Cri-Help Course Report
– August 2008
Instructors: Rob Manikowski,
Shawn Sarkaria, Jonathan Kim, Henry Ko, Peter Carillo
The July/August CDD course
at Cri-Help was a success creating 13 graduates. Our first class
had 23 students and it was clear from the beginning that it was an enthusiastic
group. Students were eager to understand computer basics and often
supported one another through the learning process. The skill
levels varied greatly with some never having used a computer.
One of these students (Adrian Penaranda) said he only knew how to turn
on the machine, but his persistence helped him ace his “computer discover
terms” test and write a well-written “plan for success”.
Ten students did not graduate, mostly due to lack of attendance, or
other reasons such as leaving the recovery facility.
The lessons went well and all
the students were excited to not only learn about computers, but also
think about applying this knowledge to help them reach their goals for
after Cri-Help. The computer discovery terms proved beneficial
to help remove any misconceptions on basic hardware components and their
purposes and improve everyone’s understanding of the different computer
parts. One student (Cathy Holley) started the class with no computer
knowledge and only received two incorrect on her “computer discovery
terms” test. The other lessons were very practical and helpful
because many students were not aware of most concepts. The determination
of the students helped them understand and practice these new computer
activities and they quickly moved through all the material.
The outline was received very
differently among the student body. Some were confused by the
required structure, some skipped the outline and started with the paper
and some picked it up quickly. After several classes, the students
completed their outlines and papers and were proud of their work.
We also had several volunteers read their paper in front of the class.
Most of the papers were typed and well constructed.
During lab time, the class
often took advantage of Mavis-Beacon to practice typing. They
found this fun and it truly improved their typing skills, ultimately
helping them with their computer exercises.
The class was a success but
if each student had their own computer, overall comprehension would
definitely increase. Keeping such a large group quiet and focused
was also a key to staying on course for each lesson plan.
Overall, our Cri-Help class
proceeded well and the 13 graduates learned a lot and were proud of
their accomplishments. The process of writing their own “personal
plan for success” in conjunction with learning computer basics proved
to be a positive experience.