Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rethink subjects

While government is planning how to manage no increase in university fees and how to get money to universities and unhappy hungry students, this would be a good time to rethink the required subjects for a matric and a Bachelor pass, a requirement for studying at university. 

CAT and Tourism are not in the designated list for a Bachelor matric pass. Getting to university and the hoped for way out of poverty with a degree and coping with poor teaching in under resourced schools, learners stay with subjects on the designated list. They cannot afford to gamble with their subjects. We know they only have to do 4 from the list but just in case they do all their subjects from the designated list. So they do not do subjects which they could use to help them succeed at university or starting their own businesses. 

Dear authorities please rethink the position of CAT and Tourism!  Thank you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Maintaining discipline - Getting to know your class

It will help teachers to interact better with their classes and maintain discipline if they know the names of their students. I suggest that you make the learners sit in the same place every lesson and have a layout map of the class. This is what I am making my student teachers create in their computer literacy classes when they are meant to learn Word tables.
For CAT or computer literacy people the key features here are borders, column width, vertical and horizontal alignment in cells.

It will help more by inserting images of each of the learners.

For CAT or computer literacy people the key features are borders, column width, vertical and horizontal alignment in cells and maybe merge cells. The images are all cropped to display just the face, the same size, inserted as files, formatted in line with text, aligned vertically and horizontally in the cells. The pictures can be taken with whatever means or copied from a social networking site, but transferred to the computer and saved as a file.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Learning theory by creating a rap

A possible way to get the learners to learn their theory is to ask them to create a rap. CAT theory exams require learners to apply their knowledge, but you need to know the work before applying it. 

My students were tasked with creating a rap. They had to give me the sound file, plus the lyrics. They went through the textbook chapter looking for something from which they could create a rap - they looked at the textbook, they engaged with the material in the textbook. They played with the words of the theory. They did it at home. I think some family members got involved with the work. I am sure some of the work went into their heads. Cool work!

Here are the lyrics of an example by Sivuyileplus Mhlekwa and the sound file. It is called CPU RAM ROM

Put it all on this hella beat (x2)

Also known as the processor
Performs all the processing…
… of data
And carries out instructions
Its speed is in Gigahertz
It’s a general indi-ca-tor
Of instructions it can process…
… in a second
CPU on the motherboard

Often just called memory
Needed to load processed data
Also needed to run programs
Random Access Memory
Works with the CPU
Stores open data or instructions
Very fast, very expensive, volatile
Random Access Memory
RAM on the motherboard (x2)

It’s a special chip on the motherboard
Stores instructions for booting up
Keeps its content when the power’s off
Read Only Memory
ROM on the motherboard (x2)


Put it all on this hella beat (x2)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Grade 10 - Case study: Micro-farming - page 387

On Mandela Day 2015 the micro-farms mentioned on page 387 of the grade 10 book were very busy.
In Khayelitsha volunteers arrived to spread mulch, level and compost the wall bed, to put wood chips in paths, to plant seedlings and do many other chores at the garden .
The weather was beautiful and much work was done. Was amazing to see so many people working together on the farm and being entertained by the choir.
     Putting wood chips in paths

     Planting seedlings

     Mulching the plants

     Working on chores

     Growing the farm

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Using textbooks,videos, blogs, etc. in teaching theory

Below are some of the files used in a presentation I gave on 'Using textbooks, videos, blogs, etc. in teaching theory' at the Teaching and Training Conference in Cape Town in July 2015.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grade 10 November exams

Paper & Data
Marksheet & Solutions
Practical Paper 1 Vraestel 1 Marksheet Merkblad
Data Solutions
To the teacher
Theory Paper 2 Paper 2 Memo
Vraestel 2 Vraestel 2 Memo

Erratum Prac Paper:
3.5 must count (1) [mark was omitted]
Change 3.7 to (1) mark

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grade 11 November exams

Paper & Data
Marksheet & Solutions
Practical Paper 1 Vraestel 1 Marksheet Merkblad
Data Solutions 
To the teacher
Theory Paper 2 Paper 2 Memo
Vraestel 2 Vraestel 2 Memo

The word 'Form' should be 'Report' (2 places)

Monday, September 8, 2014

CAT Prelim Theory

The department's CAT Exam Guidelines for 2014 contains a list with the new technology/concepts that may be examined from 2014. Please make sure that your learners learn this for the StudyOpp Prelim Theory paper as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gr 12 September exams

Erratum (for Question 1.5)
Only change the following in the data file 1_Contributions: The file name mentioned in the comment should be 2_ArticleSubmissionForm.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CAT may not be necessary

A local primary school now expects all their learners in Gr 3 to do all their homework on tablets (digital not chalk!). Those learners may be forgiven for not doing CAT when they get into high school, however ALL other students going to higher education need ICT and problem solving skills taught in CAT. (All this school's older learners do most of their work on tablets or their laptops.)

Designated subject

Congratulations to all those wonderful school principals who have made CAT compulsory at their schools. Those principals have the concern of their learners in mind. This 'designated' thing is so silly – designated for what? For university? For university you NEED computer and problem solving skills.

Let me tell you what I am doing now – I have just gone back to studying at university, UNISA, this year doing Archaeology, Greek and Roman myths and legends, Ancient Rome and Introduction to music – all things to broaden my cultural background after having retired from the CAT school-classroom 3 years ago.

