Computers and Society

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Computers and Society

Overall Expectations

By the end of this course, students will:

C1. describe key aspects of the impact of computers and related technologies on society;
C2. describe computer use policies that promote environmental stewardship and sustainability;
C3. describe legal and ethical issues related to the use of computing devices;
C4. describe postsecondary education and career prospects related to computer studies.

Specific Expectations


Social Impact

  By the end of this course, students will:
C1.1 describe a variety of adaptive technologies that help to improve computer accessibility (e.g., text-to- speech, speech-to-text, adapted mouse, font control, ergonomic keyboard, virtual keyboard, sticky keys, colour contrast, image magnifier);
C1.2 explain the impact on privacy of techniques for collecting and processing data (e.g., camera phones, reward programs, targeted advertising, digital rights management, monitoring software);
C1.3 describe how portable computing devices (e.g., PDA, cell phone, GPS, laptop) affect our everyday lives;
C1.4 describe how electronic access to information (e.g., instant messaging, webcasts, social networking sites, wikis, blogs, video sharing sites) influences our everyday lives, as well as the lives of people in various countries around the world, in both positive and negative ways;
C1.5 describe issues associated with access to online services (e.g., reliability of passwords, network security, identity theft, the permanence of information released onto the Internet).


Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

  By the end of this course, students will:
C2.1 describe the negative effects of computers and computer use on the environment (e.g., chemicals from electronic waste dumped in landfills – domestic or overseas – leaching into soil and groundwater; unnecessary use of paper; heavy power consumption) and on human health (e.g., effects of exposure to radiation, musculoskeletal disorders, eye strain, mental health and behavioural problems created or exacerbated by social isolation);
C2.2 identify measures that help reduce the negative effects of computers on the environment (e.g., lab regulations, school policies, corporate policies, provincial policies, paperless workplaces) and on human health (e.g., ergonomic standards);
C2.3 describe ways in which computers are or could be used to reduce resource use and to support environmental protection measures (e.g., computer modelling to reduce use of physical resources; interpretation of large amounts of environmental data; management of natural resources; programmable temperature control to reduce energy consumption);
C2.4 describe, on the basis of research, how and where recycled electronic waste is processed, and identify local companies and institutions that offer such services.


Ethical Issues

  By the end of this course, students will:
C3.1 describe legal and ethical issues related to the use of computers (e.g., music and video file downloading, spyware, identity theft, phishing, keystroke logging, packet sniffing, cyberbullying);
C3.2 describe safeguards (e.g., effective passwords, secure websites, firewalls, biometric data) for preventing the unethical use of computers.


Postsecondary Opportunities

  By the end of this course, students will:
C4.1 research and describe trends in careers that require computer skills, using local and national sources (e.g., local newspaper, national newspaper, career websites);
C4.2 research and report on postsecondary educational programs leading to careers in the field of information systems and computer science (e.g., institutions offering relevant programs, industry certifications, courses of study, entrance requirements, length of programs, costs);
C4.3 identify groups and programs that are available to support students who are interested in pursuing non-traditional career choices in computer-related fields (e.g., mentoring programs, virtual networking/support groups, specialized postsecondary programs, relevant trade/industry associations);
C4.4 identify the Essential Skills and work habits that are important for success in computer studies, as defined in the Ontario Skills Passport.


Source: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 10 to 12: Computer Studies, 2008 (revised), page 37-8 PDF Format

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