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Maria Dumitrescu

                                                                                                CRN 10256

                                                                                                July 30, 2010 


Meaningful Topics I Learned in CISB11

In the course of a mere six week period CISB11 has helped me achieve a broad understanding of computers in general and of computer applications that I was not even aware of. The textbook has been very useful in rendering good topic overviews, from understanding the main content of computers to learning about programming. As a long-time computer user, but one whose activities are limited to the Internet and the occasional word processing documents, I had numerous questions about computers, and the textbook has helped me answer many of these questions. The discussion board and the topics chosen by Professor Zamora were interesting, and broadened my general knowledge as related to computers. I especially appreciated the discussion board topics related to controversial issues such as privacy concerns, or what constitutes piracy, for example. However, the most helpful applications learned are by far the assignments and lab projects. Most of them are hands-on applications, so it is likely that the student will acquire a better understanding of the topic whereas from reading only.

One topic of particular importance to me was learning how to use Microsoft Office Access. Although I was aware of such databases tools, I had never used one. In fact, I would most likely have used a spreadsheet for keeping organized information, in place of a database. Unlike a spreadsheet though, Access is more efficient when handling a large amount of information. With the help of a query, one can retrieve a particular category from the database, displaying all the entries that meet a certain criteria. This facilitates record keeping as the user does not have to manually go through the database and manually select each entry. Also, one can customize the displaying by inserting company logos, and the report form allows for a more professional look. I plan on using Access or a similar program for keeping the records for my auto repair business, such as information on employees, part suppliers, and accounts payables or receivables.

Another important issue that CISB11 focused on throughout the course is learning to evaluate, but also learning through evaluation. I have learned to evaluate websites, hardware, storage devices manufacturers, video graphics manufacturers, and even job positions. Analyzing the different types of printers available on the market from the perspective of a potential buyer was useful as it provided me with an example on what to look for before purchasing. In the past, I have certainly used different reviews before committing to a certain piece of equipment, but the best choice for one customer may not be the best choice for another. The evaluating process I have learned at CISB11 have taught me to look for items that fit my needs. Also, learning through evaluation came naturally as the students must read several different websites before selecting the relevant information, thus improving their knowledge. I am certain I am going to be using the skills acquired in CISB11 for future personal or work related purchases in order to make the best buying decision.

Another topic that I enjoyed in CISB11 is learning how to set up a network. Not only is network use helpful for practical applications such as multiple computers sharing a printer or sharing an Internet connection, but it can also allow for interactive games and other entertainment applications among family members. In addition, the network setup assignment was carried out on a power point presentation, where the “6 by 6 rule” was to be implemented. The rule refers to power point presentations using strictly 6 words on each of the 6 rows, and thus eliminating redundant connective or descriptive words. This came in handy, as many students, including me, have the tendency to treat power point presentations as straight-forward essays. I will certainly use the “6 by 6 rule” for future projects, and I plan on setting up at least a home network, if not also an office network, because transferring the printer every time I switch to a different computer is becoming tiresome.

The last topic discussed and my favorite by far is learning how to create a webpage, without the need of knowing a programming language.  I did not believe at the beginning of the semester that this class would provide information on such a useful application. Having the ability to create your own website has tremendous advantages, especially professionally. I plan on pursuing a CPA career and dream of eventually opening my own office for practice. Although I would probably outsource the project of designing and creating a professional website, it is helpful to know that you have options.

Overall, I enjoyed taking CISB11 and I have learned a lot. I hope everyone had the same positive experience as I did, and I hope the topics learned in this class will make a difference, even if small, in each student’s life. Thank you, Professor Zamora, for a comprehensive computer experience!