This paper presents model-based assessment and forecasting of the Lithuanian education system in the period of 2001-2010. In order to obtain satisfactory forecasting results, constructing of models used for these aims should be grounded on some interactive data mining. Data mining of data stored in the system of the Lithuanian teacher's database and of data from other sources representing the state of education system and the demographic changes in Lithuania was used. The models cover the estimation of data quality in the databases, the analysis of flow of teachers and pupils, the clustering of schools, the model of dynamics of pedagogical staff and pupils, and the quality analysis of teachers. The main results of forecasting and integrated analysis of the Lithuanian teachers' database with other data reflecting the state of the education system and demographic changes in Lithuania are presented.
Most students use computers without thinking about how the software and the hardware works internally. So, their occupational outlook depends strictly on the equipment used by a potential employer. Obviously, in case of shoals of applications students which know about the handling of miscellaneous systems are preferred. The concept behind UNIX, BSD or Linux is to provide a set of small but efficient and specialised chiefly tools. More complex problems can be resolved by combining these tools. So, learning how to work with a UNIX-like operating system is learning how to break down a problem into manageable subproblems. But, schools are typically under-funded. That means, that they are unable to bye commercial UNIX-systems. A solution for this dilemma is the usage of Open Source Software like Linux. This paper presents a report of experience which is based on three lectures and practical courses on UNIX/Linux. We will show how to introduce the concepts of Linux as well as how to advance the motivation of students by facilitate individual successes.
It is easy to underestimate the difficulties of using floating-point numbers in programming. This is especially the case in pre-university informatics education and competitions, where one is often led to believe that floating-point arithmetic is a good approximation of the real number system. However, most of the mathematical laws valid for real numbers break down when applied to floating-point numbers. We explain this break-down and illustrate it with four simple examples.
In informatics education and competitions, the students need to be trained, programming assignments need to be formulated, submitted programs need to be evaluated, and variations among computing platforms need to be handled. We show that the use of floating-point numbers gives rise to various kinds of non-trivial difficulties in all these areas. Coping with such difficulties would require that teachers, students, and organizers gain experience in numerical mathematics.
We strongly recommend to avoid the use of floating-point numbers in pre-university education and competitions whenever possible. If you do want to use floating-point numbers, then study the literature of numerical mathematics and be prepared to do a convincing error analysis.
The aim of this work is to present extended informatics paradigm (EIP). This paradigm expands concept of informatics from traditional information and communication technologies (ICT) to a wide use of informational thinking, databases and related technologies in biology and psychology. The essential difference of EIP is an especial attention to nature and purpose of information in organized biological and/or psychological systems. Information as a phenomenon appeared on the Earth 3-4 billion years ago, when the life originated. Informatics paradigm considers the physical and chemical transformations of energy and matter as flows that are controlled, or as the signals for purposive informational control programs. Brain as product of biological evolution accomplishes a quick information processing, thinking and psychical activity. The information is born in control systems of organized systems. The organized systems are represented as informational closed-loop coding-decoding structures. Therefore, the scope of bioinformatics which is generally taught as a skill to deal with biological data bases should be extended, as well as the subject of informational psychology.
Many factors influence teaching nowadays. Numbers of students are increasing, some students pay for studies and require more flexible teaching, more students have access to Internet, the learning material is changing rapidly (especially of subjects, related to information technologies), publishing industry is slow and expensive. All that stimulates usage of modern technologies in education. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) is one of the forms of e-learning. They open new ways of teaching and communication such as management of online learning, course delivery mechanism, communication and assessment tools, student tracking, access to electronic resources, etc. All these means correspond to the needs of contemporary teachers and students. VLEs have primarily been used for distance education but they are being used increasingly as supplement of traditional classroom based education. The author is interested in this latter aspect of VLEs.
The paper briefly reviews main types of Virtual Learning Environments and analyses the use of VLEs in Lithuania. The results of the investigation of two different learning environments - traditional (Web CT) and collaborative (FLE3) at the Vilnius Pedagogical University are also discussed in the article.
