This unit is designed to help you answer the question “What is a computer”?

A computer is so much more than a “box”, a screen and a keyboard and mouse. A computer can be a laptop, a tablet - like the ipad or samsung galaxy 10, a smartphone, a games console, a till at a supermarket, a GPS navigation unit, and so many more things.

A computer is best described as:

  an electronic device  that

  has data put into it (input)

  which it then does something to (process)

  following a set of instructions (program)

  to produce something (output)

  that can be stored

The words in red are key to understanding how computers work. Use the links below to find out more about them, and other linked topics:

Input Devices

Output Devices

Processing and the CPU

Storing on a hard drive

Alternative storage


Knowing what all the parts are and do is only half way to understanding What a Computer Is and how it Works.

You also need to know how they store and communicate data - you need to know about Binary

To find out about the Task for this unit, click here