User:Jwmh/Class Drafts

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Revision as of 07:41, 13 February 2013 by Jwmh (talk | contribs) (added Overview(draft) -- incl. addit'l thoughts -- also minor syntax corrections (/ol))
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Class Proposal: "Living in a Technology World"

This is a draft proposal for the class, "Living in a Technology World"
(title suggested by Darren - User:Dheiber).

The idea for this class came from me, Joseph Herbert (User:Jwmh).

The basic premises are as follows:
- What separates a "computer person" from a "non-computer person"? (note: these are usually self-identified)

Overview (draft)

As I continue to reflect, it occurs to me that this can(should?) be split into three (3) sections, another way:

  • i. Hardware
  • ii. Software Concepts (Non-UI)
  • iii. Software Visualization & Interaction (UI)

Number 2 would include things like the filesystem: Files, Folders, and Applications; etc.
Number 3 would be how you go about interacting with it.

But, eh... how to describe certain concepts without showing what they look like?
And really, wouldn't the Login window (visual UI) come before other concepts...???

Or maybe it does make sense to teach concepts first, then show what they look like??
If so, then... is it worthwhile to halt visual learning, to go back to discuss abstract concepts about files/folders, and *then* show what they look like? (I really think the concept of this should be demonstrated with books, first....)

Volume I: Familiarization with the interface

[or, "Getting to know the basics"]

This should entail only the *bare necessities* for operating a computer:

  • physical care - heat=bad, liquid=bad, grounded surge protector = good, etc. (is this really "necessary"?)
  • poweron / login / poweroff
  • using the keyboard and mouse
  • understanding the folders, files, and applications

Note that this doesn't cover the use of any specific applications (such as a web browser or a word processor), but rather familiarization w/ the interface as a whole.

    • NB: currently this below content seems only applicable to the WIMP / Desktop model. Is this appropriate? (initial instinct is to respond, "yes, and necessary, at least in present-day").

However, how do we expand / generalize for smartphones? ... The usual case for teaching abstractions is, Start with specific cases, then the rest (generalized) can follow. So may not be possible to teach 'only' the abstract (which we knew as soon as we started talking about UI conventions:windows/menus/etc, didn't we?).


  1. Module: power/electric/heat (howto turn on; do's/don'ts)
  2. Module: hooking up a computer
  3. Module: hardware interface (mouse and keyboard)
    • get Mac keyboard/mouse also

Software (UI)

  1. Module: (UI) Login screen
  2. Module: UI desktop (environment - default at login)

Module 7: Extras: Status bars, Workspaces ("a second window to look thru"??)

(Interacting w/ the computer)

Parts of a UI:

  • windows
  • menus
  • status bar

Volume II - Beyond the Basics: Knowing How to Explore

(even if you don't know what you're looking for) [or, "Section 2: Getting savvy"]

Okay, this is where it gets tricky, and I'm not sure what it Section 2 vs Section 3.

  • How do you know what to look for?
  • How do you go about finding it?
    • what are we even talking about; what does "it" cover here?
  • Difference between "exploring" vs "changing"
  • How do you make changes?
    • How do you do so safely?

Section 3: Getting savvy - making changes

um. basics of making changes?

right-clicking fits in here somewhere

  • locating & changing -- settings (OS) + settings (applications)

Volume III - How to deal with unexpected behavior

[or, Section 4: solving problems; basic 'troubleshooting'] (assuming something is not actually 'broken' as req's fixing by a technician..(?)

(editor shortcut; stays at bottom)