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January/February 2015

From the ICT Desk


Welcome to 2015! With the new quarter right around the corner, we have some great things
in store for ICT this January and February. But first, lets take a look back

December, all ICT students participated in the Hour of Code, a global


event that introduces students to basic coding concepts. I saw plenty of
enthusiasm in the lab (videos on our class website soon), and a number of
students worked through the tutorials at home. I encourage everyone
even grown-ups at home to check out the free resources offered at
code.org. Theyre available year-round.

As for this month, students in Grades 4 to 7 will continue to work towards mastery of
keyboarding skills. In November, students showed a solid understanding and use of the home
row technique. Now in January, using the baselines they established in November, students
will work towards setting and meeting goals in speed and accuracy. The keyboarding
program on learning.com is available to students anywhere with an internet connection.

As I expressed in the previous newsletter, please encourage your students at home to use
home row for all typing, with the exception of iPods and smart phones, of course! As I often
say in class, practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. Also, please
ensure your student completes all the keyboarding tutorials by Friday, 9 December, right
up to the activity entitled Keyboarding Drill. Ideally, all students will be regularly
practicing on the Prescriptive Keyboarding module when we start the new quarter on
Monday the 12th.

Grade 8 will start a new unit on aeseducation.com titled Microsoft Word, Jedi Level.
Our goal in this unit is not just to learn how to use Word and similar word processing
programs, but to be smarter than most adults with the software! AESs modules are used in
schools all over the world to train students up for Microsoft certification, an accreditation
which looks pretty darned good on a resume when youre 14 years old!

We start off with the basics, identifying different parts of the Ribbon and some of the
commonly used tools and tricks. Then we kick it into high gear, exploring the advanced
features that everyday users see on Word, but never bother to learn. There will be a practical
component, where students apply what theyve learned. At the end of unit, students reflect
on what they learned. They will complete projects in and outside of school with precision,
beauty, and speed like never before!

8th Grade Honors will start a new Unit of Inquiry, but this one will focus on
Problem-Based Learning. Essentially, students will identify an problem that exists, and
formulate a technology-based solution. More details to be announced later.
January/February 2015

The Middle School Gifted-Talented group starts this Friday. We will do one of
five modules provided by the good people at Google CS. The modules are designed to give
students practice using technology in real-world applications. Choices include Game Design,
Art, Fashion & Design, Music & Sound, and Storytelling. The students vote today, so well see
what develops in the weeks ahead! Additional details may be found at www.cs-first.com.

Any students who wish to earn extra credit may complete a Timeline Project. Its fairly
simple students should do a bit of research on a person, invention, event, or concept that
progressed the world of Information,
Communications, or Technology
(ICT, get it?). On an unlined sheet
of paper, they will create an entry
for the timeline we have in the ICT
Lab. The entry should include:

- A title, as well as the date(s) of the


person, invention, event, or concept.
These details should be nice and big
on the page so theyre easy to read at a
glance.

- A few paraphrased details, showing


what was learned from the research.

- A drawing that helps to explain the

- Full color, as little white space as


possible.

See the example above for a better idea of what A+ extra credit work looks like.

As always, the ICT Lab is open to students on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 3:15 to
3:45. Study hall students may also come in during their study hall time, with permission
from their study hall teacher. Please let me know ahead of time if your child plans to drop in
that way Ill know to be here!

The main deadline to know right now is Friday, 9 January 2014. By this end-of-quarter date, I
need:

Completed keyboarding tutorials and Keyboarding Drill (G 4-7)


Final Project to be presented for Unit of Inquiry (G 8 Honors)
Any extra credit assignments or back work (all students)

Thank you for all you do in your support at home.

Sincerely,

Sam Campeau
ICT Instructor,
Spartanburg Prep School