CS-100 Introduction to Computing

Taught by Netiva Caftori

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. -Chinese Proverb

Enjoy my class    Hybrid option  

Course Structure
Instructor's Office hours Fall, ( Spring, Summer) Course schedule Student's Questionnaire
Course description Computer Literacy listserv Substance abuse awareness
Grading Philosophy First assignment surf Second (& later) assignment/s
Textbook & tools Assistants' list
YouTube on learning today
Open source software
Lab Hours
Computer Science dept. Quizzes How to create your own home page
to Home Page Sample grades
Your teacher who wants you to succeed

Check how Abott and Costello
handle computing:)
History of computers on Ted.

Course Description

The tribute to learning is teaching. - Wise saying from the orient.

CS-100 is a basic computer literacy class for the novice or for those who would like to learn what is really going on in the computer and many
other related subjects such as computers in society.

CS-100 is ordinarily meeting in one of the smart classrooms. This classroom lends itself beautifully to hands-on/discussion/lecture combination.
Now, CS100 is also offered as a hybrid course, i. e., partly online.
If you are interested in the hybrid option, be aware of the advantages and disadvantages. This is not for everyone.

Every semester there may be a different concentration for the content of the work done. In the past we covered substance abuse prevention,
IT around the world, and in the future we will cover computers in politics.

In general students will learn
  • to use the Internet for navigation and research,
  • word-processing using Word for Windows,
  • spreadsheets using Excel for Windows,
  • database using Microsoft Access,
  • a presentation using PowerPoint,
  • Basic html to create your own web page,
  • and much theory describing I/O, memory, peripherals, processor, networks, and programming.


A programmer or killer quiz.

In addition students will use e-mail and converse through a discussion list and Blackboard.

Because it is hard for a single teacher to pay attention to so many students on 20 terminals, I would need your assistance:

The assistance method

For every one of the tools taught in this course and mentioned above, the instructor would need 4-6 students as her assistants. For every tool a different team of assistants will volunteer to serve. All the students in the class are requested to participate in this program. The assitants should read the required material ahead of the class and would be given special instruction in advance. For the 2-3 weeks spent in the smart classroom on a specific tool, these students will assist the rest of the class on how to use the specific software.

Credit on participation will be given.

It's up to you to choose on which tool you would like to assist in the instruction. Please fill up the questionnaire on this regard.

For a tentative class schedule follow this path...

For a grade change

Substance Abuse Prevention

I have received a grant from the Network for Dissemination of Curriculum Infusion to incorporate substance abuse prevention in this particular course. Check it out.

You will find there some facts about alcohol abuse and a link to your group presentations. By learning the facts about the bad effects of drugs and alcohol, it is hoped that some change of attitude and knowledge will occur. Hopefully each one of you will become a more informed person, knowledgeable in ways to relieve stress, and knowing other methods of having good times.

The reason I chose cs-100 for the prevention curriculum design is because this course is open to students from all disciplines. Students at Northeastern also come from diverse backgrounds and I allow great flexibility in my class to choose the people in the presentation teams and in the selection of the presentation tool as well.

The original curriculum lends itself naturally to encompass a variety of subjects. Most other computer science courses do not.

Since each student has a unique learning style, working alone on a computer (assisted or unassisted by a peer --- see our assistance program), with a partner, within a small group, in the lab, or in the distance education classroom, offers the student a variety of learning methods. Discussions are encouraged throughout, especially on our discussion listserv.

A case study will be presented as well and each small group will analyze it and use it as a possible basis for a class presentation using one of the tools that is studied during the semester.

Consequently, one of your assignments will be related to substance abuse prevention. Give it some thought.

Another assignment will be done in a group and presented to the class as a whole at the end of the semester by the entire group.

During the first few weeks of class, talk to your fellow friends and see who shares some of your interests. You will have a choice of tools to work with on this group presentation. You may choose between:

  • Internet (You will have found already one item on substance abuse during your first assignment doing the scavenger hunt). Find many more and read them.
  • Wordprocessing (assignment 3 is already devoted to this but you will have to do a more extensive job)
  • Spreadsheet (I'll be giving you many facts and statistics that you could implement in a special spreadshhet)
  • Database (Same facts and others, non numeric, can be organized neatly in a database)
  • So don't delay. Any work you do in this class can be used in conjunction with knowledge that you already have or that you will partake in this course. Make sure you share your thoughts with your group. Good luck!

    Prevention Rationale

  • By encouraging students to think critcally about their own alcohol/drug use in writing their essays.
  • By encouraging students to examine the effects of substance in plotting statistics into spreadsheets and other facts into databases.
  • By providing small group activities through which students will discover that substance use is not necessary to be accepted or have a good time.
  • For any question or comment to n-caftori@neiu.edu or click on [email] CS-100 comments

    Discussion List on Computer Literacy

    An old way to subscribe to any one of my lists.

    We will use the discussion forums on BlackBoard too.

    YouTube may be another way to share information among us, like the future of computers.


    Please suggest other ways.

    Hybrid course

    Students opting for the hybrid cs100 will have to do just as much as students in the regular class, only they will meet face to face less times.

    Since 10% of the grade depends on participation in class discussions, the hybrid discussions will take place on Blackboard's groups and discussion board.
    Each student will have to start one thread a week and respond to 2 threads started by other students.

    Another 10% of the grade is for a group research and PowerPoint presentation.
    The group work can be done on Blackboard, by email, phone (as in virtual meetings below), or physical meetings. It is up to you.

    We will start the class by meeting physically every Tues. at 4:15 in FA108 and by introducing ourselves on Blackboard so we get to know each other a bit better.

    Another way of learning about each other is through our web site.
    This is ordinarily done in assignment 4 but you can start it right away on your own and give the link on Blackboard so we can all find you:)
    I could display all your links right here to facilitate the connection. I hope you will enjoy the interaction.

    Should have more women working
 with computers
    • Less travelling to school
    • Work can be scheduled as convenient within limits
    • May go at your own pace
    • More time possibly with instructor online
    • No one can tell if you are shy, well dressed, etc.
    • Can participate in the course from any location in the world
    • Blogging


    • Less time with peers (not so good for the sociable ones)
    • Need to have self discipline and work independently
    • Instructor or peers cannot hold your hand as easily
    • Harder to work in teams
    Hard to play alone

    To go to where you were...

    Virtual meeting

    You may use IM, Conference calls, Blackboards, etc.
    check in when you start the call and mention your name every time you speak.
    Start with ice breaking questions.
    Communication is the most important thing.
    We are born to work in teams. Building trust through communication.
    Shortcuts to building trust: introduce someone else, not yourself.
    During a conference call take immediate notes. Go over them within the call.
    Create heat: use precious time by having Disagreement and acting on them. Generate heat...
    At the end, Ask: How did the meeting go?
    Email is not recommended

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    Job opportunities for graduating students

    It's news to me...

    CPSR is an international organization. See www.cpsr.org or send me Join us to n-caftori@neiu.edu if you'd like to join.

    CS-100 & CS-200 students:

    Please take the Windows workshop during the 1st 2 weeks of class in CLS 2108. Bring a floppy disk with you.

    If you can afford it, do advance registration...

    If you have any news-worthy news to share with our class please let me know.

    Otherwise: There is nothing new under the sun...

    Hope you do the most you can in this class

    The NY Times on the web.

    Last updated 5/2/11