ROLE OF TELEMATICS IN FIGHTING SCHOOL ABANDONMENT
Western Europe is deeply involved in the global economic crisis and, in the absence of trustworthy employment perspectives, the problem of school abandonment is getting more and more grave.
This paper presents a proposal for training teachers to apply Computer Science in the more general context of Telematics, so as to prepare them to face this subject properly in class.
Telematics is strongly appealing for the young and is also fundamental to face the current work market.
The already strong effort of educators in this direction would be guided by professionals; in this way, the generation gap between teachers and students about the use of computers could be better filled, school relationships improved and students would be guided to manage new technologies with competence and awareness.
The current society and work market require an advanced theoretical and applied training in computer science and telematics infrastructures, since no device or application can be anymore regarded as an isolated world, but only as an integrated part of a worldwide network of interconnected devices, services and infrastructures.
The kind of training could highly help teachers and schools to fight school abandonment: in addition to the natural appeal and professionalization of these subjects, in fact, laboratory activities are strongly aggregative and access to the Internet and e/m-Learning platforms can be used in most subjects.
A fundamental feature of the proposed approach is that participating teachers are interviewed beforehand, so as to adapt the course to their specific needs and equipment at disposal.
The training course involves five areas:
1) Telematics and Telecommunication Systems;
2) personal computers, operating systems and software for individual production;
3) Programming languages;
4) Internet and Internet security;
5) mobile devices and applications;
6) the Cloud.
As for the first area, after some theoretical concepts, teachers will be asked to find them in the laboratory environment and Internet infrastructure, such as access points, Wi-Fi modems as well as data transmission paths during a chat session.
Concerning the second area, after an introduction to computer components and their functioning, operating systems and software for personal productivity, several advanced activities will proposed, including database design.
As for programming languages, the concepts of problem, algorithm, program and process are distinguished, programming environments and kinds of computation presented and some basic concepts of C introduced through famous problems, such as Hanoi Towers.
The Internet, its architecture and web applications are faced, including the grave problem of the secure use of the Internet and, in particular, the use of social networks. Each teacher will finally develop his or her personal web page using specific software at disposal.
As for mobile environments, mobile access technologies, tablets, smartphones and scaled applications will be presented, as well as their use in educational frameworks, including m-Learning platforms.
Talking about the Cloud, beyond a theoretical presentation and the concepts of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) for explaining the features of this computing paradigm, Google Drive and Google Documents will be presented and used in the laboratory session.