Monday, January 24, 2011

You AND me OR that's NOT so

2011 Is here and the Sunridge Computer Club is wasting now time getting started. If you haven't figured it out from the tittle of this blog entry - this evening's lesson is thanks to a clever British mathematician named George Boole.

But first the agenda for tonight:

  • Welcome
  • New Secretary
  • Code names
  • New logo
  • Grade 6 members
  • Information sheets
  • Lesson

Our new logo
The Erasmus family was kind enough to help us out with the design of our new "hip" club logo which will also be used on our Sunridge school uniform. I think that this new logo represents the SCC (Sunridge Computer Club) well by clearly stating our involvement with computers yet also hinting towards the fun side of the club by means of the winking emoticon. The logo has proven to be very popular with everyone who has seen it so far.

A new year means a new club secretary. This position went to Dewald Pretorius who did not hesitate to step up to the job. Congratulations Dewald. Dewald will be working closely with me with regards to the running of the club and the reading of the agenda.

Code names
We decided to do away with the code names as we did not really use them as much as was initially intended. The purpose of the code names were to level the playing fields a bit between teacher and learner in order to create a relaxed environment. Well, whatever the cause may be, the computer club is a very relaxed environment where we can talk as equals.

Lesson - Boolean Search Terms
We have all experienced this problem... You type a word into Google, hit the Enter key, and it returns MILLIONS of search results - most of which do not even vaguely relate to what you are looking for. Internet users often complain that there's so much information on the internet that one can't find anything. Thanks to Boolean terms we are able to narrow down our searches and focus on just the information we want. Basically Boolean terms govern the way we search data in a database. And what is the internet? It is a huge database. So it only stands to reason that we should apply these same principals to searching the net by using operators like AND, OR, and NOT.

We started our lesson with a fun activity to prove how using the words AND, OR, and NOT can include and exclude certain results. And what would an activity be without a prize? A packet of chocolates was up for grabs but we ended up sharing it between the members since everybody was so sharp. :-)

We then moved to the computers and put this theory to practice. We first looked at how a Google search returning almost 3 billion results could be narrowed down to just a few relevant websites. The members then tested each other's Googling skills.

Next club meeting
Our next club meeting will take place on Monday, 7 February 2011 at 17:15.

Thank you
Thanks once again to the moms and dads for dropping your kids off on time.

Until next time...