I think looking at pictures (like the example website we were given) is a good introduction to the parts of the computer and what they do. I think looking at and pointing out those parts on an actual computer would be helpful as well. Take one apart in the class or one that needs repairs and show them the parts we are discussing.
There are so many good ideas on here. I definitely want to get my hands on some old computers so they students can dissect them and really explore the different parts. I would then put them in groups and assign each group a part to research in detail. They would then present their findings to the group.
It was great read through these posts! The kitchen analogy was great and the idea of using actual computers is tremendous. I have a few and I hope I can get my hands on a few more. I plan on quizing the groups to have each student point out each component. Perhaps even explain what each does.
I read many responses where the teachers are starting with students dissecting computers. I too shall start with getting old computers from our IT department, setting up stations where the students can open the case and see the inside of a computer. After viewing the inside of the computer I want the students to write in their journal what’s inside the computer that is recognizable to them. Then discuss your results with your elbow partner. As a class I will hear from each group. Then we will proceed with labeling and defining each part of the computer from each station (group) hopefully the students can teach each others the part that are not familiar to all in the group. This will be our inquiry part of the lesson and we will learn the parts and then proceed to take the computer apart. The students can use the resource I found online to help assist with the hardware parts http://techteam6-1.pbworks.com/w/page/20332761/Hardware%20and%20Software.
I have a couple of old desk tops that the students can tinker with as we go through these lessons.
In previous Information Technology classes I’ve taught, I’ve brought in an old desktop computer and “dissected” it with the students, which immediately gets them intrigued and wanting to learn more. Sometimes I lead the walkthrough, other times I have a knowledgeable student do it, and others I’ll have a group be completely on their own trying to find all the parts.
I really like the comparisons of the components to parts of the human body and tend to emphasize that in instruction. This year I might have students try to act out the parts of the computer as a complete system to complete a simple task, i.e. someone moves and presses a student’s head (mouse), which gets another student (CPU) buzzing and commands that the hard drive and RAM start retrieving and storing data, etc.
Like so many others, I plan to open up a computer to let students take a look at the inside of the box. I plan to have them make a “shopping list” of the qualities they want in a computer for themselves. In their groups, I’ll have them look at adds and chart the features being offered in 3 adds. Finally they will share their charts, gallery style, and then, groups will discuss amongst themselves for a few minutes before representatives from each group report to the class.
In my classroom I have desktop computers and I have no trouble opening one up and labeling the different components for students to see.
In addition, I would have students come up with good analogies for the components function.
I love your analogy, certainly I will use it
A diagram of a computer is always ideal for introducing students to hardware components. As I have access to some older (2-3 years) computers, I also plan to have students in my class take a computer apart and put it back together.
-Breaking down a computer is a great hands on idea that I will use.
-I will also ask students to compare a computer to a human and identify which parts correspond and defend their answers. Comparing the brain to the CPU would be a great first start that many of the students would get but it could go much further. The exercise would also require them to think creatively and critically.
I will probably give then a list of the components and ask them to work in their groups to discuss what each component does.
I will do this as well. Students work in teams to disassemble and assemble computers. Then we test the computers to make sure they were assembled correctly.
After reading the kitchen analogy from @jkim I honestly plan to use that! Thank you so much for sharing, I think that’s an excellent idea. I will take it one step further by attempting to draw it on my white-board as I walk them through the analogy.
I’ve just begun introducing students yesterday. While having taught DigCit for a few years, this is an easy area for me. I loved how Bill and John taught the subject to us fellow teachers this summer and incorporated many of their elements into my lesson. I will be taking the lesson further and have my students actually dissemble and reassemble a computer and then do the online spec and “buying” online for either a computer or computer parts.
I plan on having one of my parents that builds computers come in and introduce the systems by showing and explaining what each one does.
I have a box of old parts donated by our technology department. It gives students a chance to actually see and touch the internal parts of the computer.
- Open a computer and show all the parts.
- Students will research the function each part plays.
- Students will identify and explain the functionality of each part – assessment.
If I can get access to an old desktop computer, I would like to use the idea of a colleague and show students the actual internal parts of the computer.
I would break the class into seven groups, one for each hardware component in the article, How a Computer Works. The members of each group will become experts on their component and present to the class. The presentation would include showing the actual component. I have components from old computers that match the parts in the article. Before I let the students work with the components, I would tell them not to take apart their computers at home unless they have been trained. I would caution about how electric static discharge can damage the components.