Informatics leverages technology, data and communication by instilling in a new generation the knowledge, imagination and flexibility to tackle complex issues successfully in a data-rich digital world. It is the process of designing systems that take raw data and convert it into new knowledge that can be applied to any field while considering the impact on individuals, organizations and society. For example, students design, build and test a database to collect data on customers’ shopping habits that will lead to target marketing of products customers will purchase. In today’s global market, the ability to collect vast amounts of information cost-effectively is changing the way business manages information, creates knowledge and makes decisions. Students in this program will have the opportunity to explore such information systems and more through authentic project experiences. This program will prepare students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in both college and the global workforce. Career opportunities include new fields and transformed traditional fields. Examples of such careers include bioinformaticist, data mapper, chemical informaticist, database designer, digital artist, human-computer interface designer, information architect, usability analyst, interaction designer, system integrator, web designer, software engineer, project manager and many careers not yet created. Informatics was developed by SREB and Kentucky as a part of a multi-state consortium to improve career and technical education in this country.
Students will apply software systems such as Excel, Access and other industry software to acquire, collect, store and communicate data in meaningful ways to clients. Students will manage projects, work in teams, think critically, solve problems and propose solutions to design problems. Further, they will learn to apply literacy, mathematics and science concepts and use technology to effectively solve real-world challenging problems. Through project-based learning, students will explore the future of informatics and learn those habits of behavior and mind unique to professionals in the field. Students completing the program will become a Microsoft Office Specialist and may be prepared to earn other relevant industry certifications.
Courses in the Informatics pathway include;
Computers, Networks and Databases - This project-based-learning course engages students who are curious about informatics. In this course, students will learn how to use a design process to create systems that acquire, store and communicate data for a variety of career fields. Students will work collaboratively in teams to design systems, solve problems, think critically, be creative and communicate with each other and business partners. Students will participate in real-world experiences such as designing an inventory system for a retail store, comparing stores in a company to project future sales, track customer buying habits and more.
Design for the Digital World - This project-based-learning course engages students who are interested in applying the design process to create systems such as a cloud-based digital storage system for images. Students will design a system to automatically collect and report data on highway usage. They will apply a geospatial system to map a store and develop a database that studies shopping habits. Through these projects, students will learn about data management and logic-based queries by collecting data, using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and analyzing data utilizing a geographic information system (GIS). They will learn how to automate data collection to make processes more effective and efficient. Students will work collaboratively in teams and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by presenting new and innovative ideas, techniques and solutions to business and industry partners.
Databases in the Cloud - This project-based-learning course is for students who successfully completed courses one and two and will tackle the more complex challenges that business and industry face. Students at this level will learn about Web technologies, cloud storage, information security, data, animation, introductory computer programming and database applications. Students will take more responsibility for their own learning, problem solving and thinking outside of the box. Real-world challenges will require higher levels of research, building, testing, analyzing and improving systems. Students will develop solutions for real-world problems by designing a database for ticket sales; designing security for a database; creating a game with animation; reporting information based on population data in a community; and designing, building and testing an application for a database.
Developing a Cloud Presence - Students in this capstone course will focus on the ethics of privacy, social networking, designing for clients and artificial intelligence through six authentic projects. Students will select a business partner and design, build and test a Web presence for a company that will apply the concepts from the three prior courses. Student teams will work collaboratively with a business partner to develop a proposal for the project with evaluation criteria. Once the business partner accepts the proposal, the student team will implement it by designing, planning, building the system, and testing and revising the system to meet the needs of the business.
Depending on articulation agreements or state policy, opportunity for dual credit may be available to students who successfully complete this course.