For best results, please use a browser more recent than Internet Explorer 8.


Computers-1 (Communications)


Mr. Sandy


Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.

~Nicholas Negroponte


Course Overview

The Middle School Computers 1 course focuses on using Windows 10 computers to effectively communicate ideas in the school environment. The course initially will review students' computer knowledge and skills before going on to more advanced communication topics: sound/music, movies, and computer hardware theory and operation.

Students will:


·         review procedures for logging on to the CCS Student network and the locations of accessible network folders: student’s home folder, media folder and inbox folder.

·         learn/review using the Paint.NET program to create and edit multi-layer pictures and photographs, and to capture images displayed on the monitor.

·         create word processing, presentation and spreadsheet projects using Microsoft Office 2007 or LibreOffice. This will include tables, multilayer pictures, document headers and footers, presentation animation and MLA format reports.

·         develop keyboarding skill using KeyTest, a keyboarding practice/test program developed by Mr.Sandy. By the end of the year students will demonstrate a mastery of 73 keys and have a typing speed of 30 words per minute using a QWERTY keyboard.

·         develop enhanced skills for effectively searching the Web using the Internet Explorer browser and KidRex search engine

·         understand and apply best practices of Internet ethics and safety.

·         explore the properties of sound using the Visual Analyser program.

·         record sounds and edit sound files using the Audacity program with microphones.

·         compose two short songs using the MuseScore software.

·         develop a short movie - including video clips, pictures and songs - using Windows Movie Maker.

·         understand computer hardware – what's inside the case, and how it works - as well as the binary number system and its application in digital electronics.

·         Design a simple 3D model using the Sketchup program; this is a preview of the Computers 3 elective for next school year.

·         Create a simple computer program using the BYOB (Build Your Own Block). Software. This is a preview of the Computers 2 elective.



Acceptance of the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy that governs the use of the CCS computer network.

Software Resources Available for Home Use -

·      Paint.NET – free download from

·      Audacity – free download from

·      MuseScore – free download from

·      SketchUp Make– free download from

·      Visual Analyser – free download from

· website has been created by Mr.Sandy to provide computer course assistance to CCS students 

·      Windows Movie Maker (provided with Microsoft Windows)

·      Internet Explorer (provided with Microsoft Windows)

·      Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)


Student-provided Materials



Thumb drive (2GB minimum)

taking assignments home

Earbud style earphones with 3.5 mm connector

(available from Mr.Sandy for $2.00 or from the 99-cent store for $1.00)

composing music and adding sound to PowerPoint presentations and movies.


Attendance, Class Participation and Behavior

Computers-1 meets Tuesday and Thursday from 1:25 to 2:20 for two semesters in the computer lab, Room 101. Students are expected to be in their seats at 1:25. Lectures and assigned work will be accomplished in the computer lab. Students are expected to attend classes, listen attentively to lectures, ask lesson-related questions, participate in class discussions and focus on completing assigned work. Failure to be prepared for class and in-class behavior will affect grades. If absent from class, it is the student's responsibility to learn the missed material.


The CCS Acceptable Use Policy applies to activities in the computer lab. Physical abuse of the equipment, attempts to access age-inappropriate websites or posting inappropriate content on the Internet is unacceptable behavior that may result in a student’s removal from this course.


The search site and web content filter software is in use at CCS to restrict student access to webpages with inappropriate content.


Tests and Quizzes

There will be quizzes and tests on material covered in lectures. Quizzes will test knowledge of the topic presented most recently. Tests cover a broader spectrum of topics covered in the course. Topics covered in a quiz/test will be reviewed a day before the test. Students may search the Internet and access the website during tests if desired. Quizzes/tests will be reviewed after they have been graded.

Students who have an excused absence on the day of a quiz or test are required to schedule a make-up test with the teacher within one week of the absence. Missing a quiz or test due to unexcused absence will result in a grade of 0.

The KeyTest program is used for keyboarding practice in the lab. The speed and accuracy on KeyTest tests contribute to the keyboarding grade. Speed is only recorded officially when the test “QuickQuiz – All Keys” is completed.


Projects and Assignments

Short assignments will follow lectures and will provide an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the material just presented. Projects will be of longer duration and will require the student to potentially apply all knowledge gained up to that point in the course. All tests and projects will be posted on the website. It is expected that projects and assignments will be accomplished in class, however if you are absent you are required to make up the work either in the lab after school or at home.



Students are expected to practice keyboarding one hour a week as homework. The goal of this practice is to develop brain-eye-finger co-ordination that will then be demonstrated using KeyTest in the computer lab. Websites such as teach key locations. After learning the location of the letter keys, websites such as provide interesting tests that assist in increasing speed.


There will be very few homework assignments. However missing a class may require the student to make up the work outside of class time either after school (see Office Hours) or at home.


Grading Scale (approximate)

Class Participation — 5%

Projects & Assignments — 60%

Keyboarding tests– 25%

Tests and Quizzes (non-keyboarding) — 10%


The actual percentages in any quarter may vary slightly from those listed.


Extra Credit

There is no plan for extra credit opportunities.


Office Hours

I will be on campus in the computer lab (room 101) until 4:00 pm on most Tuesdays and Fridays. I can meet with students to provide assistance with assignments or meet with parents then. Contact me in advance to ensure that I will be available. Other meeting times are available by appointment. Missed tests and assignments can be made up after school lleby appointment.


Please inform me ahead of time if you would like to use the computers after school on Tuesday or Friday for class work only.


*Please note: Actual course content may vary slightly from this syllabus.