Computer Curriculum Frameworks

Introduction

Middle School
(Grades 6-8)

High School
(Grades 9-12)

Secondary Computer
Curriculum Framework

Revised January 24, 1997


Introduction
"The invention of the computer has provided a powerful if ever-changing model of cognition and an invaluable tool in simulation, data analysis and conceptualization of the human mind."

Howard Gardner, The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach, 1993


"Today, at the dawn of a new century, in the midst of an information and communications revolution, education depends on computers. If we make an opportunity for every student a fact in the world of modems and megabytes, we can go a long way toward making the American Dream a reality for every student. Not virtual reality -- reality for every student...Technology enriches education, it teaches our children how to learn better...We must make technological literacy a standard. Preparing our children for a lifetime of computer use is now just as essential as teaching them to read, write and do math."

President Bill Clinton, Speech, 1995


The last two decades of the twentieth century can be characterized as a time of dynamic technological change. The Advent of faster, more powerful and less expensive computers, the emergence of multimedia, and the explosion of telecommunications have serious implications for education. The computer, more than any other device since the printing press, has changed how people work, learn, play, communicate, do research, and solve problems. As a multipurpose learning tool, the computer has an intrinsic ability to be interactive, creative, motivating and thought-provoking. It can individualize instruction, provide multisensory learning experiences and simulate abstract concepts. In the Information Age, students must learn how to access and interpret information from databases, magazine indexes, CD-ROMs, online services and the Internet. They must be able to communicate via word processing, desktop publishing, e-mail, and multimedia presentations. In 1996 it is self-evident that a serious approach to computer learning is central to the mission of today's schools.

The Secondary School Computer Curriculum Framework has been developed to address these issues by establishing department technology standards for students at each grade level. Computer are powerful and creative instructional tools that can enhance learning most effectively when they are integrated with the curriculum. All students must develop proficient information technology skills as a prerequisite for future academic and professional success. The technology standards in this document are department-driven and draw from recommendations made by New York State's "Long Range Plan for Technology in Elementary and Secondary Education," the "New Compact for Learning," and the English, Social Studies, and Math, Science and Technology curriculum frameworks. Any computer curriculum must be updated over time to meet the educational needs of students as new technologies emerge.

As we approach the 21st century, computers will enable teachers to shed their role as the sole purveyor of information and guide students towards constructing knowledge, expressing creativity, and solving problems cooperatively with modern technological tools. This curriculum framework is the foundation upon which the Great Neck secondary schools will move towards achieving this educational vision of the future.