These materials aim to support teachers and students in achieving the learning outcomes of Computer Science. The ideas and resources provided here are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. Teachers and students will discover many other ways of reaching the learning outcomes. The resources include links to NCCA lessons and videos, eTasks, and ALT and Computational Thinking challenges on html platforms. Other web resources are recommended as useful links for this Computer Science specification, though discretion and judgement should be used by both teachers and students. There are also suggestions on teaching methodologies and student assessment tasks. Teachers and students are encouraged to use these resources as platforms to create their own resources, as forms of assessment and also as reflection pieces for learning portfolios.
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A framework of Key Learning Principles for getting started with Leaving Certificate Computer Science.
"The role of programming in computer science is like that of practical work in the other subjects—
it provides motivation, and a context within which ideas are brought to life. Students learn
programming by solving problems through computational thinking processes and through practical
applications such as applied learning tasks." LCCS specification (2017)
There are 3 sections. The main section is Programming Concepts - 9 programming concepts learned through Python. The other 2 sections (Block based CT and Unplugged CT) are standalone resources but they are also incorporated into the main programming concepts section at the appropriate level of learning. Each of the 9 concepts is explored in a variety of contexts.
The LOs addressed, or the section of the specification in which the LOs are stated, are specified within most resources. The Programming Concepts resources primarily address most of the LOs in the following sections of the specification :
- Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing
- Abstraction, Algorithms, Data and Evaluation
- ALT4 and some of the LOs in the other ALTs.
The resources are merely indicative of what can be done in this practical section. The Applied Learning Task is set within the brief provided in the specification and the resources will present an introductory task that will simulate the larger project and provide them with the components that they need to complete the larger brief. The resources address some of the LOs within particular ALTs or help students develop the skills to achieve the LOs of strand 3. Further LCCS ideas can be found at www.compsci.ie.
In developing ideas within strand 3, students will also address LOs from across all 3 strands.
Many learning outcomes across all 3 strands can be achieved through a blended pedagogy of group activities with guided exploration and creative problem solving.
Suggestions on how to use this resource
This resource aims to primarily support the learning outcomes around Computers and society, and the evolution of computers in society, in strand 1, and also the core concept of Computer systems in strand 2.
The resources and strategies provided are intended mainly for the teacher to use in the classroom. They can be used in the context of an Applied learning task (ALT) or simply as classroom strategies to engage students in wider ethical and cultural questions. They are not prescriptive and the concepts do not have to be taught in the order they are presented. Teachers will discover many other ways of helping their students achieve the learning outcomes. Much of the learning around computers and society and the direction of technological development can be facilitated by teachers with classroom techniques, such as Power of Persuasion, Think-
Pair-Share-Snowball and Stimulate a Debate, which are described within this resource. There are also design and development activities, plus ideas for other suitable activities. The resource itself, with guidance and differentiation from the teacher, can be used as a learning platform by students.
Material that is suitable for Higher Level only is indicated by an orange bar to the side.
The evolution of computers in society is outlined below. Each development in the evolution is used as a platform to study subsequent related developments. In this sense the learning outcomes can be achieved in an iterative and non-linear fashion.
Early Computers and Computing Technology
1936 Turing Machine
1942 - 1946 First Electronic Computers - Colossus and ENIAC
1947 Solid State Transistors
1958 Integrated Circuits
1973 Mobile Phones and interconnected computers
1976 First Modern PC – Apple II
1989 Tim Berners Lee invents the world wide web
2000 – 2020 Cloud Computing and the smart phone
Emerging trends in the 21st Century