Introduction to Information Technology

2015-2016 Course Syllabus

Westview High School

Shad David Sluiter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


·      Unit 1 - Computer Maintenance, Security, History and Careers

·      Unit 2 – Print Publishing and Graphic Design (Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator)

·      Unit 3 - Data Processing (Excel, Access)

·      Unit 4 – Digital Imaging (Adobe Photoshop and Flash Animation)

·      Unit 5 – Beginning Programming ( and Construct 2)


Course Details



Unit 1 – Computer Design and Maintenance

1.              Computer Hardware

2.              Operating Systems

3.              Windows Overview

4.              Computer Maintenance

5.              Computer Ethics

6.              Security and Encryption

7.              IT Careers

8.              History of Technology


Unit 2 – Print Publishing and Graphic Design Tools 

1.         MS Word

·      Business Plan – Create a business plan that will be used as a reference point for the rest of the projects in this unit.

·      Organizational Chart – Use

·      Sales Report – create graphics with embedded Excel charts

·      Resume, Cover letter, Follow up letter

·      Letterhead template

·      Job Interview and Professional Dress

2.         MS Publisher  

·      Magazine cover – place and order images and text frames on a document

·      Calendar – use table formatting to create an appointment calendar

·      Newsletter – Use linked text frames, image wrap and call-out text boxes

·      Flow chart – Use drawing tools to link shapes in a decision diagram

·      Timeline – Use alignment tools to create a graphic with many components

·      Price list/Menu – multi-page, headers and footers, tab stop settings

·      Certificate – borders, text boxes

·      Brochure – Modify a template made from a wizard

·      Business cards – Explore drawing tools, tables, object grouping, border styles


3. Adobe Illustrator

·      Icons with Illustrator – Create your first vector art graphics in Illustrator by creating a set of icons.

·      Cartooning with Illustrator – Create three cartoons following tutorials and then on your own.

·      Logo Design – Create a new business logo for a company.  Follow a tutorial, then create your own.

·      Cereal Box – Create your own cereal brand.  Add your box to the store shelf gallery.


FBLA projects are done in class, but can also be entered into the FBLA competitive events at the State Leadership Conference in Tucson, April 17-19. 


FBLA Project – Print Publication Package

Create a publication portfolio promoting a new, member original TV series or movie.  The portfolio should include a poster, character cutout design, ¼ page newspaper advertisement, and three additional promotional products.


FBLA Project – Business Graphics

You have been hired as a graphic designer for a new Family Entertainment Center (FEC) opening in a city with a population of approximately 200,000. Provide a branding package for the owners that would include a name for the FEC, logo, theme, store front design, interior and exterior signage, and menu boards.


Unit 3 – Data Processing Tools 


1.         MS Excel and Google Sheets

·      Sales forecast – use charts and tables to present data.

·      Payroll – use formulas, absolute and relative references

·      Employee grade book – more formulas, conditional formatting, charts

·      Inventory database in Excel  - concatenate, substrings, sorting, more formulas

·      Problem Solving with Excel  - Comparison-shopping between several products – e.g. data plans on cell phone, printers and supplies, vacation plans with various modes of travel and lodging, cars with differing gas mileage, insurance rates, maintenance costs.

2.         MS Access

o   Point of sales applications – design forms, queries, tables, reports and navigation

o   Criminal database – Query a database with clues about a crime until only one suspect remains.


FBLA Project – Database Design

Develop a database program to manage the general operations of a Family Entertainment Center (FEC).  Give the FEC a name.  The program must allow the user to complete at minimum the following tasks:

          Enter/view/edit a list of employees

          Create/edit a weekly work schedule for employees

          Generate/print weekly schedule reports

          Enter attendance of customers

          Enter/track, generate, and print report(s) showing customer attendance by time of day (AM/PM) and day of week.


5.         MS PowerPoint/Google Slides/Prezi

o   Sell your idea to an investor – Summarize your business plan and operations data from previous assignments.  Present your findings to the class.

o   Portfolio Part 1


Unit 4 – Digital Imaging Tools 


1. Photoshop Photography, Editing, Enhancing and Digital Trickery

1.     Photoshop Sandwich – Learn layers, selection and masking tools while building a beautiful meal.

2.     Photo Retouching – improve a photo with cropping, color correction, levels, and clone tool

3.     Photo publishing – use correct settings for proper resolution, color spaces, in web, print and animation.  Identify steps in publishing workflow. 

