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J1 IT Skills

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Aim: To advance young people’s skills in using a computer and familiarise them with tasks that are performed regularly in It. Introduction: IT Skills are used in many areas of our everyday life, and so we need to learn
to use them effectively. You may Choose to complete these activities while working on a different project with your group which gives an end product or you can just use the topics as individual sessions. It is important that young people are aware of the dangers with using the web and how to browse the web safely and securely. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Interests J1


Activity 1
• PC Set Up’ template
• PC base unit
• Monitor
• Keyboard
• Mouse
• Printer
• Speakers
• USB flash Drive or memory stick
• Digital camera

Activity 2
• Computer with word processing program
• Word Processing’ template

Activity 3
• Computer with spreadsheet program
• Spreadsheets’ template

Activity 4
PC with Internet connection, preferably broadband or other high speed connection


Activity 1 - PC Set Up

Aim: To set up a PC correctly and Introduce the different connections used.

• Start with a PC that is disconnected as if it had lust been bought and taken out of the box.
• Introduce the various connections that allow the computer to be set up. You can use the diagram on the ‘PC Set Up’ template to allow the young people to label the ports.
— Serial
— P52 (Purple = Keyboard, Green = Mouse)
— Parallel (Printer)
— Universal Serial Bus (USB)
— Audio
— Modem
— VGA (monitor)
— Power AC
• Get the group to connect each device to the computer highlighting how the connectors on the devices match those on the back of the computer.
• Explain that a PC should be turned off for swapping hardware such as monitors, P52 and Parallel connected devices and that USB allows for hot swapping and easy use of mice, keyboards, cameras and much more.
• Once everything is connected turn on the PC.
• To finish go to the start menu and shutdown.

Tips / Advice:
• Ensure you have enough power supplies available to plug in the equipment you are setting up.
• If you are connecting memory devices such as USB memory sticks make sure they are removed correctly when the computer is running (Safely Remove Hardware).

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• Ensure all electrical equipment is safe before allowing young people to touch it.
• Power off all equipment before removing devices.

Activity 2 Word Processing

Aim: To Introduce word processing.


• Many of the young people will have regularly used a word processor of some sort, whether at school or at home, introduce to them the word processing program that you are using and explain the layout of the screen and how to start a new document when required.
• The most basic function required when word processing is typing, all the other advanced features are worthless if there is no text to work with. Use a small magazine, newspaper article, or a couple of paragraphs from one as a copy typing exercise making sure that sentence punctuation, spelling and paragraphs are correct. Most word processors have a spell checker and often a grammar checker, so ensure the group know where these are found.
• Formatting — Ward processors have many functions that allow the document to be presented in a way that emphasises certain text, titles and position on the page. Stress to the group that unnecessary formatting can make a document look very untidy and the emphasis of the format is lost. Complete the formatting task.
• Get the group to write a letter to someone, ensure that they use the correct position for their address, the date and that they use a suitable font. Anal or Times New Roman are fonts that should be considered for letters; other fonts that could be considered more stylish are not suitable for letters as they are not as clear to read. The letter should be signed off suitably in the correct way.

Tips / Advice:
• It is not necessary to spend money on expensive programs such as Word and Excel; this activity can be done using any Word Processor or Spreadsheet program.
• Try introducing tables, columns and pictures.
• Many of the functions have keyboard shortcuts to allow for quicker formatting; encourage the group to use these.
• A project idea could be to write an entry for the church magazine, company newsletter or an article for another publication.

Activity 3 - Spreadsheets

Aim: To Introduce how to use and utilise spreadsheets.

• Spreadsheets are used to handle various amounts of data that needs presenting, sorting or calculations performed on it. This session is to introduce data entry and some simple calculations that can be completed. If the group has an interest then this subject could be done in a lot more detail as spreadsheets are very powerful software tools.
• Introduce the group to the spreadsheet program you are using and open a new worksheet. Instead of typing information onto a page, like in a word processor, the data or text goes into the cells. II you have covered word processing before this session then the group will be aware of the formatting options; these can be used in spreadsheets to emphasise information in the same way.
• A cell is identified in the same way as a grid reference on a map. You start with a letter to identify the column and then a number to identify the row.
• Spreadsheets are used primarily for numbers; from simple addition through to complex formula that can produce forecasts and predictions if one cell is changed. All formulas begin with an equals sign and the result is shown in the cell.
• Use the task template to introduce completing cells, simple addition and formula including:
— Percentages
— Range
• The format of data in a spreadsheet is important as the presentation of figures needs to be as clear as possible. A page of numbers means very little unless it is labelled clearly, columns and rows should have headings where possible. Sheets and cells can be filled with alternative colours and borders to define the area of information.

Tips / Advice:
It is not necessary to spend money on expensive programs such as Word and Excel; this activity can be done using any spreadsheet program.

Activity 4 - The Internet

Aim: To Introduce searching for Information on the web and to Increase awareness of safe surfing practice.

• Tell the group that the internet is a very powerful tool that can be searched quickly for information on many things. When using the internet with the amount of information available also means that a lot of rubbish or false information can be found. It is therefore important to be selective, use trustworthy sources and corroborate information with multiple sites.
• Discuss what the group would consider good criteria for ascertaining websites creditability. Consider brand logos, content, authors authority for the subject, known domains.
• Get the group to find information on activities that are near your company’s meeting place that they () could do or even in the location that you are going on a residential (camp/holiday, etc.).
• Encourage them to find the information on cost, distance, opening times or something that takes their interest.
• Get them to produce a spreadsheet that details the costs.

Tips / Advice:
Ask the young people to plan the whole event (e.g. transport, timing, etc.) and present their idea to a leader and the rest of the group.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Inappropriate content on websites. Ensure the security level on the browser is at a good level to prevent content being viewed.

For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills Interests J1


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