Technology is defined as the application of knowledge and skills to extend human capabilities and to help satisfy human needs and wants. In our modern society, information technology is everywhere, and learning more about it will equip children and young people to be informed, skilled, adaptable and enterprising citizens.
Within their study of ICT, pupils will also develop an understanding of the role and impact of technologies in society, the potential to use technology for the benefit of themselves and others, and gain the skills and confidence to use technologies to benefit themselves and the wider community.
This increased knowledge and understanding will also benefit them as they interact with technology as an informed consumer, helping to raise awareness of good design, (such as usability), as well as exploring the social, ethical, economic and cultural impact of these technologies.
They will also become more aware of the many ways in which ICT is used in Scotland and worldwide, and will explore the role of ICT in the world of work, study and in a wide range of careers.
In S1 and S2, pupils follow a course under Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in which they develop technological skills and knowledge in ICT in both computing science and business contexts. In addition, a number of opportunities will be taken to work in a cross-curricular way with other subject areas both to enhance learning and hopefully work in a more meaningful way. In S1, for example, this can involve creating comic strip versions of texts from English, or making video presentations of work from Social Education, in collaboration with the Music department.
In S1, most pupils will be working within level 3 of the Expectation and Outcomes (E’s & O’s). The S1 course provides a number of experiences including simple 3D animation, making web pages, and simple Desktop Publishing. A number of brief exercises in the use of packages such as spreadsheets will also be included, as will a brief introduction to computer systems and the technologies which exist within our current systems. Several of the outcomes within business contexts are covered by an integrated topic later in the year. Opportunities to explore aspects of numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing will be addressed throughout the year.
In S2, pupils will continue to work within level 3, and many will start to work within level 4 of the (E’s & O’s). The course includes the use of online communication systems such as forums and wikis, explores the options for protecting against malware such as viruses, and includes making more advanced interactive multimedia products such as simple games. In addition, pupils will work in both the Computing and Technical departments to complete a 3D Design Challenge unit. This will involve the use of computer based design and manufacturing technologies, to design and create a 3D product.
We will also explore programming (including writing simple programs to control robots) in more detail as a tool for developing abstract problem solving skills. There will be opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of computer systems and how they work, as well as an introduction to simple animation.