4.     Realistic-looking modifications –change the sky color, clouds, rain, grass, object color, colorize

5.     People enhancements – whiten teeth, fix eyes, hair, fat, skin blemishes

6.     Impossible scenes – create a nuclear explosion, UFO, stone statue of a person, convert a person to chocolate, create a face in tree bark, create ghosts, show the bat signal, miniaturize a scene, hollow out your head,  take fire into your hands

7.     Creative portraits – Create a photo booth film strip, basket weave, your face in a wheat field, make a watercolor portrait, chalk drawing on sidewalk, 1950’s magazine cover, custom playing card, fake dollar bill, etch-a-sketch, woodcut carving,

8.     Text effects –rubber stamp effect, broken letters, icy text, spooky fog letters, Jell-O, neon light letters, terrycloth towel, embossed in leather, gold leaf letters, foggy window writing, glitter filled glass letters, chrome text, 70s disco lettering, 20’s jazz lettering, Barbie bling, cloud writing, writing in the sand, hieroglyphics in stone, blood stained wall letters and more.

9.     Out of nothing – create images from a blank canvas including a realistic eyeball, gold rings, ying yang, custom shoe footprint, postage stamp, oreo cookie, torn paper, snow globe, vanity license plate and more.

10.  Space scenes – Saturn’s rings, galaxy, comet, exploding planet, Jupiter gas giant, space nebula, frozen icy planet, asteroid, the Sun.


2. Illustrator Advanced

1)             Image tracing – prep and scan a hand-drawn cartoon and trace with pen tool into a vector graphic.  Use auto trace and perform manual corrections. Use various pen settings for appropriate lines

2)             Publishing – export and import various file formats, use proper color spaces, explain the workflow process used in publishing.


3. Flash Animations

1.     Frame by Frame animation – painting tools, key frames, onion skin, text.  Animate an apple being eaten, a pizza being cut and served, a burning candle and a cursive name being written.

2.     Tweening – Use classic, shape and motion tweens for short movies.

3.     Character animation – Create symbols within symbols to animate talking, blinking and walking.

4.     Scenes – Create a short movie with multiple scenes, zooming and panning.


FBLA Project – Promotional Video

Many companies are required to protect the environment and “go green.”  Use 3D animation in a promotional/marketing video to show the importance of going green as an important business sustainability step.


Unit 5 – Programming 

·      Intro programming  - Use block programming tools to explore loops, if/else, variables and functions.

·      Into to gaming – Use Construct 2 to build a top-down view shooter game, an Angry-birds game or a platform (Mario) game.

·      Intro Web Design Use an online web building tool to design and construct a themed website.


Questions about the class

What is the grade scale?

90 (A), 80 (B), 70 (C), 60 (D), below (F)


Is this an easy class?

No.  This is a college-level class leading to real career options.  Some of you will finish your first semester of college before leaving Westview.


Is there a textbook?

No.  All assignments and instructional videos are accessed via


When is extra help available?

The computer is open on Mondays from 2:00 to 3:00 for extra work time and help. There is a tutor bus available take students home on Mondays.


Is there a club associated with the class?

The FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) organization meets on Mondays.  FBLA participates in state conference competitions in January and April.  We create publications, websites and software programs that will be judged at competitions.


Can I do the assignments outside of class? Do I need special software?

Sufficient time will be given to do all assignments during class time.  However, students who miss class or waste class time will need to make up work at home.

In semester 1, we use Microsoft Office and Google Docs.  MS Office is available for free online at for Word, Excel, and Power Point.  Publisher and Access are free for the first 30 days and then $6.99 per month.  Microsoft Office is available on every computer in the school.

In semester 2, we use Adobe Creative Suite CC6, which is available for a 30-day free trial at and $19.99.  Adobe Suite is only installed in the classroom computer lab.


What careers will this class help me with?

This class is a prerequisite for two other classes at Westview: Web Development and Software Development. 


According to the U.S. Government, Web Developers with an associated degree earn an average of $62,000 per year.  Software Developers with a BA degree earn $93,000 per year.  Job growth in these fields is expected to be 20% to 22% in the next 10 years, much faster than average.


Is there a class fee?

                  Yes. There is a $5 classroom supply fee each semester to be paid at the school bookstore.


How can I see my grade?

Grades are posted online at  Select Student Links > Student Experience.  Parents should register on Parent View to see student grades and receive email communication for their teachers.


Behavior Expectations

Students should demonstrate the positive expectations of being a good night: Pride, Perseverance, and Performance.


1.     Pride – show value to yourself, the school and others.

2.     Perseverance – complete projects, work through difficulties and distractions. Demonstrate personal control over your phone.

3.     Performance – do your best work; demonstrate your talent and knowledge.