A Couple Fun Ways To Learn About IT

To your dismay, I’m sure, I’m not referring to the Stephen King movie!  Information technology may sound a bit more dry than science fiction, but there are many ways to make IT fun.  If you are a teacher and are responsible for passing on your valuable IT knowledge, you are well aware of the monotonous tone that lurks in the shadows of teaching computer jargon.

Be not afraid.  All you need is a little creative twist to liven up the material.  Here are three enjoyable exercises that can be used in classrooms of all ages to make informational technology more easily understood.

WHAT’S IN THIS THING?

The first enjoyable lesson plan I would suggest will expand your knowledge of the tangible aspects of your computer.  You must first know its components to truly understand how a computer processes your information.  By linking a tactile experience to the lesson, you will more adequately absorb the knowledge placed in front of you.

You can start by grabbing a sheet of paper and drawing what you THINK the inside of your computer might look like.  Now label the parts and what you would imagine each part’s job might be.  When you are finished, use the internet to check how right or wrong you may be in your assumptions.  There are many easy-to-access sites that are simple to use and have very accurate diagrams of the inner workings of your hardware.

WHAT RUNS THIS THING?

Have you ever wondered how the “brain” of your computer actually works?  What is the “brain”?  What organizes the information you request and knows what to do with that information?

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Your operating system (or OS in tech jargon) is a type of software that is a part of a larger computerized system.  This may be a personal computer, a notebook, a smartphone or any other device with “intelligence” of its own.  The operating system is a host for all of the other applications that run on your hardware.

The main functions of an operating system are as follows:

  1. Enable startup application programs. To do this the OS must have a functional text editor, a translator, and an editor of links.
  2. To dole out services.  Your OS identifies the programs that are running, the need for memory, and the data protection requirements for that particular program
  3. Assists implementation of your programs through a communication system that utilizes both hardware and software on your computer.

A fun way to make this lesson tangible would be to gather a group of friends and arrange them in a circle with one person in the middle.  The person in the middle represents your operating system.

Everyone should reach out and place their hands on the shoulder of the person in the middle.  Now, whenever anyone moves, they must also move the person in the center.  This exercise will show the vitality of an operating system to your computer’s function.  All of the information in your computer is accessed and connected to and through your operating system.

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