Learning On-Line
TOPIC #34:  PROJECT ARROW LEARNING ACTIVITY

LEARN ABOUT COMPUTERS

To find the answers for these questions use these pages:

Go to the BINARY NUMBERS  "Math is Fun" website to help you figure out BASE 2.

GCF Learnfree at http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computerbasics   and   

Explain that Stuff at http://www.explainthatstuff.com/howcomputerswork.html

Computers 101 Hotlist for help in these questions


Job #1-- To describe in writing how a computer thinks using its processor and memory.

The binary number system is used to control a computer central processing unit.  The binary number system uses two numbers (0 and  1) to tell the millions of switches whether to be ON   or   OFF.  The 0 means OFF and the 1 means ON. 

The BINARY NUMBER system is also called BASE 2.   Now that’s clear, explain how a binary number compares to our decimal number system, that uses 0, 1, 2,3 , 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and  9.  There are a lot of number systems including even up to BASE 16.  We will stop with BASE 2, and we already know BASE 10 (the decimal system we use all the time).  Go to the BINARY NUMBERS  "Math is Fun" website to help you figure out BASE 2.      

What does ASCII stand for and when you go to TWO by TWO, go to the ASCII link and then write you and your partner's name in ASCII code.


Job #2--  Write a description of how and why computers have become so small, but so much more powerful.

Modern electronic computers started out very large with the Mark I by IBM.   The question is for you to use the historical timeline site:   and  you will have to describe the new technology developments to answer this question.  You can make a small poster to illustrate your answer.


Job #3-- Be able to tell your classmates the various parts within the computer that make it work.

Using the "demonstration computer" and the video at How Stuff Works.  You could also make a poster of a computer and label the parts.  Be able to point to them, and tell what they do.  Check out this website to get explanations of computer hardware and software.


Job #4--  Describe why we call software "software" and hardware "hardware? 

A computer seems very smart and very fast.  Tell how a computer is controlled and why it helps us in various jobs and uses.  Think hard about what makes a computer work--besides power supplies and hard drives.  You can write a short story to describe what makes a computer work.   Check out this website to get explanations of computer hardware and software
Check out this website to get explanations of computer hardware and software:  
Fact Monster:  How do computers work?


Job #5--  Define, by writing, the difference between RAM and ROM memory.

Tell about the math of how a computer thinks.  You need to find out what number system a computer uses, and be prepared to make a poster describing the mathematical measurements for RAM,  ROM,   Speed, and other things you will find out.  Go here to learn of bits and bytes;  kilobytes (Kb), megabytes (Mb), and gigabytes (Gb)   Have fun with this new terminology.  You need to know about it when buying your first laptop.    Visit "Computer Measurement," to get amazing measurements for memory and speed.


Job #6-- Describe what an Operating System (OS) is.  Considering different computer programming languages, describe the difference between a Mac and a PC, and write brief descriptions of the differences and time-table of the development of most commonly used programming languages.  Go to GCF for an introduction to operating systems. 

Computers, like humans, require a language they can understand.  All computers use what numbering system to organize their bits and bytes?    What are some of the major languages that computers can operate under?  Be ready to tell the OS language that PC's use and MAC's use.  Secondly, what does the acronym OS stand for?  What happens if you try to install a program written for a certain language onto a computer with another language?   The history of machine (computer) languages started in 1837. 

Make a time-table of highlights of computer languages developed through the the 2000's.  Include two or three language names for each decade from the 1950's to the most recent.  The table should have columns for date, title of language and who or where it was developed.   Sometimes it was a person, sometimes a place or institution.    Go here to find your information.


Job #7--  Describe what a computer local area network is,  a PROTOCOL, TCP/IP (what the letters stand for, and what TCP/IP allows to work on a computer), IP address for a computer, and Internet PACKETS

A computer network is what makes a two or more computers work together (talk to each other).  At our school we have plugs in the wall to plug in cat 5 wires.  That's what we call the computer network wiring we use.  Some computers use a "wireless" connection.  Regardless, the computers must communicate together another kind of language or PROTOCOL that they can all understand.  Go to How Stuff Works to learn how to set up your own home NETWORK
In this question, go to this site and read over all the various terms and acronyms that describe a network IP/TCP address.  Oh, by the way each computer has to have its own IP/TCP address. 

Be prepared to tell the class what IP/TCP stands for and how it works.  This is deep stuff--but is real interesting. 
You can make a diagram on the board to help explain this.  Check out Answers for World Wide Web for explanations in common terms.  GOOD LUCK.  This can be difficult---but interesting.

Oh, one last thing-- what are "packets" that pass through the copper wires or through the air in wireless?  Have fun
Go here to find out what a packet is, and any other networking terms you have no idea what they mean.


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