Course Syllabus:


Syllabus - Section 1 & 4

In this course, we will expose you to the exciting, current developments in the world of computers and the Internet. We will talk about (and demonstrate) the use of publishing tools, web development, image editing, animation, multimedia tools, presentation software and spreadsheets. We will be using software applications such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, MS-Excel and others as you build your websites and accomplish many additional goals as well.

About the course:

There are several goals to this course. The title "Computers in Principle and Practice" is intended to emphasize the two important elements of the course: Learning how to use computers and understanding the concepts behind them as well. We will expose you to the exciting, current developments in the world of computers and the Internet. In this course, we will talk about (and demonstrate) the use of publishing tools, presentation software, spreadsheets, web development and some multimedia tools. In addition, we will discuss hardware and the history of computing. The development of computer technology is one of the great achievements of the Twentieth Century. All educated (and voting!) citizens should know about computers and computer systems. In addition, becoming familiar with advanced aspects of software applications, web development and other related tools should assist you in your many occupations and endeavors for years to come.

Topics

 

Important dates

Please note: As this is a course about technology, we will provide on-line resources on all of the subjects that we cover. However, we are aware that for some of you, it is easier and more convenient for many reasons to use textbooks. In such a case, here are the textbooks that we recommend for any and/or all of the topics that we plan to cover. Please be sure to speak to us if you have any questions about the readings.

Please note: As this is a course about technology, we will also provide on-line resources on all of the subjects that we cover.

Suggested Textbooks

(1) Photoshop - CS2

 

Photoshop CS2 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0321336550; Published: Jun 7, 2005; Copyright 2005

or:

Photoshop CS3 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0321473795 (List: $29.99)

(2) Macromedia Dreamweaver 8

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN-10: 0-321-35027-8; Published: Dec 16, 2005; Copyright 2006

or:

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0321503023 (List: $29.99)

 

(3) Flash -- Note: This text is also available under the HELP menu of Flash 8.

Macromedia Flash 8: A Tutorial Guide
By Jay Armstrong, Jen deHaan.
Macromedia Press.
ISBN-10: 0-321-39414-3;

(4) MS Office: Excel

Excel X for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Maria Langer.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide.
ISBN: 0201758423; Published: Feb 21, 2002; Copyright 2002

(5) Web Development & Design

Web Development & Design Foundations with XHTML
By Terry Felke-Morris
Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN: 0-321-43675-X; Copyright 2006

(6) Mac OS X: 10.4 Tiger

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickStart Guide
By Maria Langer.
Published by Peachpit Press.
Series: Visual QuickStart Guide
ISBN: 0321305264; Published: Apr 26, 2005; Copyright 2005

(7) "Principles":

Computers Are Your Future, Introductory, 9/E -- changed 9/10/07
Bill Daley
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Copyright: 2008
ISBN-10: 0132429365

(Note: the earlier edition, Computers In Your Future 2004, Brief, 6/E, is no longer in print. I am sorry for any inconvenience.)

Grading

Your greatest reward is the knowledge and experience that you receive by taking the course. You will also receive a grade. The assignments (see below) will count for 50% of the grade. The midterm will count for 20%, and the final exam counts for the remaining 30%.

Assignments

In all, there will be eight or nine assignments. It is important not to get behind in turning in assignments. If you do get behind, we still want you to do the assignment, so it is better to turn in a late assignment than to skip it and you may wish to speak with me about this. However, late assignments will be penalized, and may not be graded except to note that the assignment was turned in.

Assignments that you turn in should be your own work. It is fine to talk to other students and to get assistance in how to do something, but you should not ask your fellow students to actually do the work for you. When you turn in an assignment, you are saying that you have done this work yourself. The definition of plagiarism is to present someone else's work as though it were your own. Please read the Computer Science Department statement on academic integrity.

Software

Apple computers with all of the software packages pre-installed will be made available to you in the ITS labs. Theoretically, you do not need your own computer nor do you need to purchase any software. However, you will be learning how to use various software packages, and if you have a home computer, you may want to have access to the software at home. In this case, you must purchase your own copy or use the "30-day trial versions" which are sometimes available from the publisher.

You can obtain browsers and other software provided by ITS to all students, including Norton Anti-virus, by going to FILES within your NYU "Home" Account.

We will be exploring the World Wide Web and creating graphics for it. The graphics packages we will use are Adobe Photoshop CS2 as well as Adobe/Macromedia Flash and for web authoring we will be working in Adobe/Macromedia's DreamWeaver 8 . We will use these to create our final web projects.

We will be using software from the Microsoft Office suite of applications (the "Standard" package, not the "Professional" package) for spreadsheets, presentation software and advanced word processing and desktop publishing techniques. This software costs about $200, which is at the educational discount price, and is available at the NYU Computer Bookstore. There are several versions available. The latest version on Mac OS X is "Microsoft Office 2004 " for the Macintosh and "Microsoft Office XP" is in the labs for Windows machines. There are differences, but the differences are not terribly important to the course. Please note that we will be using Microsoft Office 2004 for Macintosh (the version available in the Mac labs) as the basis for the Microsoft software in this course.

Saving your work in the lab

You will not be able to save your work on Zip disks in the ITS labs but rather you will need to store all of your assignments and course work under your NYU Home Account and/or on your own flash drives. Although you can write to the hard disks of the machines in the labs, you cannot be sure that you will have access to the same machine the next time you enter the lab and the drives in the lab are frequently erased. The best options are to upload your files online and download them as needed (we will go over this in class) or to save your work on your own flash drive.

Home computers

Many students will have access to home computers or computers at work. It is fine to do your assignments on whatever resources you have available, as long as your software is current. You are not required to do your assignments in the NYU labs. You may find it advantageous to visit the labs however since there will be a tutor available 20 hours per week, and other students can sometimes assist you with general features of the programs.

Some students decide to purchase a computer while taking this course. Since you have computers available to you at the labs, it might be advisable to wait until later in the course, when you have more experience and information about your options. You do not need to bring a computer to class. However, you do need to be prepared to spend lots of time in the computer labs or on your home or business computer in order to complete the assignments for this course.

Using the computer facilities

The main computer labs to use for this class are in the the Third Avenue North Dorm and in the Education building. Further information on the labs is available from ITS.
Third Avenue North Lab is located at 75 Third Avenue, Level C3 (downstairs) near 12th Street.
Multimedia lab is located in the Education Building, at 35 W. 4th Street, on the second floor.
• There are other labs, although those are the main two with Macintosh computers. You use your ID card to gain access to the computer labs.

Course Computer Account

In addition to your NYU Home Account, we will be using a special computer account on a Unix web server which will be assigned to you automatically based upon your enrollment.  This is called an “i5” account, and we will use it for our web sites.