The 2021 CAT PAT topics have been announced and I am busy brainstorming ideas with my Learners. I think the choice of topics is relevant and the complexity of the topics is very well matched to each grade. You will find my ideas and thoughts below — I will update the post as I progress.
Both the Grade 10 and 11 PAT’s include a comprehensive set of Research Questions and I am encouraging my Learners to take the questions they have been given and run with them. There is simply not enough time for them under current constraints to work up a set of their own. The Grade 12’s on the other hand have been provided with a sample of questions and given the instruction not to use them verbatim. I had to explain that that meant they could use similar questions, but not the exact same questions word-for-word.
Grade 12 Topic: Building a Resilient Future
The fact that Learners must choose a specific business sector is challenging, however, don’t fall into the trap that the project must be 100% constrained to the sector selected. I would say ensure for example that half the Research Questions relate to the sector while the other half can be more general in nature.
Ideas by sector
The go-to sector is the Education Sector as almost all of us now have some form of first-hand experience of online education. At this stage, I have a few ideas about ICT implementations divided into 3 broad categories:
- Delivering education online:
- Communicating with role-players (school staff, parents, school kids) to create a digital school community via Facebook, e-mail, WhatsApp to tackle the immense challenges ahead
- Communicating and disseminating work electronically (Telegram, WhatsApp) and then collecting and managing it
- The implementation of or use of already implemented full LMS‘s (Google Classroom, Moodle)
- Virtual classrooms via Zoom and MS Teams
- Creating/converting material from traditional materials (textbooks, OHP transparencies, PowerPoint slides):
- Facilitating other school functions:
- Attendance systems: schools using thumb-print clock-in systems for attendance must have had to adapt to a contactless system
- COVID compliance: creating forms for learners to complete daily in accordance with COVID regulations (solutions ranged from a Microsoft Mail Merge using existing Excel class lists to using electronic online forms like Google Forms and Jotform)
Some of the most challenging aspects of online schooling appear to have been empowering both educators and learners with the skills required to “go to school” online, engaging learners online and assessing learners online.
Travel & Tourism Sector
South Africa as a whole, and specifically an area such as ours — the Garden Route — depends heavily on the Travel & Tourism Sector to generate income.
- Virtual Game Drives
The restaurant sector was incredibly hard-hit and had to continually adapt to changing regulations, notably the sale of alcohol, which meant that they had to adapt — and then adapt quickly again!
- “Contactless Menus”: QR codes on “table talkers” to open or download menus & wine lists from a website to avoid handling menus.
- Many restaurants quickly moved to online efforts in order to deliver food ordered online, adopting ICT along the way.
- Some restaurants offered vouchers for sale online to be redeemed for meals when the regulations next allowed in an attempt to earn cash to tide them over; this would have required ICT systems.
Many businesses offering personal services were forced to suspend operations completely during hard lockdown. When business was allowed to resume, there were restrictions on the number of people in venues.
- Booksy.com for booking with beautician/hairdresser for hassle-free booking and to let the customer know their technician is ready for them.
Many Learners will have family members whose employment will have changed dramatically during the pandemic. Companies scrambled to allow employees to work from home where possible and many people were suddenly telecommuting.
- Online meetings
- VOIP to distribute calls to private lines (think of call centres)
- Online technical support for workers working remotely
- Online training to help employees upskill to cope with the new workplace requirements
Many bricks and mortar retailers will have been forced to create online stores. Businesses already involved in e-commerce would have experienced a marked increase in online business.
Store offered services ranging from online shopping to online shopping and pick-up (with groceries being brought out to the car to avoid crowding in store). These services would have required ICT systems to manage movement of goods and payments.c
Performing artists lost performance opportunities as public spaces were closed or heavily regulated. Many artists would have taken shows online in an attempt to create a revenue stream and would have had to come to terms with the technologies involved.
As of writing this post, more than 1 year after initial lock-downs internationally saw international superstar DJ’s take to online streaming from a variety of locations (including their own homes), some are still continuing their weekly online gigs.
- YouTube, Mixcloud, Facebook, Twitch, Zoom were all used for live streaming
- The platforms themselves saw massive technological advances offering more features, better sound quality and options for monetization and distribution of royalties which will benefit artists long after the pandemic is over
Grade 11 Topic: The Internet of Things
There is so much exciting scope for this topic: the Internet of Things is all around us and a little bit of imagination will lead to some fun exploration of what is likely to come next!
Remember to carefully balance your research question to ensure that enough of your project is about IoT in general terms as well as enough content relating to the specific area of application.
Grade 10 Topic: Fake News
“How does fake news impact our lives?”
What an awesome topic! I briefly scanned a picture and heading of an article posted online just last week about a boat that had become stuck in the Suez Canal and was blocking global shipping traffic. “Fake News, for sure!” I exclaimed to myself…