Technologies Curriculum Area

Technologies Progress Report

Overview of qualifications in the technologies curriculum area

A vision for qualifications in the technologies curriculum area

The Curriculum for Excellence values, purposes and principles will underpin all new and revised National Qualifications. Learners should have opportunities to continue to acquire and develop the attributes and capabilities of the four capacities as well as skills for learning, life and work.

Technology has been defined as‘the application of knowledge and skills to extend human capabilities and to help satisfy human needs and wants’(Curriculum for Excellence:technologies principles and practicepaper1).

For the purposes of qualifications in the senior phase this definition needs to be amplified and focused…

Suites of Courses: National Courses

  • Computing Science National 3 to 7
  • Graphic Communication [at National 3 Design and Technology]
  • Design and Manufacture [at National 3 Design and Technology]
  • Engineering Science [at National 3 Design and Technology]
  • Practical Technology National 3 to 5 [Woodworking/Metalworking/Electronics]

Other course

  • …course for skills for work including Creative Digital Media and Construction Crafts…
  • …other NPA and NC courses…

Each course has lateral and vertical progression routes.

Information System Design and Development Units N5 Higher Subject Content

Source

Below is a table summarising the content for the Information System Design and Development unit taken from the Computing Science National 5 and Higher course support notes:

Information System Design and Development
Topic National 5 Higher
Structures and links
  • Database structure: flat file, linked tables
  • Field types: text, numbers, date, time, graphics, calculated, link,  Boolean)
  • Field lengths and range
  • Key field
  • Website, page, URL
  • hyperlink (internal, external), navigation.
  • Frames, sequence

 

  • database structures: relational, web-based
  • stylesheets, CSS
  • page structure: head, title, body
  • metadata
  • dynamic web pages, database-driven website
  • interactive web page, multimedia application
  • multi-level navigation

 

User interface User requirements: visual layout, navigation, selection, consistency, interactivity, readability
  • Usability: fit for purpose, efficient, robust, maintainable
  • Accessibility
  • Optimisation

 

Media Types Standard file formats:

  • text: txt, rtf
  • audio: wav, mp3
  • graphics: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
  • video: mpeg, avi
  • spreadsheet: xls, csv, xml
  • pdf

Factors affecting file size and quality, including resolution, colour depth, sampling rate

Need for compression

Compression:

  • lossy and lossless compression techniques, applied to sound, graphic and video data files

 

Coding
  • Scripting languages (including JavaScript)
  • Mark-up languages
  • Client-side scripting
  • Server-side scripting
Testing
  • Links and navigation
  • Matches user interface design
  • Beta testing
  • Usability
  • Compatibility issues (including memory and storage requirements, OS compatibility)
Purpose, features, functionality, users Description of purposeUsers: expert, novice, age range
  • Detailed descriptions of purpose
  • Users:

-human: expert, novice, age-range

-machine: search engines (crawlers and bots)

 

Technical implementation (hardware and software requirements) Hardware:

  • input and output devices
  • processor type and speed (Hz)
  • memory (RAM, ROM)
  • device type (including supercomputer, desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone)

Software considerations:

  • operating systems

 

Hardware

  • input and output devices
  • processor type and speed (Hz)
  • memory (RAM, ROM)
  • device type (including supercomputer, desktop, laptop,
  • tablet, smartphone)

Software considerations:

  • operating systems
  • licensing
  • proprietary versus open source
  • transferability

 

Technical implementation (storage) Storage devices:

  • built-in, external, portable
  • magnetic, optical
  • solid state
  • capacity, speed
  • rewritable, read-only
  • interface type and speed

 

Storage devices:

  • built-in, external, portable
  • magnetic, optical
  • solid state
  • capacity, speed
  • rewritable, read-only
  • interface type and speed
  • distributed and off line storage
  • backup systems and strategy

 

Technical implantation (networking\connectivity)
  • Peer-to-peer versus client/server
  • Media: wired, optical, wireless
  • Comparison of local versus web/cloud
Cloud systems and server provision

  • public, private, hybrid
  • cloud-based services
  • web hosting

 

Security risks
  • Spyware, phishing, keylogger
  • Online fraud, identity theft
  • DOS (Denial of Service) attacks
Security precautions
  • Passwords/encryption
  • Biometrics
  • Security protocols and firewalls
  • Use of security suites

 

  • Encryption
  • Digital certificates and signatures
  • Server-side validation of online form data
  • Biometrics in industry

 

Legal implications
  • Computer Misuse Act
  • Data Protection Act
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (plagiarism)
  • Health and Safety regulations

 

  • Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (2002)
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)

 

Environmental impact
  • Energy use
  • Disposal of IT equipment
  • Carbon footprint

 

  • Lifetime carbon footprint (manufacture, use, disposal)
  • Environmental benefits
Economic and social impact
  • Economic: competitive advantage, global marketplace, business costs, maintainability, scalability
  • Social: censorship and freedom of speech, privacy and encryption, global citizenship, online communities

 

Software Design and Development Units N5 and Higher Subject Content

Source

Below is a table summarising the content for the Software Design and Development unit taken from the Computing Science National 4 and 5 course support notes:

Software Design and Development
Topic National 5 Higher
Languages and environments Language types:

  • imperative
  • declarative
  • object-oriented
  • domain-specific

 

Computational constructs Exemplification and implementation of the following constructs:

  • expressions to assign values to variables
  • expressions to return values using arithmetic operations (+, -, *, /, ^)
  • use of selection constructs including simple and complex conditional statements and logical operators (AND, OR, NOT)
  • iteration using fixed and conditional loops
  • pre-defined functions

 

Exemplification and implementation of the followingconstructs:

  • sub-programs and user-defined functions
  • parameter passing (value and reference)
  • sequential files (open/create, read, write, close, delete)
  • scope, local and global variables

 

Data types and structures
  • String
  • Numeric (integer and real) variables
  • Boolean variables
  • 1D arrays

 

  • String
  • Numeric (integer and real) variables
  • Boolean variables
  • 1D arrays

 

Testing and documenting solutions
  • Normal, extreme and exceptional test data
  • Syntax, execution and logic errors
  • Readability of code (internal commentary, meaningful  identifiers, indentation)

 

  • constructing a test plan (incorporating normal, extreme and exceptional testing)
  • syntax, execution and logic errors
  • dry runs, trace tables (tools), break points

 

Algorithm specification
  • Input validation
Design notations (for both software development and information system development)
  • pseudocode to exemplify programming constructs
  • other contemporary designnotations
  • structure diagram
  • pseudocode
  • wire-framing
  • other contemporary design notations
Development methodologies (for both software development and information system development) Iterative phases of developmentprocess: analysis, design,implementation, testing, documentation, evaluation,maintenance

Development methodologies

  • rapid application development
  • top-down/step-wise refinement
  • Agile methodologies

 

Low-level operations and computer architecture Translation of high-level program code to binary (machine code): interpreters and compilersUse of binary to represent and store:

  • integers and real numbers
  • characters
  • instructions (machine code)
  • graphics (bit-mapped and vector)

Basic computer architecture: processor, memory, buses, interfaces

 

  • virtual machines
  • emulators
  • mobile devices

Use of binary to represent and store

  • integers and real numbers
  • characters
  • instructions (machine code)
  • graphics (bit-mapped and vector)
  • sound
  • video

Computer architecture: processor(s), memory, cache, buses, interfaces