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Learn to Program Step-by-Step

Computer Concepts

Learn Computer Concepts, introduction to computer literacy in FREE step-by-step lessons.


About this course

There is no doubt that computers and computer technology are changing the world.

It is having an impact on everything: from agriculture, sports, health and social interactions, and education.

In these lessons you will learn how the computer works, where it came from, and where it is going.

You will learn how to make the most of your own computer and the internet, and how to do it safely.

  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. 10 things you have to know to be computer literate

  3. What is a computer?: A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or data.

  4. Quiz on What is a computer?
  5. Basic parts of a computer: The basic parts of a desktop computer are the computer case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord.

  6. Quiz on Basic parts of a computer
  7. Buttons and ports on a computer: Interactive tutorial to match plugs to ports (requires Flash)

  8. Quiz on Buttons and ports on a computer
  9. What is a laptop computer?: How is a laptop different from a desktop?

  10. Mobile Devices: tablets, e-readers, and smart phones

  11. Setting up a computer: Video demonstrates setting up both desktop and laptop computers

  12. Getting started with your first computer

  13. learn more about your computer's operating system.: This has two videos: One for Windows and one for the Mac.
    Scroll down and read about file systems also.

  14. Keeping your computer clean: Keeping your computer physically clean

  15. Creating a safe workspace: Ergonomics: It's important to think about your own health.

  16. Basic troubleshooting techniques: Whenever you have a problem with your computer, don't panic!
    There are many basic troubleshooting techniques you can use.

  17. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Definition: What is software?

  3. What is Software?: Software is the collection of instructions that enable the user to interact with a computer,
    its hardware, or perform tasks.

  4. Video: What is software?: Discusses operating systems and other software.

  5. Types of Software: Software refers to the programs that run on a computer, and which make the hardware useful.

  6. Software?: Software refers to the programs that run on a computer,
    and which make the hardware useful.
    There are two main categories: Operating Systems and Application Software.

  7. Applications: Simply put, an app is a type of software that allows you to perform specific tasks.

  8. Video: Operating Systems: An operating system is the most important software that runs on a computer.

  9. What is productivity software?: Productivity software is applications dedicated to producing information: especially word processors,
    spreadsheets, presentation software, and databases

  10. Learning a new program: Everything you've learned so far about your computer and other programs
    will help you figure out what to do next.

  11. Open Office: Download Free productivity software : Free word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, and database

  12. Tutorials for learning Open Office: Learn Free word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, and database

  13. Google Docs: Sign up to use free online productivity software: Free word processor (Docs), spreadsheet (Sheets), presentation software (Slides)

  14. Learning Microsoft Word: This is a series of over 30 videos on using Word

  15. Learning Microsoft Excel: This is a series of 29 videos on using Excel

  16. Learning Microsoft PowerPoint: This is a series of 33 videos on using PowerPoint

  17. Database vs. Excel: Relationships between Data

  18. Database Basics

  19. Database Terminology: Data, Tables, Records, Fileds: Please read all 5 pages!!!

  20. Database Terminology: Tables, Records, Fields

  21. Getting Started in Access

  22. Discussion Questions
  23. Active Learning: Create a presentation on your favorite software., Create a database to keep track of the computer terms your will learn.
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Getting started with the internet: The Internet is a global network of billions of computers and other electronic devices.
    With the Internet, it's possible to access almost any information,
    communicate with anyone else in the world, and much more.

  3. Evaluating Internet Sources: Undergraduate Research Guides

  4. Evaluating Internet Sources: Question to Ask

  5. Cloud Computing

  6. Cloud Computing

  7. Using The Cloud: Links to tutorials on Dropbox, Etsy, Google Docs and more

  8. What is Social Media?: Describes some of the most popular social media websites.

  9. Social Media Security: Describes some of the most popular social media websites.

  10. Dangers of Social Media: Describes a few dangers involved with social media

  11. What to do when you are bored: Ideas and links for interesting things you can do and learn on the internet.

  12. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Introduction to internet safety

  3. Creating strong passwords

  4. How to Be Safe on the Internet

  5. Protecting your computer: Your computer faces many potential threats, including viruses, malware,
    and hard drive failure.
    This is why it's important to do everything you can to
    protect your computer and your files.

