CHAPTER 01 : INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION AND COMPUTER STUDIES
In this chapter, you will learn about the concept of Information and Computer Studies (ICS), the importance of studying computers and information and the relationship of ICS with other subjects. The competencies developed will enable you to use Information and Computer Studies to learn other subjects,
The concept of Information and Computer Studies
The Information and Computer Studies (ICS) subject consists of two themes, which are information and computer. Information is the processed data or knowledge acquired through study, experience or instruction. A computer is an electronic device that accepts data from users and stores or manipulates them to produce information. Therefore, ICS is the subject in which students learn how to use computers in processing, organising and managing information.
Importance of studying Information and Computer Studies
We are living in an information age in which computers are important working tools. They are used in almost all fields such as agriculture, business, education and health. Similarly, information is an important resource for making relevant decisions about different aspects of life such as development activities, providing social service, and doing business. Producing information for all these activities can be facilitated by computers. In this age, information is power. Individuals, communities or countries with relevant information and knowledge to use it better can be more powerful than others. For example, if a maize farmer in a village has relevant information on maize markets that offer the best prices, the farmer can make more money than others who lack such information in the village.
In education, computers are becoming an integral part of teaching and learning. In schools, they are used to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage DU PI-IC.ATE information. Schools use different pieces ofequipment such as desktop computers, portable computers, projectors, and sound and video recorders. They also use software, such as Microsoft Office, together with multimedia resources and learning management systems for learning and teaching. Other computer uses include browsing the Internet for learning materials, broadcasting lessons, and organising as well as presenting learning and teaching materials. For example, when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, some schools and other learning institutions organised teaching and learning through other ways such as radio, television and the Intemet. Recorded lessons could be retrieved anytime and anywhere using computers or other electronic devices.
In groups, discuss how computers, smartphones and radios can be used to facilitate learning at school and home.
Relationship of ICS with other subjects
ICS is about the use of computers and other electronic devices. When these devices are integrated in teaching and learning process, studying becomes more engaging for students. This is because technology provides different opportunities for students to learn the same things in different ways. Figure l . I shows how ICS knowledge and skills can assist in performing different tasks in teaching and learning other subjects.
Figure 1.1: Relationship between ICS and other subjects
The following are examples of how ICS is used in other subjects:
i. Computers can be used to simulate experiments in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and other subjects. These interactive simulations can be repeated several times by students without using actual experimental materials and equipment. They allow students to practise conducting different experiments through interactive simulations. Figure 1.2(a) shows a simulation of a Chemistry experiment, while Figure 1.2(b) shows a simulation of a Physics experiment.
Figure 1.2 (a): Simulation to measure concentration of solutions
Figure 1.2 (b): Simulation of forms of energy and how they change
ii. Students can use the Internet to search and organise various educational materials such as notes and books for different subjects.
Activity 1.2: Relationship between ICS and other subjects
Outline the usefulness of computers in learning the subjects listed in the following categories:
1. Language subjects (English, Kiswahili, French, Chinese)
2. Science subjects (Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Home
Economics and Physics)
4. Social Studies (History, Geography and Civics)
5. Business (Commerce and Bookkeeping)
6. Creative Arts (Music, Fine art, Theatre art)
Hint: You can discuss with your peers or use the Internet and other sources.