Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Home Schooling ICT, part 3: E-mail.

The focus for the next few lessons will be to look at the common office software. I think this next part of the home schooling course is DD1’s favourite. She really enjoys messing around with fonts and sizes in power point presentations. Perhaps it’s because that’s what she sees Mummy and Daddy doing most frequently.

Lesson 3: Keyboard and email
       Keyboard skills: letters, numbers and symbols
       Sending emails
       Difference between letters and emails

2.     Log into gmail
3.     Write an email to Mummy telling her about what we’ve learnt
4.     Read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to his daughter (#2) http://flavorwire.com/363537/adorable-letters-from-famous-authors-to-their-children
5.     Critical evaluation - How are letters different to emails? Why?

The main conclusion I’m aiming for in this section of the course is that each method of communication has its own characteristics, and therefore one should use them with their strengths and limitations in mind. To me, because letters take longer to write and to read, they should be crafted; they should have a beginning, a middle, an end, and a narrative to link the three. Emails are much more immediate, and should be used to precisely and concisely convey meaning; they need to be clearly set out to be easily read, intent to be explicitly and unambiguously set out, and they need to be short enough to be absorbed without effort.

Using the online materials gave mixed results this week. The online keyboard course is quite good, nice “gameplay” and characters, but it’s a bit long. She happily spent 15min working on the first module, until I asked her to exit the module. I think a full 40min of typing wouldn’t keep her attention.

The reason I chose F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter is because of the positive message he gives to his daughter, that she should worry about the things she can control and not the opinions of others. It shows that peer pressure has always been acutely felt. He’s very grown-up in his use of language to his young daughter, and we learn a little about his relationship with his daughter through the letter. However, I think this was a bit too nuanced for DD1 in the context of the ICT course. Maybe DD1 will come across him again when later on in life.

More in this series: part 2, part 4.

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