Year 9 Electives – Information Technology

There are four semester-long Information Technology electives offered to Year 9 students – ‘Animation’, ‘Coding’, ‘Robotics’ and ‘Web Design’.

Rationale

In Years 7 and 8, students develop a broad range of basic skills as competent users of word processors, presentation software, spreadsheets, email and the internet.  The goal of Information Technology subjects in Year 9 is to allow students to develop expertise and depth of understanding in a range of more specific areas.  Students are able to choose from a variety of electives, enabling them to pursue their particular interests, and develop higher-order thinking skills in problem solving and planning.

Assessment

In all of the one semester elective Information Technology subjects, students will be set a range of skill building exercises, and they will also be asked to complete major assignments demonstrating that they have been able to use the key skills in a broader context. Students will create and maintain an online ePortfolio, which stores their semester work electronically and presents the work to their parents and wider community.

Animation

Students will build expertise in the use of Adobe Flash over the semester. There are three key components to the course. Firstly, students will develop drawing expertise using the pen tool and other vector drawing tools. Secondly, they will learn to use tweens to create an animation – their project will be to develop an animation to support the learning in another subject area. Thirdly, students will introduce buttons to their Flash files, to make their animations interactive.

Coding

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” This course is intended to introduce students to computer programming and gain a good appreciation of computational thinking and logical thought. Students learn the basics of formal syntax of a popular programming language. This course provides a strong introduction to the Year 10 IT “Game and App Development”, which leads on to Year 11 Computing and Year 12 Software Development.

Robotics

This subject introduces students to computer programming through robots. Students will build Lego Mindstorms robots from plans given to them. They will then write programs for the robots using the Mindstorms software that will allow the robot to perform tasks ranging from driving in a square to hitting a ball off a tee. The students will develop their engineering skills as they modify the design of their robot for each task. Additionally, programming concepts such as sequence, repetition and selection will be used in the robot tasks. Finally, students will develop their logic and problem solving skills through completing the tasks set.

Web Design

Students will learn to build web sites. A variety of online tools will be used to enable students to build and publish basic web sites. As students develop skills in writing html and css code, they will be able to build increasingly sophisticated web sites.