This article analyses the field of research on information and communication technology (ICT) in education. It reviews the results of ICT researches carried out in the world. First, the article presents the retrospective of researches on ICT implementation into education. Summarizing them, it reviews main research findings in five areas of ICT implementation: 1) the impact of ICT use on students achievements and attitudes; 2) the impact of ICT use on teachers; 3) the effect of teachers' factors and instructional methods on ICT efficiency; 4) the influence of infrastructure and organizational factors on ICT efficiency; 5) the effect of specific software design features. Then, the paper reviews the main recent and future directions of researches on ICT in education, in the world. Finally, it shortly reviews the most important future directions of ICT research and development in Lithuania. The article concludes that in spite of numerous ICT studies worldwide the national research and experiments have to be carried out in order to implement ICT in an appropriate for Lithuania and efficient way.
Our future society will be different from that we have known in the last fifty years. Futurists foresee that in the near couple decades the world's community will traverse through a period of rapid technological innovations that will change the foundations of society as we used to know it (Tapscott, 1997; Wallace, 1999; Borgmann; 1999). Changes will engulf all aspects of life (Gleick, 1999). These changes will have great impact on society, work, culture and art. People will have to innovate or evaporate (Higgins, 1995). They will have to adapt continuously to never-ending permutations and engage in a never-ending adaptation.
It makes sense, therefore, to assume that the graduates of today's schooling will need a different set of cognitive and learning skills reflecting the profound change that they will encounter. This paper traces the basic nature of future society and proposes a relevant taxonomy of future cognitive skills that will provide our students with appropriate tools to succeed in the future. We have used Bloom's taxonomy as a working ground and expanded his categories to reflect the needs of the future. This paper suggests an additional cognitive category to add to our teaching procedures named melioration, which we believe, is not addressed in today's curriculum.
Distance learning programs have rapidly increased during the past few decades. In fall 2000 the University of Joensuu started to offer distance Computer Science (CS) studies to the high school students in surrounding rural areas of Joensuu. In this program high school students study the first year's university level CS studies over the web simultaneously with their regular high school studies. We describe the creation process of our virtual curriculum which is based the so-called Candle scheme. The Candle scheme search the most essential principles needed in on-line course design, supporting a student locally in her authentic learning needs via electronic tools in a light way. With the Candle scheme we have successfully focused in our design process on the most essential parts of the virtual study process. Our experiences of the Candle scheme in the creation process of the on-line CS program during years 2000-2002 indicate that the scheme is the functional one and expandable to other contexts as well.
A constructivism-based approach to teach the object-oriented (OO) programming paradigm in introductory computer courses was developed and used for several years. A multi-entity system from every-day life was adopted, to exploit the novice programmer's existing knowledge and build on it the OO conceptual framework. A sequence of assignments has been designed and developed to allow students exposed to this approach to experiment with Java programming and see how the OO conceptual framework is implemented. In this paper, this sequence of assignments is presented, discussed and evaluated in the context of the defined approach. The set of assignments that is based on a software-engineering-centered view and more precisely on a design-first approach, comes with the description of the strategy and graded hints that lead students to the final solution. Although it was first implemented as supplementary material, it quickly became the core component of the course.
The use of informatics in education has provided many contributions to the understanding of teaching and learning processes. First, it made possible the distinction between instructionism, seen as transmission of information, and constructionism, as the process of knowledge construction that takes place when a learner produces a meaningful product through the use of computers.
Second, programming activity, especially with the Logo language, has helped to understand how knowledge is constructed in the learner-computer interaction. The article shows that this understanding has evolved over the course of the years. Initially the knowledge representation aspect was emphasized. Later the program development process began to be seen as a cycle of actions, description-execution-reflection-debugging-description. Finally, a spiral is shown to be the best model to represent the relation of these actions in the knowledge construction process.
The article explores the cycle and the spiral models to discuss the role of each of the actions and to explain how knowledge is constructed based upon several concepts used by Piaget and Papert, particularly reflection and debugging.