INTRODUCTION to Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Studies Week 1
I wrote this Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Studies Week ; based on the national curriculum in Computer Studies for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria. At the same time, this note follows the major SSCE syllabuses including WAEC and NECO syllabi. There is no point saying that these curriculum/syllabuses are in many wise similar to those for international examinations like IGCSE and the IB. In fact, this note is international content domesticated for the Nigerian students. As such, teachers of students in Nigeria and elsewhere may equally find this helpful.
Particularly, I took into account the major problems and weaknesses of SSCE candidates during Computer Studies final year examinations. And I implemented the lesson-level official recommendations of WAEC /NECO Computer Studies Chief Examiner.
Consequently, if a teacher delivers the lesson using this lesson note; they will equip the students with both state-of-the-art computer skills and knowledge as well for the final year examinations.
To Who Will Teach Using This Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Studies Week 1
Computer Teachers in this modern time must understand that they possess a job whose description is more than that of other subject teachers. The possession of Computer skills is not simply a matter of academic prowess, but a necessary life skill. To the students, it is worth as good as between success and failure.
The true measure of how well you have done your job is not all about their performance in Computer examinations. But are the students truly able to use computer as they should, with necessary ease? Can they perform level-appropriate tasks? Do they demonstrate the right attitude towards the use of computer and related devices?
If you teach Computer to older students (15+), you will soon find out that your job; in addition to others, is to reorient them on the proper use of computing devices. If you teach Computer in less advantaged area where availability is still an issue; your job will include going out of your way to acquire one or two to give them the experience.
You will realize the difficulty of getting (refocusing) the “experienced” to do the needed. You will battle with the apprehensive.
But when against all odds, you do your job successfully, when you equip your students with not only the knowledge to excel in Computer examinations; but they are also able to perform their level-appropriate tasks efficiently with the right attitude; then you will have earned the natural right to the Law of Compensation.
How to develop Lesson Plan from this Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Studies Week 1
I wrote this Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Studies Week 1; in outline of standard lesson plans. However, I advise teachers that want to use this notes for official purpose – i.e. to create their lesson plans which they will submit to their supervisors – to follow this guideline to writing standard lesson plan. To make it faster, click here to get my lesson plan template for N300 only. Or click here to get it from paystack.
REMARK: If you find the terms lesson plan and lesson notes confusing, quickly read this article on their differences.
In preparing this Lesson Note, I consulted the following materials. I highly recommend that you get a copy of the books – I added the link to Amazon to make it easy for you to locate.
Dimitriou, K., & Hatzitaskos, M. (2015). Core Computer Science for the IB Diploma Program (International Baccalaureate). Berkshire, UK: Express Publishing.
Education Resource Centre. (2014/17). Senior Secondary School Teaching Scheme for SSS 1. Federal Capital Territory, Abuja: Education Resource Centre Mini Press.
Nature Portfolio. (n.d.). Electronic devices. Retrieved from Nature: https://www.nature.com/subjects/electronic-devices#:~:text=Definition,into%20packages%20called%20integrated%20circuits.
O’Leary, T. J., O’Leary, L. I., & O’Leary, D. A. (2019). Computing Essentials. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Peda. (n.d.). Introduction to computers: Definition of Terms. Retrieved from Peda: https://peda.net/kenya/ass/subjects2/computer-studies/form-1/itc2/definition-of-terms
Watson, D., & Williams, H. (2015). Cambridge IGCSE Computer Science. London: Hodder Education.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2021, July 8). 21st century skills. Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century_skills#ISTE_/_NETS_performance_standards
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2021, June 7). Computer literacy. Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_literacy
Lesson Note – SSS 1 First Term Computer Science Week 1
Overview of Computer System (Fundamentals of Computing)
At the end of the lesson, the students should have attained the following:
- Define computer and explain the definition of computer
- Identify and differentiate between various forms of computers
- List the uses of computer
- Mention the two major components of Computer System
- List and briefly explain the functional parts of a Computer
- State the Characteristics of Computer
The teacher presents the lesson in order of steps as follows:
Step 1: Introduction (Discussion)
To introduce the lesson, the teacher asks the students if they consider themselves computer literates and why they think thus. There may arise argumentative answers: While some with basic knowledge but without computing skill – or vice versa – may consider themselves computer literate, others will not; thus, leading to a sort of argument.
Subsequently, the teacher groups the students and charges them to discusses what constitutes computer literacy/illiteracy. S/he may also add whether or not and why they think it is necessary for one to be computer literate.
After the teacher has received the students’ presentation, s/he explains computer literacy to them. To do this, the teacher writes/projects the definition on the board/screen. Afterwards, explains the (keywords in the) definition thoroughly:
Meaning of Computer Literacy
Computer Literacy is the current knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently.
Current Knowledge implies that because the requirements that determines computer literacy changes with technology, one must also keep up with the changes to remain computer literate.
Similarly, using computer and related technology efficiently means that to be computer literate; one does not only have to possess the ability to use computer; but also, do so with ease (comfort). That is, computer literacy is also the comfort level with which one is able to use computer and related devices.
Why Students Should Be Computer Literate
The teacher follows the explanation of the meaning of computer literacy with discussion on the need for the students to be computer literate; referencing the P21 framework. Hinging on their responses from the previous exercise; the teacher teaches how we are surrounded by the world of computer – i.e. computer has become part and parcel of almost every aspect of life:
Students Should Be Computer Literate Because It Has Become Part of Human Life
People talk about and use Computers everywhere: at work, at school, and at home. Computers are a primary means of local and global communication for millions to billions of people. Employees keep in touch with clients, students with classmates and teachers, and family with friends and other family members. Below are some of the ways that humans use computer and related technology across different aspect of life.
