U1 Day 3-4: PD Discussion Topic


This is a great lesson for a flipped classroom. Students will come to us with a very wide range of computer knowledge. I plan to give them a pre-assessment. Student who don’t know much about computer parts will have class time and homework time to explore the Carnegie Mellon website that the graphic is from decide for themselves what they need to read about. The kids who scored high will be able to do the same in case they have any gaps in knowledge, but then they can write or illustrate something higher level that they know. For example: if they have upgraded their sound card in their computer at home they can make a video showing how to do it. We also have bunches of old computers at our school. They can take one apart and make a video explaining the parts.


Love the kitchen analogy idea above! Great idea, especially for the kids who like to be more artsy and/or literary. Will use this assignment for sure!


I plan to have a few computers that our class will dissect before they research their dream computers in small groups. I also plan to give a short pretest before we dissect the computers. I will use the website http://www.carnegiecyberacademy.com/facultyPages/computer/computers.html to help students familiarize themselves with the internal workings of the computer after they take the pretest.


Excellent analogy. Thanks for sharing.


This is an approach that I plan to use as well.


Several great ideas here already. I like @kdye1989 (and others’) plans to explore physical computer parts. I have used that successfully. I also like the pre-test and flipping ideas from @barrettm . I also plan to include a short check-quiz of some type.


Our tech person said he would bring me enough old computers (plus the thing that keeps you from shocking yourself) and let us have a computer dissection day. I will have a basic chart for students to refer to, as to what things are.


I like the idea of taking apart an old computer. I might also have them pick out a new computer from an online store that would meet their needs. Of course we wouldn’t buy them, but they could always add it to their Christmas list.


I think it’s important for students to get their hands on computers and interact with the components as much as possible. I may slow things down a bit here to ensure all students really understand the components. With this in mind, I plan on having at least 4-5 old computers my tech guy has laying around in a storage room opened up and just like a science lab, dissected! Students will not only take the computers apart but will also be challenged to put them back together, plug them and see if they work. For part of their assessment, I plan on having a few stations set up around the room with the computer opened up and the students will have to label the parts, again just as they would label a dissected frog in science class. There will also be a station with the parts not plugged in to anything, just each component laying on the table, for the students identify solely by sight.


After introducing hardware parts with picture visuals, I will have students look inside a real computer.


I too plan on opening up a few old towers and have students work in groups to identify the major hardware components. Students will then work in groups and research a component and present to class.


I would review the resources shown on code.org. After this I will bring in a few old computers that the students can take apart and put back together.


Last year I was able to get large quantities of donated workstations for students to take apart and explore. I put students in small groups. They took the entire workstation apart in pieces, identified each part, took pictures, and notes. Using Glogster they then used the information to create a project about the workstation and the parts they took apart. Due to the fact that these were donated machines, each was a bit different and provided variations in both projects and discussions.


I will probably display on the screen a picture/diagram of a computer showing its various hardware components and discuss these parts with students. Then I will have students research the different components and write what they are used for.


In concert with pictures and internet I will use old systems that are not working or being used to explore the components of a computer. I will have them make little tags and then have to place them on the component inside the system.


Coincidentally, I just built a computer with my son today. I was bragging that I did it often when I was an IT professional 20+ years ago. I was shocked at how much things had changed! Now there is such a variety of components supporting the various needs of the particular user. My son wanted to build a gaming computer. The video card was massive and had two fans and copper tubing built onto it. We also installed a liquid cooled heat sink on the processor. None of this was around when I was building MS-DOS and early Windows computers. I’m going to follow someone’s earlier suggestion to see if I can get my hands on some of our old computers, and possibly buy some components to build a computer from scratch as a class project.


I have a few old machines to take apart. I will start by having groups take apart (dissect) and layout the components of the pc. They will identify each of the items and the specifications when available. I will then give them the sale ads from microcenter and have them select the computer they would want to purchase. As a group they will have to develop a persuasive display (digital or poster) for why they choose that pc. Groups will be asked about price and value and where they can save money by giving up features (i.e. choose the faster processor now and buy more RAM later).


The kitchen Analogy is an excellent idea. Thank you for sharing it. I will come up with a class set of old computers that can be disassembled and assembled back. For mastery, use picture cards or create a jeopardy game for students to familiarize well enough the fundamental hardwares.

  • Diagram the machine (alone)
  • Tear the machine apart (pairs or groups)
  • Put it back together
  • Power it up


One way that I might introduce students to the hardware components in computers is by referencing older posters of computers from my classroom. Thees are very dated and may be good for stimulating discussion. These posters show diagrams that include floppy disks,and drives, cd-roms, etc. Discuss the functions of those parts and also talk about what has replaced some of those parts in more modern computers. Also will use some of the suggested resources for students become more familiar with computer parts and functions. Leading a discussion about buying a computer will naturally lead to a series of probing questions in terms of what purpose will there computer serve (why do they need it? what will be the primary use?), This will lead to the necessary capabilities that their new computer will need to have. Also, giving an assessment using the matching activity will be helpful.