Learning input and construction
Use the PowerPoint presentation Digital systems
to develop and consolidate students understanding of hardware, software and peripheral devices.
Look at Slide 1
Find out what students already know about digital systems.
- Explain that digital systems are made up of hardware, software and peripheral devices. (Technical language used will be dependent on the year level.) If you have hardware and peripheral devices in the classroom ask students to identify these items; for example, laptops, computer monitors; keyboards; iPad, iPod; mouse; printer; USB; interactive whiteboard; data projector.
Look at Slide 2
- Reinforce what you have just discussed, that digital systems include hardware and software and peripheral devices.
- Ask students if they know the difference between 'hardware and software'. Create two a 2-column table (one column labelled Hardware, and the other Software) that is visible to all students and ask students to suggest examples of hardware.
Look at slides 3 and 4 and discuss the examples of hardware visible on the slides. Include these in the items on the list in the table you created, if they are not already present.
- Ask students the following question: How do computers know what to do?
Display Slide 5 (select the Play button at bottom left of the screen).
- Support students to understand that software is a set of instructions that tells the computer what to do .
Ask students if they can name some examples of software, for example: What program/apps do we use to draw? What program/apps do we use to present information? What program/apps do we use to edit and share our photos? What program/apps do we use to play games?
Include these examples on the table you created, in the column titled 'software'.
Display Slide 6 and discuss briefly.
- Display Slide 7 and discuss briefly.
Display Slide 8.
- Ask the students if they can identify the items displayed. Nominate students to suggest a purpose for each device.
- Ask students to suggest what it is that these devices have in common. 'Why do you think we can group these devices together?'
- Lead the students to understand that these digital devices can be connected to a digital system.
- Explain that these devices have a special name. They are called peripheral devices. (The use of this term will be dependent on year level of students).
- Provide students with time to explore and experiment with digital systems and peripheral devices.
Display Slide 9
- Ask students if they can identify some of the digital devices on display (Go Pro; data logger measures temperature, humidity and light; smart phone; iPod; modem; headphones; tablet).
- Divide the class into small groups. Allocate a device to each group. Ask students to spend time within their group to discuss the purpose and functions of their device.
- Support students to consider purpose and function e.g. What would people do with this device? How does it work? What is it made of? Does it need to be charged? Can we connect it to a digital system? How does this device connect to a digital system?
- Students may choose to conduct an internet search to help them complete the task.
- Additional devices may be used and prep / foundation students may need support to complete this task.
- Invite each group to report back to the class.
- Provide students with time to experiment, explore and identify hardware and software components of digital systems. Activities provided will be dependent on resources available.
- Provide students with construction materials and give them time to construct models of a real or imaginary digital systems or devices for use in role-play scenarios. Invite students to explain the features of the device to others.
- Provide time for students to experiment with different ways of providing instructions to games software using a mouse, touch pad, touch screen, keyboard, stylus, or switch scanning device, and using different software to manipulate text, numbers, sound and images.
- Provide time for students to play and experiment with the functions of interactive toys and robotic devices to determine which ones can work with other devices so they start to recognise the hardware and software components of digital systems.
- Provide opportunities for students to explore and use digital systems to download and store information such as downloading images from a website and inserting them into a document; saving and retrieving data
Culminating task (Undertaken over several days)
This task will need to be modified according to context (for example, student age and ICT capability; digital systems available within the class and school; level of support required; differentiation to suit diverse learners).
- Invite students for higher year levels to act as peer tutors/ICT buddies to support the younger students to complete the task. This strategy is mutually beneficial as older students can consolidate understandings of the ICT capabilities whilst teaching younger students new skills.
- Provide only one method of presentation (for example, everyone will use Power Point) and this can become another learning experience. Teacher models and supports students to use this particular software for the task.
- If possible, invite parental assistance.
- If working in an iPad classroom, Keynote or Explain Everything may be stipulated and used as ICT capability integration learning experience.
Identifying hardware and software
Explain the task. (It may be useful to create a student task sheet to provide explicit details of what is required.)
Students are required to:
- capture images of hardware and software from home or at school
- save the images
- use presentation software to create a simple presentation to show the difference between hardware and software
- label each image using text.
Optional suggestions include:
- Create the presentation as a short movie
- Create the presentation as a virtual poster
- Add a voice recording to explain each image
- Add music
Provide students with examples of software that may be useful e.g.
- Power Point
- Microsoft Photo Story
- Explain Everything