Computer Studies: Introduction
Computer studies is about how computers compute. It is not about learning how to use the computer, and it is much more than computer programming. Computer studies is the study of ways of representing objects and processes. It involves defining problems; analysing problems; designing solutions; and developing, testing, and maintaining programs. As used here, computer studies refers to the study of computer science, meaning computer and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their effect on society. The major focus is the development of programming skills, which are important for success in future postsecondary studies.
Computer studies is relevant for all students because it incorporates a broad range of transferable problem-solving skills and techniques, including logical thinking, creative design, synthesis, and evaluation. It also teaches generically useful skills in such areas as communication, time management, organization, and teamwork. Students live in a technologically rich world, and computer studies will provide them with the knowledge and skills to understand the underpinnings of current computer technology and prepare them for emerging technologies. A foundation in this discipline will introduce students to the excitement and opportunities afforded by this dynamic field and will begin to prepare them for a range of rewarding careers.
The computer studies program will build a strong foundation for those who wish to move on to further study and training in specialized areas such as computer programming, database analysis, computer science, education, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology, and game development.
Goals of the Computer Studies Program
The fundamental purpose of the computer studies program is to provide students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to achieve success in secondary school, the workplace, postsecondary education or training, and daily life.
The goals of the computer studies curriculum are to enable students to
- gain an understanding of computer studies concepts;
- develop the skills—including critical thinking skills—and the knowledge of strategies required to conduct research, conduct inquiries, and communicate findings accurately, ethically, and effectively;
- apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through the study of computers to a variety of learning tasks, and relate them to computer phenomena on the local, national, and global levels;
- develop lifelong learning habits that will help them adapt to computer advances in the changing workplace and world;
- make connections that will help them take advantage of postsecondary educational and work opportunities.
Critical areas of learning in computer studies
Effective learning in all aspects of computer studies depends on the development of knowledge and skills in the following four areas:
- Software development (including project management and software engineering principles).
- Algorithms and data structures.
- Program correctness and efficiency.
- Professional and ethical responsibility.
This page is an abridgement of Computer Studies: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 10 to 12, 2008.
[This page last updated 2020-12-23 at 12h45 Toronto local time.]
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