The Computing Zone
Understanding Computers

Bronze Criteria

  • You can recognise different types of computers.
  • You can recognise some of the key components of a computer.
  • Know the difference between hardware and software and give examples
  • You can work safely in a computer room.
  • You can highlight safety hazards in a computer room.

Silver Criteria

  • You can explain why different computers are used for different purposes.
  • You can explain the pros and cons of different computer types.
  • Know the components of a computer.
  • You can explain what the main components of a computer do.
  • Understand how computers communicate
  • You can create a publication that is relevant to the audience and purpose.

Gold Criteria

  • Understand how networks work
  • You can explain how changing computer components can improve its ability.
  • You can create a publication that is professional and error free.


Application - Another word for computer program. For example, Word, which is used for creating documents is a word processing application.

Backup - A technical term for copying files onto disk or CD-ROM for safe keeping so that they are kept in more than one place.

Components – The collection of physical parts of the computer system (the bits you can see and touch).

Crash - When your computer temporarily stops working. It may pause or ‘freeze’ up, or tell you to restart or quit.

Desktop - a computer that usual sits on or is typically used at a desk.
Digital Cameras - A camera that takes photographs and stores them on disks or smart cards rather than on film. The photos can then be downloaded onto a computer where the images can be printed, put on a web page or emailed. (input)
Driver - Software which runs hardware attached to your computer like a modem, printer or scanner.
New hardware normally comes with a CD containing the necessary drivers to install on your computer.

Files - A collection of data stored in a folder, identified by a given filename. It can be a document (Word or Excel), picture (JPEG or PNG), audio (MP3) or video stream (MP4 or WAVE).

Folders - A digital folder has the same purpose as a physical folder – to store documents. Computer folders are usually used to store certain types of files. Folders can even store other folders, which may contain additional files and folders. They have been designed for organising computer systems.

Hard drive/Hard disk - The place inside your computer where you save documents, pictures, applications, etc. (input / output)

Hardware – All the parts of the computer that you can physically touch.

Keyboard - An input device used to enter characters and functions into the computer system by pressing buttons, or keys. (input)

Laptop - A small, portable computer which can be battery operated as well as run from the mains.

Memory - The storage and thinking parts of your computer. More storage memory on your hard disk (ROM) means you can save more files and more thinking memory (RAM) means your computer can perform more complex tasks quicker.

Monitor – The display screen on your computer. (output)

Motherboard – A piece of hardware that is one of the most essential parts of a computer system. It holds together many of the crucial components of a computer, including the central processing unit (CPU), memory and connectors for input and output devices.

Mouse - Standard Navigation tool for interfacing with clickable objects and the computer Operating System. (input)

Software - Any set of instructions that tells the hardware what to do.



Introduction Videos
A little background to the project…
Project Booklet
Everything you need in one place…

All of the work you will complete in this project is contained in the Interactive PDF booklet below. You should begin by saving this to your home directory.

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If you need to get in touch with Mr McG then this is the way….

What's your name?
Thank you [name], that's great.

Can I ask where you are from?
Hey [name], can I ask where you are from?
Hey [name], which class are you in?
OK [name], thanks for that.

I will need your email address so I can get back to you!!
Thanks [name], nearly there.

What can I help you with?

Thanks [name] from [whichclass][location], Mr McG will get your message…"
[message]"…and will get back to you ASAP via [email]. Catch you soon.

Thank you [name], Mr McG got your message.
Thanks [name], Mr McG will get back to you as soon as he can!!

Have a great day!!

K McGuinness - 2018

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