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Computer skills update Romans

The discovery in Shillingstone, Dorset, of a late Roman villa this year gave me an idea for an ICT project for Year 7.

The subject was history or archaeology. Using Microsoft Publisher we began by exploring the potential of the software: text boxes and their formatting tools, inserting images, editing images and using guides and rulers to arrange data.

I then created a new user on the school network called Professor Palimpsest and sent the whole class an email. This contained an introduction, background on the dig and a request to design a brochure advertising the site. Attached to the email was a Word document containing the essential text (a history of the site, car parking, tour and opening times, etc), digital images I had taken of the dig and an illustration of what the villa once looked like. Part of the brief was that all this information needed to be used.

The children then listed the essential information in order of importance and explained how formatting (underlining, emboldening, colour etc) might be used. This would also determine where it was placed on the brochure and where the images would go.

It was then time to implement their designs and send Professor Palimpsest the result via attachment for his comments. He would criticise and the pupils would make improvements. The activity covered the basics in ICT: collection of data and input, processing and files and output. The pupils wrote an analysis using these headings and the brochures demonstrated a wide range of processing skills.

Donald Short

Head of art and ICT, Moyles Court School, Hampshire

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