Lesson 2 - Under The Hood

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For most humans, reading instructions (and sometimes memorising them), following them one at a time, and keeping track of where they are and what the current state is comes very naturally. We rarely reflect about the details of that process, so it is not surprising that we rarely wonder about the components that perform these tasks in machines.

The previous lesson established how the main purpose of computing systems is to execute programs that operate on data. It is now time to introduce learners to the hardware components, i.e. the actual ‘machinery’ that allows computing systems to fulfil this purpose. 

Learners will discover how all computing systems, regardless of form or capabilities, make use of the same components: a processor, memory, storage, input and output devices, and communication components. They will form a simple, concise picture of what each of these ‘universal’ components does, and how they work together in order to execute programs.

This lesson is the second in a six session teaching unit provided by the National Centre for Computing Education. 

These teaching resources are published under the Open Government License v 3.0

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