designed for use mid in semester, ideally week 6 to 8 of the semester. Module is intended for approximately 105 minutes of class time, but may be adjusted.

May be used earlier in semester but students need to have some prior knowledge of basic computer systems and/or programming. Otherwise they will not be able to see how different some of the examples used here are from what they now know.

Purpose

Introduce students to the wide role of computers (and hence careers) in the world today. Survey some passionate people who work with computers and let students see both the variety and excitement of the field. Allow understanding that computers are more than just applications that run on a personal computer.

Outline

  1. (10 min) Play “Where’s the Computer”. Set of pictures of common devices, signs, tools, appliances, games, vending machines. Identify those that have computers inside, discuss what the computer does.
  2. (15 min) Lecture – “How did the computer get there?” Introduction to computer programming careers and types of jobs.
  3. (10 min) Video – Teen Day. Shows typical day of teenagers using phones, toys, shopping. Students watch and identify things with computers and what the program is possibly doing that makes things “work”.
  4. (15 min) Class Discussion (whole or smaller groups) – What did I see in the video being done by computers? What was interesting or intriguing to me? What made me wonder how it was done?
  5. (5 min) Introduce homework assignment – Wouldn’t it be cool if a thing I use today could be smarter? (possible class session break point)
  6. (5 min) Group Comparison – What thing would I like to make smarter (by having an intelligent computer inside)? Compare what items class identified in the homework.
  7. (20 min) Lecture – High Profile Computer People. Background and pictures of world leaders in computer professions covering wide range of companies and organizations. Draw examples from all 6 continents.
  8. (15 min) Game – Let’s Play Computer - in class simulation of computer processing a program. Students play the various parts of the computer or individual programs.
  9. (10 min) Wrap-Up Work – What are the kind of things you might like to teach a computer to do? What would you like to know more about in how computers do these kind of things? (Results to be turned in for follow-up in later modules).
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