  6. 10 Tips for Safe Computing

  7. Common types of computer viruses: 20 Common Types of Computer Viruses and Other Malicious Programs

  8. Create a secure password: Several tricks for creating passwords that you'll remember.

  9. Virus, Trojan-Horse, Salami-Attack

  10. Cyber Crime: Describes the top cyber-crime priorities of the FBI

  11. Computer Ergonomics: Use of computers also has a downside: how to set up your computer to avoid physical problems.

  12. How to safely get rid of an old computer: Don't just throw it away. Computers house all sorts of toxins
    that are bad for the environment.
    Not to mention the personal information

  13. 10 startling facts about identity theft

  14. Protect yourself from identity theftProtect yourself from identity theft: Newscast from Fox News

  15. What is identity theft?: Scroll down to watch video

  16. How does identity theft happen?: Click each of the three tabs

  17. What to do if your identity is stolen: Scroll down to watch video

  18. Discussion Questions
  19. Active Learning: Cybercrime Paper
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. How have computers changed our life?: There are four main categories: communication, education,
    utility facilities and health care

  3. How computers have changed the world: Calculations, memory, communications

  4. What is crowd sourcing?: Crowd sourcing allows many people offer their best ideas, skills, & support.

  5. Crowd sourcing and Outsourcing: Economical and Social Impact of Computer and Communication

  6. When healthcare and computer science collide

  7. Computers in Agriculture

  8. Computers in Sports: Computers have revolutionized the sports industry in so many ways.

  9. Computers in Education

  10. Better wine with Drones: A drone collects data monitor the health of its vineyard

  11. Orange harvesting robots

  12. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Social issues computers have created: Outlines main areas of concern: communication breakdown, defamation of character,
    identity theft, cyber bullying, gaming addiction,
    privacy, health & fitness, education (plagiarism),
    terrorism & crime, sexuality

  3. The Digital Divide: A world problem of unequal access to technology

  4. The Digital Divide: America Offline: the problem of the digital divide in America

  5. Living Offline: What it is like to live offline in America

  6. The Digital Divide: One man's story

  7. Telecommuting: Why telecommuting is good for you and good for business

  8. Telecommuting: Breaking Myths of Teleworking

  9. 10 Myths About Video Games

  10. Social Issues: The Effects of Computers on Children: Lists both positive and negative effects of computers.

  11. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. History of Computers

  3. Video 1: The precursors to today's computersVideo 1: The precursors to today's computers

  4. Video 2: The computers that would help usher in a new era of computation - electronic computingVideo 2: The computers that would help usher in a new era of computation - electronic computing

  5. Video: Computers that changed the worldVideo: Computers that changed the world: This video takes a quick look at the history of computers.
    It looks at the ones that had the greatest impact not just on the industry,
    but on how we live.

  6. The computer revolution: How it's changed our world over 60 years

  7. VideoVideo

  8. Video: History of Computers TimelineVideo: History of Computers Timeline: This video has live footage of some early computers.

  9. History of Computers Timeline

  10. Women in ComputersWomen in Computers: A poster series

  11. Famous People in Computing: Click the pictures for bios and interviews.

  12. Animated history of computersAnimated history of computers: Starts with precursors to computers through Smart Phones

  13. History of Computers Video: Up to 1970'sHistory of Computers Video: Up to 1970's

  14. History of Computers Video: from 1980History of Computers Video: from 1980

  15. Discussion Questions
  16. Active Learning: Who is your favorite computer person?
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Introduction to computer hardware

  3. Inside a computer: This video explains the basic components

  4. Explanation of hardware: This video explains the basic components.

  5. Components of a Computer System and Storage Devices: This page briefly introduces the components of a computer system:
    Motherboard, CPU, RAM,
    ROM, BIOS, BUS Network, Hertz, Graphics Card,
    Peripheral, Volatile, Non-Volatile, Storage Device

  6. Types of computer systems: Explains the difference between desktop, laptop, notebook, tablet PC, and smart phones.

  7. Definition, classify by size and power: Explains the difference between computer by from super computer to PDA.

  8. Identify The Components Inside Your Computer: This video helps you to identify the components inside the computer.

  9. How Computers Work: The CPU and Memory

  10. See How Computers Add Numbers In One Lesson: Shows how transistors work and explains AND and OR gates

  11. How Computers Work: Disks And Secondary Storage

  12. Explanation of Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes: Be sure to do the math problems to make sure you understand these terms.

  13. Explanation of bits and sizes: This video explains bits and bytes, and the relative sizes.

  14. How a CPU Works: This video explains clock speed and how the CPU works.

  15. CPU: Central Processing Unit: This video explains clock speed and how the CPU works.

  16. OPTIONAL: More detail about how the CPU works.: This simulation video explains clock speed, instruction set, and the bus.

  17. From Tubes to Transistors: The invention of the transistor was one of the most important developments
    leading to the personal computer revolution.

