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Computer Basics

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Keywords: computer basics, technology, history of computers
Subject(s): Technology
Grade P-K
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Henry T Gage Middle School, Huntington Pk, CA
Planned By: Paul Rallion
Original Author: Paul Rallion, Huntington Pk
1. Anticipatory Set
- Focus/Transfer: We all use computers, but what are they?
- Objective: Students will learn learn what a computer is, a short history, and the types of computers.
- Purpose: To comply with Computer Technology Standard # 6: Design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g. Web pages) using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and outside the classroom.

2. Instruction

What is a Computer?
A computer is an electronic device to which you enter or input data, it processes data, stores data, and gives you the result or output that you want.

History of the Computer:
In the 1860ís, the computer era began with Charles Babbage inventing a mechanical calculator. In the 1940ís, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was part of the first generation of computers powered by vacuum tubes. They were temperature-sensitive, expensive, and difficult to repair. The following inventions allowed us to enjoy computers today: the transistor (1947), integrated circuits (1960ís), and microprocessors (1970ís). The personal computer became available as follows: The Altair (1974), Apple II (1977), IBM (1981), Macintosh (1984), IBM with Windows (1985).

Computer Applications:
Computers are used in a great number of ways: to type letters, to make tables, charts, to draw, to communicate, etc. Can you name a few more?

Types of Computers:
There are different types of computers:

The microcomputer, also called personal computer or PC (insert at left), is used at home or at the office. The desktop PC is becoming less popular (refer to the next paragraph), but also less expensive as manufacturing technology becomes more efficient.

The notebook computer, also called laptop (insert at right), has similar capabilities to the PC. It is smaller, portable and wireless. It has become more popular than the desktop PC. The netbook computer is a new, smaller version of the notebook computer.

The mainframe computer, also called server, is larger and more powerful than a microcomputer. Mainframe computers are used for centralized storage and management of large amounts of data (insert at left). Large organizations such as banks, hospitals, universities, etc., use computer servers to store and manage their customersí data. You can withdraw money from your bank account at one bank location, and all other bank branches will have that information updated instantly.

3. Guided Practice
- Teacher reviews the definition of a computer and the types of computers.
- Activity: Students may view a video on the history of the computer and take notes. They can then formulate their own questions, and ask others students in class.

4. Closure
- Students take quiz on computer basics.

5. Independent Practice
- Homework: Students complete homework on computer basics, and list other uses of computers today.

Source: My COMPUTeachER, The Computer Book for Everyone. Get your copy at: PaulRallion.com
Materials: Mobile Labs