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Technology I

Course Overview

This semester-long computer technology course is designed to give students a broad overview into the current state of computer technology. This class will largely focus on three topics; HTML/CSS coding, current topics in computer science, and active coding principles. The students will be learning HTML through class work and through the StudioWeb program, culminating in them designing their own webpage. They will be asked to discuss specific computer topics like Internet privacy in class, and will be asked to present new information on these subjects to the class in short form class presentations. They will be working through portions of a Blockly based code tutorial in order to learn active coding and scripting principles. At the end of the course a successful student will have gained an understanding of web design, will be able to demonstrate basic grasp on programming techniques like loops, conditionals, and functions, and will come out better able to look at and evaluate a technology on their own.

Course Content

Unit 1: HTML

In this unit students will be learning the fundamentals of HTML5. They will be introduced to definitions, some of the history, and the tools necessary for the HTML portion of the course. They will learn what a tag defines, the basic HTML tags they will be using on any webpage, and the rules to how tags are properly formatted. They will go into some depth into the image tag, learning the differences between the different net safe image types (JPG, GIF, PNG). They will learn to create simple forms, but not how to parse them. Basic table elements will also be covered in some depth. The broad goal of this unit is to introduce these basic methods, and to demystify the coding process, using HTML as a basis for how coding works and looks.

Unit 2: CSS

This unit will follow the HTML unit. In this unit students will learn the basics of the CSS language, which will allow them to create a more stylized website. This unit starts with a brief explanation of CSS, it’s uses, and how to identify it, and will go into a discussion about code clarity. The unit goes over basic building blocks of CSS like text formatting, images, the ability to use external tools, the box model, and so fourth in greater depth then individual topics within the HTML unit, and is thus designed to take approximately twice as long as the HTML unit. The end goal of this unit is to have the students capable of creating a liquid webpage, that will adjust appropriately for large screen and small screen devices while being aesthetically pleasing. There will also be a more overt focus on fostering good coding habits like proper indentation, and minimizing code repetition in this unit, as the increased complexity of CSS lends itself to encouraging proper coding techniques.

Unit 3: Scripting

This unit will see students go over the basics of scripting using the Blockly platform. For each topic within the scripting unit, a student will be presented with a quick overview of the subject outside of class, and asked to go through some guided game like exercises on the subject. They will then be presented with a more thorough discussion of the topic in class, at which point they will go through some group examples, doing a second set of gamified exercises on their own. The topics that will be discussed include a general intro to scripting, algorithms, loops. conditionals statements, and functions. The end goal of this assignment is to establish a basic understanding of these important coding topics, which will allow a student to transition into any more code focused class with minimum effort.

Unit 4: Trends in Technology

Throughout the course the students will be asked to research some number of topics outside the scope of the class. These will include topics like accessibility, IoT, etc, and these will run concurrently with the above units. These are designed as small deep dives into specific subject areas, and will see students forced to go beyond the given resources in the class in order to explore some specifics of wider technology subjects. These non coding portions of the class will see students turning in short research papers, and on occasion giving class presentations based on their assigned subjects.