Category Archives: Freshmen

Honors vs. Advanced Placement

Honors vs Advanced Placement Paths in AOIT

By: Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern

When you are in AOIT you will get to a point when you will have to decide between taking AP classes or Honors classes. During your sophomore year, you get your first choices with science and history. You can either take AP Environmental Science (APES) or Earth Science (Honors). I took AP Environmental Science to get that AP credit and it’s definitely not a bad class to take as my first AP. I recommend the challenge of APES because I have heard that Earth Science is very easy and it will get you ready for any other APs you take in the future by getting you into the college level mindset. The other AP choice is a little more important because it will determine the classes you will take for your Sophomore AND Junior year. You will have to choose between AP Human Geography (APHuG) or American History I (Honors). If you take APHuG you will have to take the APs in History AND English for your Junior year. Same with American History I, you would have to take the honors classes for History AND English in your Junior year. Mainly because when you take American History I, you take American History II the next year. I ended up taking American History I in my sophomore year because of this reason. I didn’t enjoy having to choose between taking only 3 APs or only 3 Honors and it was an all or nothing deal. I believe they mainly do this because Honors English and Honors History were taken as an A/B schedule, as well as the AP English and AP History. An A/B schedule means that both classes are taken year long in the same period and they are alternate every day. For example, you may have English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while History is on Tuesday and Thursday. Then it flips the next week. When I took these classes, only the AP classes had an A/B schedule which meant that you couldn’t take one AP and one Honors. I felt like I could have done well in an AP English class but maybe not as well in an AP History class. It didn’t help that a B in an AP class would be like an A in an academic class when it comes to GPAs. So I chose to be safe rather than sorry.

American History I was easy in my opinion and to be honest I am glad I took the honors classes over the APs. I feel like I obtained the information and actually learned it a lot better in the honors classes than if I had taken the AP. Because majority of my grade of AOIT took the APs, there was only one class period for the honors. I had the same people in that class and because none of my best friends were taking the honors route, it was kind of nice to have the same familiar people. It also was nice because I now have friends that I probably never would have had if I took the APs. I didn’t take the APs so I can’t tell you how hard or easy they are but from what I have heard is a lot of times people are complaining about the class and then they will come back and say I should have taken it, so I honestly don’t know. I do know that I am happy I took with a class that was my level and when you are making the decision to take the AP or Honors path, makes sure you consider your level instead of just taking an AP to look good for college.

Should I Dual Track??

Dual Tracking

Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern

A big thing about AOIT is the two different course paths you can take. On one side, there is the Programming track, where you take courses like Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. On the other side, you can take the Web Development track, where you take courses like Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. However, if you are like me, both might appeal to you.

Coming in as an AOIT Freshmen, I kind of already knew I wanted to take both tracks because the year before, my brother joined the AOIT program and he ended up dual tracking so I knew the gist of it. Even so, there were a lot of things to consider before committing to dual tracking.

 

  • Space in your Schedule:

If you want to dual track, you need to have space in your schedule for it. Dual Tracking means you may not have room to take all year (both fall and spring semester) electives because of conflicts. Things like band, languages, and some art classes can cause conflicts because you may have to take one class in the fall semester then another in the spring semester.

Personally, I had a lot of trouble with this when I got to my Junior year. Most colleges require at least two classes of a foreign language and I wanted to take German. The problem was that I needed to take E-Commerce, SAS Programming, and AOIT English III Honors in the first semester, as well as, I really wanted to take Art III (so I could get into Art IV/AP Art in my senior year). This meant I had no room for German I. After being rejected once and a lot of emails to my counselor, I ended up being able to take German I and German II online. An important note here is that previously, you could take any online class with North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS). However, starting my junior year (2017-2018 school year), they had it changed up the so you could only take online classes that were not offered at the school or that you needed to graduate. It all worked out in the end but you should still be careful and know what classes you will want to take in the future.

 

  • About the Web Development Track:

In the Web Development Track, you will be required to take Programming I, Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. Programming I is required by both tracks but I put it here because it is a good way to see if you have a hidden passion for programming. The thing about this is if you take the Web Development track, you will be taking the Programming I class when the Programming track is taking Programming II. This would make it very hard to switch to the other track if you wanted to. However, if you dual tracked and realized you didn’t like programming, you can just drop that track and stay in the Web Development Track. I took this track mainly because I am a very artistic person and this is definitely the more visually creative of the two tracks.

