Thursday, 18 July 2013

Home Schooling ICT, part 5: Communicating with documents.

Though DD1 is using common office applications at school, I get the sense that she still doesn’t understand the differences between them when it comes to how to communicate with others. I started this lesson by asking her to examine how the medium being used to communicate impacts upon the style.

For example, presentations are (usually) delivered, so the style is discursive, with room for participation. Documents are unaccompanied, so they must stand on their own, anticipate questions the reader might have. Both should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and both should climb the story mountain – what was the journey, what was the challenge to overcome (climb over), and what happened at the end. That last part about the story mountain is actually something she taught me, nicely illustrating that these lessons have been two-way, I’m learning too.

Lesson 5: Communicating electronically: documents
·       Differences between Google Docs, MS Powerpoint, and Libre Office
·       How communicating through presentation differs from communicating through documents
·       From ideas to writing to editing

1.     Write (using pen and paper) outline for a book report document: What is the report reader interested in finding out? What are the techniques for making the report engaging?
2.     Refresh memory of her current favourite book
3.     Write (electronically) outline for book report, comprising of section headings, five-word paragraph summaries.
4.     Complete book report
5.     Critical evaluation - Edit report comparing with outline from step 1
6.     Email to Mummy.

This lesson took much longer than the allotted hour, so we had to split into two parts over two lessons. The first hour-long lesson took us up to the end of step 3, the second to the end of step 6. We didn’t have time to look at the technical aspects of this lesson, comparing the different word processing tools, or emailing. But by the end of the second lesson, she had produced a well-structured, very readable book report. And didn’t overly focus on choosing the most interesting, colourful fonts.

More in this series: part 4, part 6.

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