  18. Moore's Law: Gordon Moore predicted that processor speeds, or overall processing power
    for computers will double every two years.

  19. Types of Memory: Click next to watch the slide show

  20. RAM: Random Access Memory: This animated video explains how RAM works, and why more is important.

  21. Do I have enough memory?: This explains how to check the memory usage on both a PC and Mac

  22. Choose a Computer

  23. Purchase Decisions: This animated video explains how RAM works, and why more is important.

  24. Buying a New Computer: Computer or Tablet or Desktop? PC or Mac?

  25. Review the hardware terms at Wikipedia: This page gives a brief explanation of each term.

  26. How Computers Work: Transistors, bits, and bytes

  27. How Computers Work: Computation

  28. Selecting a Computer

  29. How to Choose a Computer

  30. Self Study Questions
  31. Discussion Questions
  32. Active Learning: Create a spreadsheet to budget a new computer system
printable lesson
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Data In The Computer

  3. Number systems: grouping: Quantities can be grouped in different ways.

  4. Decimal systemDecimal system: The decimal system is base 10.

  5. Binary Numbers: 0 and 1Binary Numbers: 0 and 1: The binary system is base 2

  6. Video: Convert binary to decimal: This video demonstrates how to convert binary numbers to decimal

  7. Drill: Convert binary to decimal: Practice converting binary numbers to decimal

  8. Convert decimal to binary: This video demonstrates converting decimal to binary.

  9. Drill: Convert decimal to binary: Practice converting binary numbers to decimal

  10. Hexadecimal Numbers: Base 16Hexadecimal Numbers: Base 16: 4 binary digits can be represented by 1 hex digit.

  11. Decimal, Binary and Hexadecimal: Conversion table

  12. Converting Binary to Hexadecimal: This video demonstrates converting binary to hex.

  13. Drill: Convert binary to hexadecimal: Practice converting binary to hexadecimal

  14. Converting Hexadecimal to Binary: This video show how to convert binary to hexadecimal.

  15. Drill: Convert hexadecimal to binary: Practice converting hexadecimal to binary.

  16. RGB ColorsRGB Colors: RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue. It is used to represent colors.
    Be sure to experiment with the sliders.

  17. Scientific notationScientific notation: Very large or small numbers are often displayed in this format.

  18. How to Write Decimals in Scientific Notation

  19. What does e mean?

  20. Drill: Value of e notation: Practice writing e notation in normal format.

  21. A Magic Trick using binary numbers: Just for fun, print on heavy paper, cut out and enjoy!

  22. Self Study Questions
  23. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. What is a network?: Computers are devices that can share data

  3. Computer Networks: An overview: Wireless networking and computer networks

  4. Links to articles to learn more

  5. Computer Networks: Review of the terminology

  6. Types of networks: Host Role: Peer to peer, Client/Server; Area: LAN, WAN;
    Signal: Baseband, broadband

  7. Networking hardware: Simplex, full-duplex, half-duplex

  8. OPTIONAL: Networking components

  9. Types of communication: Simplex, half-duplex, full-duplex

  10. Types of networks: Types of network media: Coaxial, twisted pair, fiber optic

  11. Network Topology: Bus, ring, star, mesh, or tree configuration

  12. Home Network Setup

  13. Discussion Questions
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. What is programming?: Video with several famous people talking about programming

  3. An Hour of Code: introduction: After video ends, try the exercises.

  4. Learn to Program in 1 Hour: Select one of the games to try programming

  5. What is Programming?: Programming is the process of creating a set of instructions that tell
    a computer how to perform a task.
    Programming can be done using a variety of computer
    "languages," such as SQL, Java, Python, and C++.

  6. Discussion Questions
  7. Active Learning: Create an Alice programming project
  1. INDEX (start here)
  2. Best Computer Jobs for the Future: List of top jobs with salaries and requirements

  3. Computer and Technology Careers: This is a chart showing Occupation, Summary, Education, and Median Pay

  4. What jobs are available in the computer industry?: Shows many careers with requirements, difficulty, and recommendations

  5. The 20 best tech jobs in America right now: Identifies careers with the highest overall job score,
    determined by weighing earning potential, job satisfaction,
    and number of job openings.

  6. Computer and Information Technology Occupations: Chart list occupations, summary, education and salary

  7. What does a computer programmer do?

  8. What's your ideal tech job?: A fun quiz to see what tech job you are suited for

  9. Future of Jobs: Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg sound the same dire warning about jobs,

  10. Discussion Questions
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OER: Open Educational Resource
Creative Commons License Author: Janet E. Joy; Publisher: Zebra0.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Last modified: June 14 2017 09:45:22.