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Middle School Information Technology (IT)
(Mr. Okeefe Charles)
The Information Technology and Computer Science department would like to offer a warm welcome to the entire SIS community for the new academic year. We are looking forward to having another productive year of teaching and learning despite the change in our usual mode of learning from in the classroom to online.
During the online learning process we provide synchronous and asynchronous lessons for students with the majority of our lessons being synchronous lessons so that teachers can have more face to face classes. All IT and Computer Science synchronous lessons are done using Google Meet since it provides a constant link that allows students to gain access to the live lessons through Google Classroom and they can also gain access to the resources for the lessons from Google Classroom as well.
At the beginning of the year our 6th grade students were introduced to Computer Science through the unit Computer Hardware. The computer hardware unit is designed to teach students what a computer system is, the various components of a computer system and their purposes. Students also learn about the purpose of the CPU, RAM, Hard Drive and I/O devices and how they all function together and the function of the CPU, including the fetch, decode, execute cycle. The unit is designed to give students a greater understanding of the devices that they used for their online learning.
7th graders on the other hand were introduced to computer programming using Scratch. Scratch is a block-based visual programming language and website targeted primarily at children. Users of the site can create online projects using a block-like interface. The service is developed by the MIT Media Lab, has been translated into 70+ languages, and is used in most parts of the world. The work that we covered in this topic introduced students to programming inputs, variable storage, outputs, sequencing and selection.
Grade 8 students are currently focused on creating websites using HTML and CSS. Both programming languages are seen as the structure and the backbone of web development. With HTML students learn how to add text, images and hyperlinks, plus formatting techniques including fonts, text size and alignment. While in learning CSS students will understand how to better present their webpages. They will learn how to add gradient backgrounds, add page borders, curve images and re-organize content on the page with the help of DIV tags.
In closing I would like to say that this is my first year at SIS but I have had over 22 years of experience teaching IT and Computer Science with six years on the international scene and I can honestly say that students at SIS are the best group of students that I’ve ever worked with. Based on what I’ve seen so far I am convinced that this year will be an exciting and productive one despite all the challenges that we might face.
High School Music
The new school year has been running for nearly four weeks and we have been continuing to use online learning here at SIS. In the High School Band class, students have been learning the mechanics of playing instruments. In addition to this learning, the class has been required to master skills in competent IT.
There are two types of learning practiced during online classes; namely synchronous and asynchronous classes. In synchronous class, students do face to face with the teacher via zoom. In High School Band, students are able to receive instructions with the learning of instruments. The class has been enjoying this style of learning in the lessons.
In asynchronous lessons, tutorial videos or other materials needed for students to study independently are sent via Google Classroom. Students can interact with the teacher via email or Google Classroom during asynchronous learning. These lessons enable students to work at their own pace with their music skill development.
Band class is a performing art and is a practical subject. Even though online learning has its challenges for Music, there are still many opportunities for students to perform and to show their best skills with the playing of musical instruments.