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Principals of IT

NAF Academy of Information Technology: Principles of Information Technology

"[Before] you learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade."  - James Bennis

The Principles of Information Technology course provides an overview of information technology (IT) today. It serves as the foundation for all of the core courses offered by the Academy of Information Technology. The course provides students with an introduction to hardware, looking at both peripherals and inside the box. Then, with hands-on activities, students explore the most common types of operating systems, software applications, and programming languages. Students learn about the different types of networks and network topology. During the course, students consider contemporary IT issues such as security and privacy, the effects of IT on society and the individual, and technological inequality. Finally, students get a chance to discover the types of careers that exist in IT today.

Unit 0: Welcome to the IT Academy

Lesson 0: Classroom Norms and Expectations

Learning Objectives

  • These will come from the school's (mandatory) slides

Unit 1: Getting Started and Computer History

Lesson 1: Course Introduction

Learning Objectives

  • I will deduce the skills and knowledge about information technology needed to be successful in an authentic project

  • I can identify general information technology terms with which to build a vocabulary taxonomy

Lesson 2: The Significance of Information Technology and the History of Computers

Learning Objectives

  • I can identify ways that computers impact our everyday lives at home, school, and work

  • I can define the term information technology

  • I can explain the meaning and importance of computer literacy

  • I can identify early technologies that helped lead to the development of computers

  • I can list key milestones in the development of computer technology

  • I can classify modern computers into primary categories

Lesson 3: Online Research Strategies

Learning Objectives

  • I can differentiate between different types of information resources on the Internet

  • I can demonstrate the ability to use web browser tools to navigate and work with web pages

  • I can evaluate the credibility of information published on websites

Lesson 4: Staying Safe Online

Learning Objectives

  • I can identify different kinds of computer crime

  • I can make generalizations about the implications of software piracy

  • I can display understanding of how to work and interact safely on the Internet


Unit 2: Hardware Basics

Lesson 5: Inside the Box

Learning Objectives

  • I can characterize the main parts of a computer system and describe how they interact

  • I can identify the primary components inside the case of a personal computer and compare the purpose/function of each

  • I can display understanding of the main factors that affect the processing speed of a computer

Lesson 6: Peripherals

Learning Objectives

  • I can identify the uses and benefits of various types of input & output devices

  • I can describe factors that affect the image quality of monitors

  • I can distinguish between printer types

  • I can evaluate the criteria for purchasing a printer

  • I can identify computer ports and their functions


Unit 3: Software Applications

Lesson 7: Basic Productivity Applications

Learning Objectives

  • I can create quality documents using the basic features of word processing and spreadsheet applications

  • I can demonstrate the ability to apply basic productivity application tools to home, school, and work situations

Lesson 8: Basic Graphics and Multimedia Applications

Learning Objectives

  • I can characterize how organizations use multimedia products to shape audience impressions

  • I can design effective promotional and presentation materials by employing graphics and multimedia software applications

Lesson 9: Computer Games

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of a variety of computer games

  • Describe similarities and differences of computer gaming genres


Unit 4: Networks and the Internet

Lesson 10: Introduction to Networks

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast LAN and WAN networks

  • Describe the main types of computer network architecture (client/server and peer-to-peer) and explain how they operate

  • Identify the main network topologies

  • Identify the hardware needed to set up and operate a computer network

Lesson 11: How the Internet Works

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how data packets travel across the Internet

  • Display understanding of how Internet service providers operate and what role they play in enabling users to connect to the Internet

Lesson 12: Communicating over the Internet

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate the ability to set up SMTP and POP3 servers for an email client

  • Explain how the primary modes of Internet communication are used

  • Demonstrate the ability to use email in a professional setting (professional email address; messages that are professional in content, tone, and construction)


Unit 5: Software Programming and Development

Lesson 13: Operating Systems

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between different operating systems and applications

  • Compare and contrast open source and proprietary software

  • Display understanding of how system utilities help maintain a computer

  • Demonstrate the ability to use an OS file manager to organize data

  • Evaluate criteria for selecting an operating system

Lesson 14: Introduction to Programming

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between source code, machine code, interpreters, and compilers

  • Characterize the major categories of programming languages and how they are used

  • Create a model flowchart for a computer program

  • Create a simple computer application program using JavaScript and HTML

  • Describe the stages in the software development life cycle and explain how to implement them successfully


Unit 6: Information Technology and Society

Lesson 15: Effects of IT on Society & the Individual

Learning Objectives

  • Identify trends related to the use of IT in people’s personal and professional lives

  • Characterize how our society is changing because of the pervasive influence of IT

Lesson 16: Technological Inequalities

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the IT inequalities that exist and explain the significance of those inequalities

  • Describe issues related to the digital divide and propose a solution to address them


Unit 7: Careers in Information Technology

Lesson 17: Working in the Industry

Learning Objectives

  • List the types of jobs that are available in the IT industry

  • Describe entry-level jobs in the industry and corresponding qualifications

  • Evaluate which jobs are most suitable based on personal interests and skills

  • Develop effective responses to common job interview questions

Lesson 18: Learning from Industry Experts

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate personal experience and qualifications for potential employment opportunities

  • Develop a personal educational and career path for information technology

  • Develop a resume

Lesson 19: Project Presentation and Course Closure

Learning Objectives

  • Plan a cost-effective computer system that is designed for a specific purpose

  • Compare and contrast different models of computer hardware and software components and propose a solution that incorporates the best-suited model of each component

  • Demonstrate the ability to give a professional presentation

  • Evaluate personal experience and performance in the course

  • Summarize key learning across the whole subject of information technology

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