Explore Task, computing innovation’s intended purpose and function


I was wondering about the distinction between the computing innovation’s intended purpose and function.
So, for example if picking a smart device for a computing innovation, the student should write that its intended function is how it works ( describe the process) and its purpose is what it actually does for people.

Is this a good explanation of this distinction? Does anybody have an example beyond the theoretical explanations?

It seems to me that students are expected to produce a computational innovation that consists of both hardware and software, not just software. For example, you can easily find out how a certain device works by breaking it down to the parts that make it. But it would be much harder to explain how, for example, Netflix technically works.




The purpose of the innovation is the why. Why does it exist? What problem does it address? What is the goal/objective?

The function is the how. How does it accomplish its purpose? What are the steps?

The discussion about how the innovation works does not have to be super technical. Check out the resources available: Explore PT Prep and the resources over at AP Central in the teacher community.

Happy computing,


Do students need to have the references/citation in their response for the computational artifact? Or can the reference be only included in the references section?
This question has come up several times, and I cannot locate the answer.


The citations must be in-text throughout their written responses and/or in their artifact.


Thank You, Students had a question about the images they are using, where to cite the source of those images. And if they would use the complete URL. Especially for anything found on Google images.


I asked my students to cite the images in their artifact. If they found images on Google, they should go to the site that hosts the image and use that URL, not the long URL that Google generates.