In your sophomore year, you will take Multimedia and Web Design as your first class (not including Programming I) on the Web Development track. You get to learn software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Website development using HTML/CSS, and Video editing software. In your junior year, you will take E-Commerce and go more in depth into Website Development using HTML/CSS and learn about business online. Finally, during your senior year, you will take Business Advanced Studies where you will learn a new website design software called Dreamweaver and work on creating a Senior video for your AOIT class. (learn more about Programming I under the “About the Programming Track” section)

 

 

  • About the Programming Track:

Within the programming track, you will be required to take Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. When I first came in, I originally took this track because my brother really enjoyed the classes when he came through before me. I had zero programming experience beforehand so it was definitely new to me, but overall I am really glad I took this path because I found another passion here with programming and it gave me a very logical mindset to go with my already creative mindset.

During your sophomore year, you will take Programming I, which is required by both tracks, and it is a great way to learn if the Programming track is for you. You will learn Visual Basic in this class and the main thing about programming languages is, once you have learned one, if you want to learn another it is very easy. By learning one programming language, you learn the basic logic towards a lot of other programming languages and plus the syntax (how you write the code) is, in most cases, very similar as well. In the next semester of your sophomore year, you will take Programming II, which builds off the general programming logic you learned in Programming I but instead of learning Visual Basic, you will be learning C#. Like I said before, it is a fairly easy transition between the two languages but the part that most people struggle with is the logic. You learn a LOT more on the logic side which can be intimidating, but like any other class, if you study and learn the material you will be more than fine. When you get into your junior year, you will take SAS Programming I and compared to Programming II, I felt this was a breeze. Before I had said the syntax was in most cases very similar, well this is one of those cases where it isn’t quite the same. That doesn’t mean it was too difficult to learn though. Lastly in your senior year, you will get to AP Computer Science. In this class you will learn Java (which is completely different than Javascript). I haven’t taken this class yet but I have heard that it is very similar to C# in Programming II.

 

 

  • Seeing what you like:

One of the benefits of Dual Tracking is that you always have the option to switch out of one track and just take the other. Say you decide to take the programming track and you are in Programming II and you realize you don’t want to take the programming track any more. It will be difficult to switch because you will have to take Multimedia before you can get to E-Commerce and you might not have room to switch out of the class or it might be a little too late. Or say you were taking the web development track and you experienced Programming I and loved it but you are taking it in the second semester when the programming track is taking Programming II. By now if you decided to dual or switch tracks it may be hard to fit in all your required class for the track because you are behind. If you had dual tracked in the beginning, you can always try out both of the tracks and when you start taking them, you may realize you love both or you hate one or the other. But this way, it gives you more wiggle room if you wanted to drop one track and only take the other.

 

Dual Tracking allowed me to meet a lot of new people from both tracks because I wasn’t put into classes with only half of AOIT. So in the fall when you are deciding which track you want to take, consider the option of dual tracking because you never know what you might love or hate!

 

Why is Communication Important? 6 Major Tips!

Written By Shawn Beekman // Apex High AOIT class of 2018

Communication used to be essential for survival in the wild. Being warned of incoming danger through verbal or nonverbal communication could be the difference between life and death. Today it’s not as extreme but if you want people to trust, respect, and understand you clearly, it is essential that you master the art of communication. Here we go over some tips to help improve your communication so you can succeed in any career path:

1. Listening

Listen to hear what they’re saying, show interest, and further the conversation.

Communication is an “exchanging of information or news”. This means there are two sides to the exchange: talking and listening. Listening shows respect, interest, and allows you to understand what the other person is saying. Whenever you talk you want to be responding to what the other person is saying to further the conversation and further the understanding. It’s important to focus on them while they are speaking and what they are saying. It helps to repeat the words they say in your head and looking at them so you don’t get distracted. While it is important to think before you speak, it is more important that you hear everything they have to say. Don’t keep a response in bouncing around your head and say it as soon as they stop talking because then you just missed everything they were saying by thinking about what you were going to say.

