Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Find a new thing to do with Google today

You can do a lot more than search the web with Google nowadays, from reading newspapers in languages you don't speak to seeing the natural habitat of Komodo dragons.

Discover something new to do with Google like following topics and try it for yourself.
  1. Browse the classics without opening a book
  2. Never wake up your Australian relatives at 3am again
  3. Convert £ to Yuan instantly
  4. See the Cerne Giant in your bedroom
  5. Automatically save every draft of your wedding list/seating plan
  6. Flight arrival and departure times in real time
  7. Say 'I don't speak Italian', in Italian
  8. Are you big in Uzbekistan?
  9. Settle trivia disputes in the pub
  10. Watch your favourite YouTube clips in high-resolution
  11. Stargaze on a bright sunny day, or on a cloudy afternoon
  12. Get directions when you're on the move
  13. Find out who's free for lunch without asking ...

It's a never ending list. To learn more through how-to videos, check this Google link out.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Online Tuition through Virtual Classrooms

Education Services Outsourcing (ESO) or Online Tuition has taken the world like storms. Students and their parents prefer to stay home, spend less and get best possible education. This is made possible using the Internet and this is a growing thinking.

Computing 9691 website offering this absolutely free. It allows you to connect to tutor using your computer and broadband Internet connection. Computing 9691 online tutoring is done using Voice, Chatting, Whiteboarding, File transfer and Application sharing. You can make your schedule for tuition sessions in advance. Review concepts, catch up on school/home work and get help for projects and assignments.

Online tuition is easy, convenient and fun. Using prescribed software, you and the tutor share an on-screen visual aids that can display problems, solutions, worksheets, presentation, animations, simulations and other engaging, interactive content.

Using Chatting, Whiteboarding, File transfer and Application sharing workspace both tutor and student talk, share files, draw and write to share problems, solutions and explanations to maximize learning.

You work one-on-one with tutor in a secure web environment using your existing computer, web browser and a broadband Internet connection - no special equipment or software is needed. You can also voice chat by using the instant message box.

You can reach to tutor as often as you need help through email. There are no maximum number of sessions. You get unlimited tutoring hours every month absolutely free for June 2009 CIE exams. Sessions are just like working face to face with a tutor. For further knowledge click here.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Correct way of writing answers in answer sheet.

It is becoming noticeable in the scripts that there is a significant number of candidates who are answering the questions in any order and even split up individual questions, answering the first part in one part of the paper and the other parts somewhere else. The candidates concerned are invariably weaker candidates who should benefit from the flow through the paper (particularly where the questions are linked by the scenario) and particularly from one part of a question to the next.

There are candidates exhibiting a problem with time management and that the final responses are either rushed or in a few cases were not presented. These cases are normally accompanied by other responses in the easier parts of the paper which were far too long and covered much material which was not to the point. Candidates must be aware of the need to manage their time sensibly in the examination.

More common is the attitude prevalent among some candidates that the question has not quite been worded correctly, so the candidate decides to reword it in the way that they think it should have been worded. This obviously leads to the wrong question being answered and the chance of earning marks being minimized.

Many candidates do this through a sort of Pavlovian reaction to words in the question where they see a word and then write an answer based on that word rather than on the question. Suppose in a question there was an extreme example, where the question said ‘…peripheral devices…’ which lead many candidates to write about keyboard, mouse and monitor as their first three, when the question went on to say ‘…apart from keyboard, mouse and monitor.’ The candidate has seen the term ‘peripheral devices’ and simply writes down what they know about peripheral devices. The worst case of rewording questions to their own liking was the candidate who wrote down the question before supplying the answers. This is quite common among candidates and is usually no more than a waste of the candidate’s time. However, sometimes there are candidates who combined these faults and actually write down their versions of the questions before answering them!

