This semester I have had the students lead the lectures on the various categories of communication technologies we address in our TEE 125 class. Although I think this was a good experience for the students (research shows that people learn more effectively when they are the teachers) I am not sure “all the info.” that I wanted/anticipated the students to learn was taught. That being said, I should mention there were several wonderful presentations/teaching moments, where I too learned a great deal, not to mention I think several of the groups came up with a few great instructional activities. Additionally, it’s mostly my fault that not everything I had hoped would be taught was taught – I should have provided more structure, and perhaps an outline of what should be taught (at least the basic principles. I.e., very few students went over what I call “tech specs” – the internal workings of things if you will). Next year I am going to adjust this assignment, and either take it back over, or give the students more structure, or…
In an effort to prepare the students for their “Learning Adventure” re: the communication technologies that were taught, the following is an outline of those “things” which I am expecting the students to know (that will be on the LA).
What is RAM?
What is a harddrive?
What is the OS?
What is the motherboard?
What’s the CPU?
What is a PCI slot?
What is an IDE cable?
What are DIMM sockets?
What does GPS stand for?
How does GPS technology work?
(I.e., how many satellites are needed, how are signals transferred, etc.)
How many satellites are in space (that are specifically dedicated to public GPS signals)?
When did GPS go public? Who was president of the US at the time?
When was the first cell phone call? Who was it from and to?
When was the first text message sent?
How does cellular technology work (i.e., phone signals transferred)?
What is ISO?
What is f-stop?
What is aperture?
What is shutter speed?
What are some basic rules of composition?
How does a digital camera work (basic tech specs)?
What is lithographic printing? How does the process work?
What is intaglio printing? What’s the difference with lithographic?
When was the first book replicated using a printing press? By who, and what was printed?
How does a BitTorrent work?
How does file sharing (FTP) work (how is it different than BitTorrent)?
What was DCMA ruling on Gnutella (what does that mean for today)?
Digital Compression/DTV/Digital Conversion
What is DTV (how does it work)?
What are the common forms of digital conversion for video?
What does it mean to digitally compress a video file? How is it done?
BlueTooth and Infrared
What is blueTooth (how does Bluetooth technology work)?
What is infrared (how does it work)?
What is whitespace (where did it come out of, how does it work, etc.)?
Who invented the ability to record sound (what year)?
When did LPs come out?
When did CDs come out?
When did digital player devices come out?
How does a CD or DVD work (recorded)?
When you “rip” music from a CD or DVD what is happening?
What does it mean to compress and convert music files?
What are two types of uncompressed music files (also what does uncompressed mean)?
What are two types of lossy music files (what does lossy mean)?
What does optimization mean for photos (i.e., what is the standard file resolution for basic quality web images)?
What does optimization mean for website development (note: there are two ways to define this)?
What is a browser?
How does a browser work?
How does a search engine work (i.e., find a specific website?)