FET Computer Applications Technology

What is Computer applications technology?

Computer Applications Technology is the study of the integrated components of a computer system (hardware and software) and the practical techniques for their efficient use and application to solve everyday problems. The solutions to problems are designed, managed and processed via end-user applications and communicated using appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs). ICTs are the combination of networks, hardware and software as well as the means of communication, collaboration and engagement that enable the processing, management and exchange of data, information and knowledge.

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Specific aims of CAT

In Computer Applications Technology a learner will:

  • use end-user software applications proficiently to produce solutions to problems within a defined scenario;
  • understand the concepts of ICTs with regard to the technologies that make up a computing system;
  • understand the various technologies, standards and protocols involved in the electronic transmission of datavia a computer-based network;
  • use the Internet and the WWW and understand the role that the Internet plays as part of the global informationsuperhighway;
  • find authentic and relevant information, process the information to draw conclusions, make decisions and communicate the findings in appropriate presentation media; and
  • recognise the legal, ethical, environmental, social, security and health issues related to the use of ICTs andlearn how to use ICTs responsibly.

Time allocation in the curriculum

In Grades 10 and 11 the time allocation for CAT is 4 hours per week for 35 weeks. 5 weeks of the school year are taken up by examinations.

Resources required to offer Computer Applications Technology

Infrastructure, equipment and finances for the subject are the responsibility of the school. In Computer Applications Technology learners are required to work individually on a computer during contact time and need access to the Internet.
Schools should have a business plan for the subject that addresses the following:

  • Initial capital layout for setting up a computer laboratory. The layout should provide for the following:
    • Entrance level computers (to ensure a lifespan of 4 – 5 years), networked
    • One computer per learner per period (during contact time)
    • Provision for sufficient computers to enable the practical examination to be completed in two sittings
    • Internet access
  • One high-speed printer per network
  • Data projector or demonstrating software
  • Software (operating system, Office suite, security software – antivirus, Internet)
  • Budget
    • Annual running costs
      • Software licensing (operating system, application software, security software)
      • Cartridges, paper, storage media
      • Breakage and maintenance (regular service plan)
      • Insurance
      • Internet connectivity
    • Sustainability plan
      • To upgrade or replace software and equipment every 4 – 5 years.

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