There is evidence of some of the more erudite candidates giving too much information and talking themselves out of marks. A good example is in question when a candidate says “RAM is volatile, this means that the contents are not lost when the power is switched off”. This candidate has offered more information than was necessary for the mark and in doing so has slipped the word ‘not’ in where it should not be. They have successfully ‘talked’ the Examiner out of giving the mark. This is happening on a regular basis throughout the paper and candidates are advised that once they have said something they should not elaborate where it is not needed.

In CIE training workshops, with experiences and after interviewing above-average students I found out that the only criteria that can stand you out in CIE finals is "ANSWERING IN BULLET POINTS" rather than in essay form.
This practice is in total contradiction of answering techniques in other
subjects, so care should be taken and technique must not be applied to any
subject other than the Computing 9691.
So I suggest you all to practice past papers by writing your answers in bullet form. Now how many bullets per questions and what should be the format of it? To answer such questions I laid down following points:
  1. Number of bullets per question should not exceed the total marks of the question.
  2. All bullets must be different from other bullets in same answer.
  3. Bullets' format may be made same as Marking Schemes, BUT bullets given in marking schemes are sometimes too brief so care should be taken to keep your bullet sane and meaningful.
  4. For the quality of answers Examiner reports should be observed and common mistakes by students attempting exams must be kept in mind while answering.
Lastly, space given in number of lines is enough expected for a question's answer from a candidate. In few cases when candidate think that they need more space, they can ask for and use extra sheets or may utilize blank space at the end of given booklet. However, in both cases, the candidate needs to make it very clear in the available answer space for the question that there is more and state which page number it is on. Otherwise it may not get marked. This practice is mostly discouraged as the given answer space is already properly thought from examiners.

Computing 9691 Past Papers, Marking Schemes and Examiner reports can be downloaded from this link.

Good Luck!

O, AS & A Level Computers FREE Resources By: Zafar Ali Khan
Discussion Groups:
A Level: https://www.facebook.com/groups/computing9691/
O Level: https://www.facebook.com/groups/olevelcomputer/

Fan Pages:
A Level: https://www.facebook.com/ALevelComputer
O Level: https://www.facebook.com/OLevelComputer

A Level: https://sites.google.com/site/computing9691/
O Level: https://sites.google.com/site/computerstudies7010/

Saturday, 20 September 2008

CIE Reporting System for Answer Sheets' Checking.

In few English education boards like Edexel, after students receive their results they are allowed to check their answer papers' marking by the examiners. This is made possible by giving all students username and passwords.
This process makes it possible FOR EVERY STUDENT (not only those who pay additional hefty amounts as CIE rechecking and for question wise remarks fee) to have a fair look and improve upon their mistakes. In addition to that students may directly chat with examiners for their improvement and for any queries they have.
Rest I leave to you people out there to decide yourself what is better for our student.

O, AS & A Level Computers FREE Resources By: Zafar Ali Khan
A Level: https://sites.google.com/site/computing9691/
O Level: https://sites.google.com/site/computerstudies7010/

Fan Pages:
A Level: https://www.facebook.com/ALevelComputer
O Level: https://www.facebook.com/OLevelComputer

Facebook Discussion Groups:
A Level: https://www.facebook.com/groups/computing9691/
O Level: https://www.facebook.com/groups/olevelcomputer/

Friday, 19 September 2008

Power of illustrations.

Today I was in a class and teaching Arrays and internally worshiping the idea to teach using illustrations. As the saying goes "A picture speaks for thousand words", I was in comfort zone understanding all of my students in the class --with varying backgrounds-- are comfortable with the topic.

Since I realised the power of illustrations during the lecture time, I always come up with illustrations to teach. Exams and tests later prove that the overall understanding of students increases manifold due to this strategy.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

New 9691Computing Syllabus Website.

A new website for CIE 9691 Computing syllabus is started recently.
This website covers following:
  1. AS and A Level revision notes.
  2. P2 and P4 (AS and A2 projects) support
  3. 9691 resources for:
  • Visual Basic 6.0
  • Algorithms
  • Past Papers
  • Topic Wise Lecture & Exam Preparation Guides

Please visit this website here at http://sites.google.com/site/computing9691