2. Body Language

Have good body language to show interest, be more likeable, and engaged.

Your body language subconsciously has tells which let the other person know how you are reacting to the interaction. Facing towards them, looking them in the eyes, nodding your head, smiling, and standing up straight are things you should be doing to show you are interested – the other person will feel respected and understood. Turning away from them, not showing eye contact, negative face expressions, and slouching are signs that you don’t want to be in the conversation and make them feel disrespected. It’s important to identify how your body language comes off to other people and how other people’s body language reacts to you to gauge how well the conversation is going.

3. Think Before You Speak

Think before you speak to collect your thoughts and better convey ideas.

The major key to speaking clearly and getting your point across is rehearsal. With enough time anyone can figure out the perfect way to change their wording to get a point across and the best way to do that is rehearse it in your head or write it out. Before you engage the conversation it’s helpful to play out how it will go, how they will react to what you say, and how you will react to that, etc. because the conversation flows better when you already know what to say and you can figure out how to convey your point.

4. Confidence

Be confident because it makes you more likeable, reliable, and trustworthy.

The most important skill anyone can have is confidence. Confidence is walking into a room and not caring what other people think of you, you feel comfortable or confident in yourself to function normally without worrying about what people think. Arrogance is walking into a room and expecting everyone likes you. There is a fine line between being confident in yourself – being able to perform at your maximum ability – and thinking you are a gift to humanity. Confidence undoubtedly shows in your presence, body language, and attitude when talking and sells you to be more respectable and trustworthy. This makes a huge difference in how you come across to people and how they treat you.

5. Open-Mindedness

Be open-minded because it makes you more likeable, knowledgeable, and aware of different perspectives.

People have their own opinions and nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. Understand that even when you think or know you are right that you shouldn’t argue with someone or call them stupid for being wrong because that ruins your personal image. Being open to new ideas and other’s opinions also means you are more well-rounded and able to see things from different perspectives, which is important to making important decisions.

6. Build A Connection

Build connections with people to have friends, conversations, and earn favors in the future.

People have all the power in the world in the workplace. It’s important to be friendly to people and make friendships. If you want that job, raise, or promotion you will want to be liked by the boss because they’ll be more likely to give a raise to the good worker who is friendly than the good worker who doesn’t talk to anyone and is always serious. Or on the other side, if you are the boss and want your workers to want to do work it’s important to be friendly to them and treat them well so they want to work for you and do their best work for you. If people hate their boss then they won’t give their work 100%, they’ll do 70% or 60%. Essentially you should have mutual relationships where you get what you give. There’s a middle ground with this though. Being a people pleaser is risky because you are easily abusable and will often get walked on so know your line. But being unpleasant to people will make you widely disliked.

Although some of these tips are hard to implement into your daily life it is very helpful to at least know about them and remember them occasionally. If you listen, have good body language, think before you speak, have confidence, be open-minded, and build connections then you will be way more successful than someone who doesn’t.

 

References

Doyle, Alison. “These Are the Communication Skills Employers Look For In Employees.” The Balance, 28 Nov. 17 ADAD, www.thebalance.com/communication-skills-list-2063779

Online Payment for 2015-2016 School Year

The AoIT program will move to completely online payments for the 2015-2016 school year.  More information will be shared by Mr. Evans at the parent orientation meeting on Wednesday.  Payments and donations are handled through the AoIT program’s PayPal account.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a PayPal account, you can pay with your credit card.

When your done adding items to your cart, click the checkout button which will take you a view of your cart.  Verify your contents then at the bottom choose “Proceed to PayPal” which is the only option for payment.  AoIT is no longer accepting checks or cash beginning this school year.

AoIT_PayPal_01

 

You will be taken to the PayPal login screen.  If you don’t have a PayPal account or don’t want to use the balance in your PayPal account, click on the link circled in green in the image below.  If you would prefer to use  your existing PayPal balance (which is ok) login to PayPal as you normally would using the values inside the red box noted in the image below.

AoIT_PayPal_02

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact AoIT at shop@aoit.com.