Please tell us about yourself so that readers can get to know you.
I am Lester Hoffman, privileged to be teaching Computer Skills at a very progressive, forward thinking school like Gardenia Primary. I am also a Facilitator and Assessor with over ten years experience in the Computer Training field. I love all things computer-related, and that makes this career all the more satisfying. Sharing knowledge about something you enjoy doing is one of the perks of life.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by people who have lost everything, have had to start again, and still end up achieving great things in life. I am challenged by people who have less than me, and can yet do more than I think possible. I am also inspired by great leaders, people who take up the challenge of leading others to reach their own levels of success.
What qualification and/or experience do you have with regard to computers?
I have numerous certificates, ranging from Server Hardware Repairs, to Microsoft certifications, including others like ICDL, Train the Trainer, amongst others.
What do you think the current educational trends are with respect to computer training?
My opinion is that computer skills should be directly aimed at the young people who need them the most: youngsters who have no issues about trying something new, who will be able to use those skills in the future: thereby improving their skillset and chances of employment or entrepreneurship. These youngsters in the schooling system have wonderful platforms from which to broaden their horizons in terms of work options for their future. Thus, having computer skills will influence the wide variety of options available.
Why are you using the CS4A curriculum?
The school is using the CS4A Curriculum because it provides structure for the training of the different grades. The programme is exceptionally useful in that it has defined guidelines, outcomes, prepared materials, templates, assessments, etc. for us to use when providing training to the different grades in our school: from Grade 2 kids to Grade 7 kids. In addition, the material is relevant, useful, and easy to grasp for the youngsters.
How do you feel about the CS4A curriculum?
I am very happy about it, in fact I find it useful in helping to plan lessons, plan ahead for the year, and provide quality training to the learners at Gardenia Primary School.
What do you enjoy most about using the CS4A curriculum?
I enjoy the flexibility of the material, in that if something is not 100% suitable for the kids in a class, the MS Word documents can be adapted to suit the needs of the class: but even this is very minimal and rare. It is often the case that some classes will complete the exercise in the given time, while other classes in the same grade may take longer: this is where some adaptation is required.
What do the learners enjoy most about using the CS4A curriculum?
The learners enjoy the fact that they can help themselves, they already know that their files are located in order, varying from unit 1 to the last unit in their respective grades.
What part of the CS4A curriculum doesn’t work for you or the learners?
I don’t think there is anything that doesn’t really work: if anything needs to be changed it doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
How much time would you say is taken up for preparation and or admin for these lessons?
I usually prepare in about an hour since most of the work is already prepared.
Is the curriculum easy to understand; are there any difficult parts?
Easy to understand.
Have you printed any of the learners’ work or examples to put up in the class room?
Not as yet, it will be done from next year, since this year was mostly just checking out the material and in addition we only started using it in July 2013.
The CS4A curriculum is under continual development. What would you change/add to the CS4A curriculum?
I think as long as you keep updating the information and material, as the IT industry is never stagnant, this would be great.
Do you feel that there should be a version of the CS4A curriculum in another language? If so, which language?
Computer training is mostly in English medium, so no, I don’t think so: personal preference
Do you think that using the CS4A curriculum will improve computer literacy? Why?
Yes, definitely. The material is set out with an excellent flow from one area to the next. This is very helpful.
Would you recommend the CS4A curriculum?
I would, and I have.
Do you have any other comments or advice for colleagues?
In terms of CS4A I think my colleagues all have valuable experience necessary to make the best of the material and train the learners as best as they can.
A common problem in a computer training setup is to keep the computers in the manner in which you had it setup. My solution came in the form of “Reboot Restore”. This has literally saved me hours, in that each time the computer is restarted, it reloads the “image” of the setup, as I had installed it. All changes are destroyed.