Thank goodness I have gone to university with computer and problem solving skills. I am aware that this is 1st year and we only started on 1 July. However these are a few of the IT skills used so far:
  1. The study guides are available in print and in PDF format. The print guides are posted and the PDF files have to be downloaded once you have gone into their web portal.
  2. To complete a multiple choice question test I did a 'search' for the key words in the PDF guide, then was quickly able to work out the answers.
  3. To find the dates of events I did an online search. To sort the dates in chronological order in Word I did a 'Sort'.
  4. Writing the essays – well Word is an absolute essential.
  5. The MCQ test was submitted online.
  6. Etc.
Bottom line you need computer and problem solving skills if you hope to succeed at university. Students should arrive at university knowing the skills, at running speed, especially at UNISA where the courses are 6 months long and where there is no time to waste. Therefore if a school pupil/learner hopes to go to university they should have ICT skills. Basic ICT skills are in almost every CAPS subject at high school, e.g. Accounting, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, etc. but CAT is where a thorough grounding is given in ICT and problem solving. How CAT could not be considered not a 'designated' subject for university is beyond me!

Friday, June 13, 2014

CAT posters

Computer Applications Technology posters for your classroom. High quality A3 printable posters covering terminology, Excel functions and HTML. Available in English or Afrikaans.

Check out for more information on the posters and how to order.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gr 12 June Theory exam

Friday, May 30, 2014

Practical exams

Schools writing the Study Opportunities practical papers:

Please bear in mind that the skills acquired in previous years will once again be tested in the practical papers. For example, the Grade 12 practical will include Word skills learned in Grades 10 & 11, as revised in the practical module activity at the end of Module 3.2 in the Grade 12 textbook.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Exam Papers 2014

Study Opportunities will be setting CAT Exam Papers this year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gr 11 Theory November Memo

Gr 11 Theory November Memo
There is a mistake on the memo for 1.7. We cannot put the answer here, but please be careful.

Gr 10 Theory November 2013

Gr 10 Theory November 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gr 11 Theory November 2013 - Check

Grade 11 Theory Paper (English version):
Q 10.4.1: The word 'date' should be 'data'.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gr 11 Theory November 2013

Gr 11 Theory November 2013 question paper

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gr 11 Practical Paper November 2013 Solutions

Gr 11 Practical Paper November 2013 Solutions

Gr 10 November Practical exam

Gr 10 November Practical exam
Please change marks. Question 3.2.2 should be ONE mark and 3.4 should be 4.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Exams at end of 2013

Have a look to see what will be examined in the November Gr 10 and 11 Theory and Practical exam papers.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Survey – e-books

If you are using the Computers, part of your lives series and want to use it in e-format (e.g. on Tablets), then please complete the following and e-mail it to with “e-Book” as the subject line.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Value of CAT

I met a neighbour recently who told me with great pride that her daughter was doing, at great expense, a well-known computer course and writing and passing with 90+% their exams. She hopes to get a job with the qualification. She had passed Excel, Word and PowerPoint. The course was a textbook with a DVD with data files. She was studying on her own. I listened as a good neighbour does.
I gave the daughter some quizzes on Excel from the Gr 10 textbook which she could not do! It is costing her so much money. It appears to me that the test marks are not valid and she still knows so little. She will not get a job with that qualification. I wish learners valued the CAT work done at school and that more learners took the subject of CAT.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Qualification for CAT teachers

Friend has been teaching CAT for 10+ years.  Has repeatedly had best Matric results in the district. Now her principal requires her to get registered with SACE which means getting a degree and then a teaching diploma.
This requirement will not really improve her CAT results.
If she does her studying part time through Unisa what should she do her degree in – she teaches CAT?  Unisa does not offer a degree in CAT and she already has her advanced Computer Drivers Licence in the Office suite.
Should she spent all that time and effort on getting those qualifications or just give up a successful teaching career?  
She has about 15 years to go before she would have to retire.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Students did their photography exam blindfolded

Students did their photography exam blindfolded. They were told the conditions, e.g. dark, sun from the left, shadow, etc. and then told to take the photograph. They had to know their camera and how to use it while blindfolded - fluidly.
That is how one would expect CAT learners to know and use the Office suite of applications. They should know when to use and how to use the available applications to solve a problem. This requires many activities and exploration of the packages, and use and use and more use in open ended situations until they become fluid. We must help our learners reach that level of competence.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank goodness

Thank goodness for CAPS and the PAT. Thank goodness for a document, i.e. CAPS, which spells out exactly which must be taught in each grade and for the PAT which revises so many aspects of the practical work.

I was called in in the middle of the 1st term to teach a grade 12 class at an unnamed school. Every practical lesson, e.g. mail merge (Word), working with dates and times (Excel) and calculations in queries and reports (Access) has brought to my attention that basics are missing.  (These topics were taught in the first term as they are suggested in the grade 12 textbook I am using.)

I am now working on phase 1 of the PAT. I am aware that it should already have been done but …
Today I am so excited. The learners were expected to but could not, but they learned

  • how to insert a section page break 
  • the difference between portrait and landscape orientation 
  • how to convert text to a table 
  • how to insert a column to an existing table 
  • how to insert a row to an existing table 
  • change case 
  • the difference between a heading and a sub heading 
In the past this class did not have a textbook. The teacher used and did what she wished, I think. In future, with CAPS, it will be clearly defined what should be taught, per grade and per term so a teacher can be held responsible for work not taught in a particular grade.

Thank goodness for CAPS. Thank goodness for the PAT as it gives one an opportunity for doing revision. Thank goodness for a Department of Education for supplying approved CAPS textbooks to schools.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

June 2013 exam papers

Please have a look at the description of the scope and length of the June exam papers.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Computers, part of your life – Grade 12

Computers, part of your life – Grade 12
A textbook for Computer Applications Technology
The Grade 12 English and Afrikaans versions of the popular Computers, part of your life series, have been approved by the Department of Education!
These textbook are in a larger (A4), more user-friendly format compared to our previous books and each textbook includes a free DVD. 
You can rest assured that this textbook will provide your learners with everything they need to prepare thoroughly for the first Grade 12 CAPS exams in the coming year.
More information and some samples will be uploaded soon.