With computers, society has instant access to information from around the globe. Local, national and international news, weather reports, sports scores, airline schedules, telephone directories, maps and directions, job listings, credit reports, and countless forms of educational material always are accessible.
From the computer, you can make a telephone call, meet new friends, share photos and videos, share opinions, shop, book flights, file taxes, take a course, receive alerts, and automate your home.
Computer in the workplace
In the workplace, employees use computers to create correspondence such as e-mail messages, memos, and letters; manage calendars; calculate payroll; track inventory; and generate invoices. Almost all professionals use computer in one way or another to perform their professional work – bankers, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc. People have lost their jobs due to computer (if necessary, the teacher teaches briefly about technological unemployment).
Teachers use computers to assist with classroom instruction. Students use computers to complete assignments and research. Instead of attending class on campus, some students take entire classes directly from their computer.
People also spend hours of leisure time using a computer. They play games, listen to music or radio broadcasts, watch or compose videos and movies, read books and magazines, share stories, research genealogy, retouch photos, and plan vacations.
Students Should be Computer Literate Because It A 21st Century Skill – that is necessary for Success in the 21st Century Society
After the explanation, the teacher furthers that the advent of computer – the permeability of computer in human lives and in view of how it has changed and keep changing the way we live – have made people, organizations and governments to think of how the future will be – what skill will individuals need to be responsible members of the society? What skill will be required for success?
Coalitions for 21st Century Skills
To answer these and related questions, many people from all over the world – and representing different organizations and governments – come together to form different coalitions. Some of these coalitions include the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, which Nigeria is a part of); Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21, which has a select of the largest tech companies in the world) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
The answers to the questions of the future and technology that these coalitions independently found out is now collectively termed 21st Century Skills. 21st century skills comprise skills, abilities, and learning behaviours that the coalitions have identified as being required for success in 21st century society and workplaces. The most popular of the various list of 21st century skills by different coalitions is the P21 Framework.
The P21 Framework as well as others, identifies Computer (ICT) Literacy as one of the key skills that is will required for success in future. Hence, students need to be computer literate to succeed.
The teacher, having convinced the students of the need for them to be computer literate; reveals that they shall in the week’s lesson begin the journey to computer literacy. Then, the teacher writes/projects the topic on the board and explains the lesson objectives to the students.
Step 2: Definition of Computer
To begin the main the lesson, the teacher notes that the first step towards becoming computer literate is defining computer – to be able to use computer, they have to know what computer is.
Accordingly, the teacher may ask the students’ opinion while noting the keywords. Afterwards, s/he writes/projects/displays the definition of computer and explain thoroughly in as simple terms as possible – as I have suggested below.
Definition of Computer
computer is an electronic device that, under the control of a set of stored instructions, can accept and process data and command, then store and retrieve information.
Explanation of the definition of computer
An electronic is a component for controlling the flow of electrical currents for the purpose of information processing and system control. Common examples include transistors and diodes. Electronic devices are usually small and can be grouped together into packages called Integrated Circuits (ICs).
And a device is any piece of equipment that is made for a particular purpose e.g. pen is a writing device, eraser is a cleaning device, etc.
Therefore, computer as an electronic device means that computer a piece of equipment that function by using and controlling electric current to process information or control other machines/equipment.
Under the control of a set of stored instructions
This means that everything that a computer does is controlled by some existing set of instructions which is stored inside the computer. This set of instructions is called programs or software. The set of instructions (or software) tells the computer what to do and how to do those things. A computer cannot do something for which the software is not stored in it. The students will learn more about software later.
Accept and process data and command
This means two things – first, it means that computers accept data and commands; and second, it means that computers process data and command.
Starting with the first, to accept data and command means that a human being must give the computer data or command before it can work or do something.
Data is what we give or input into the computer to work on. Data include letters (A – Z), numbers (0 -9), pictures, audios (only sound) and videos (sound and moving pictures). The human being operating the computer usually possesses the data outside the computer then uses input devices to put it into the computer.
Command is the directive or line of action that human beings give to computers. Generally, lots of directives are stored inside the computers. So, computers know the meaning of command or directive before human beings give them. Commands include pause, print, play, send, cancel, create, delete, copy, move, etc.
Data and command are often known as inputs.
The second part of accept and process data and command,
which is that computers process data or command means whenever computers receives data or command, it works on them or changes them into what human being would understand. Any work that a computer performs is called a computer process. Computer processes cannot be seen with our eyes because it occurs within the computer.
Store and Retrieve Information
Finally, on definition of computer, it is said that computer store and retrieve information. This means that after processing (working on) the data and commands, computers store the result of the work or process and can also carry this result from the ‘store’ for the user anytime. The result of computer processes is what is known as information.
For the computer to carry information from the store is to retrieve the information. The information that a computer retrieves and gives out to the user on the screen, through the speaker as in audio or on [printed] paper is called output.
Stage Evaluation Questions
Before the teacher continues with the rest of the lesson, s/he assesses the students’ understanding thus far. S/he does this by asking the following questions:
Step 2: Characteristics of Computer
The teacher begins the next step in the lesson with a discussion. S/he does this by asking the following question after the preceding stage evaluation question and giving appropriate feedback to the students:
What do you think made computer and related technology so popular within the short period of its inception?