Practical Theory 1 – The Information Processing Cycle

I thought I should try teach “theory” a little differently today. Now, it’s no secret that I despise the word “theory” and my colleagues and students know it too.  I, too, despise rote learning and spitting out the textbook back onto the page where the student has merely proven that they have memorised the words from a book with little to no understanding of the concepts those works illustrate. I am making it my mission to try and teach ‘theory’ a lot more practically so that the students experience the concepts rather than read about them.

I thought I would explain the information processing cycle to my grade 10’s as I noticed that too many of them did not understand the basic concepts of what a computer did or how it functioned.

So, I created some basic posters, grabbed the hardware devices I had in my class and set up an area for my demonstration. I made INPUT, PROCESS, RAM, OUTPUT and STORAGE areas with posters for each area. I then physically showed the path that data followed from input to processing to output and storage. Each student would actively imitate whatever would be happening at their station and pass on data etc.. as and when necessary. Students also had to collect the various hardware items from the table and have them on their tables too.

Some students said to me afterwards that the exercise really helped their understanding of RAM and storage now and that it makes sense now! 🙂

I’ve included the posters I made, for you to download and use if you want.

Here are some pics from the lesson

Some other ideas I am going to try

  • Make a 15 second advert (Flipgrid) selling a multi-function printer
  • Create an advert in PowerPoint for a fictitious ISP showcasing their services
  • Create a website warning about the dangers of social media

Get a copy of the posters here.

Your ideas?



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