Introduction to ICT


Course Co-ordinator: Dr Nomusa Dlodlo

The Introduction to ICT course is intended to do more than teach basic computer literacy skills on current packages. It provides a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills that together comprise a mental framework that will enable the student to adapt and learn new IT packages as they change, to solve new IT problems and use additional package features that are not explicitly taught in this course. The course has a strong practical focus with the intention of enabling students to use ICTs as tools for productivity and problem solving in their lives.

The course is delivered as four modules as described below:

Introduction [3 weeks]
This section provides an introduction to modern computing environments and use of the Internet. Key areas covered include:

•    Introduction to computing hardware and peripherals
•    Information storage and retrieval
•    Searching for information sources online
•    Word processing

Presentation Software [3 weeks]
Being able to present information and data in an accessible format is an important part of communication. This module introduces PowerPoint (MS Office) and Impress (Open Office) and discusses the main ideas behind them. It will also offer a few initial concepts on digital imaging, to enable better practical manipulations of images. So, the key areas discussed include:

•    Using PowerPoint and Impress
•    Contrasting them
•    Basic concepts of digital imaging

Spreadsheets and Problem Solving [4 weeks]
Building on the concepts in the introductory module, students are introduced to spreadsheets and their application in the solution of a number of common information processing problems. This is followed by a focus on using spreadsheets as a tool for modelling and solving a number of real world problem types.

Examples of these include:

•    Hire-purchase agreements
•    Investments
•    Bond repayments

Human Computing [3 weeks]

This module deals with the human aspects of computing, covering issues of both a personal and a wider social nature. Key elements include:

•    Impact of computing on society
•    Online risks (largely about applying common knowledge)
•    Issues related to social networks
•    Issues around RSI, data hygiene etc.

Of course, it is too much to hope that computer problems can all be solved simply by finding the right “package”. In many cases, special packages have to be produced - and in any event, the general purpose tools for word processing, spreadsheets, communications and so on also have to be produced somewhere!

Such software packages are developed by writing computer programs. Design and Implementation of computer programs is covered in Computer Science courses. 

It is important that you are up to date with the material covered in lectures when you arrive at the computer laboratory for your practical session so that you are in a position to get started on the assignment straight away. This is how you will be able to take maximum advantage of the tutorial help available at practical sessions.

Prerequisites: None

Last Modified: Wed, 19 Feb 2020 09:24:14 SAST