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Chapter Two How ICT Works

How does information and communication technology work?


Creating Summary Booklets
There will be one summary booklet for each of the four major topics. Each Summary Booklet should cover the main ideas of the topic use paper, cardboard, markers, etc. be suitable for students who know very little about ICTs

Anatomy of a Computer
A computer is only capable of doing what the user tells it to do. The four functions of computers are
1. input 2. processing 3. output 4. storage

A computer must have

1. hardware 2. software

A computer collects data or instructions from the user via
keyboard mouse or touchpad stylus touching a screen microphone

The computer saves data or instructions in its memory for use during processing.

The computer interprets the data entered. The computer adds, multiplies, divides, finds, or manipulates data. The computer then creates processed information that the user can understand.

The computer displays or produces processed information for the user via
something that you see (screen) something that you hear (ding) something that you command the printer to print

When summarizing keep track of several pieces of information in a chart or graphic organizer include
subheadings keywords or phrases ideas in your own words


Summarize the first section on Anatomy of a Computer. Consider breaking the next section on Computer Hardware down into smaller sections:
What is Hardware? Computer Storage Peripheral Devices

What is Hardware?
Hardware is any part of a computer that you can touch. There are two kinds of hardware:
1. internal 2. external

Internal Hardware
Power enters computer through power cord. Electricity travels through motherboard, where all components are attached. Electricity travels to the central processing unit (CPU), also called the microprocessor. The CPU manages information flow, as well as processing instructions and data.

Internal Hardware

The cache holds instructions that are accessed frequently. There are two kinds of cache:
1. internal or L1 first place that the CPU looks 2. external or L2 second place that the CPU looks

Internal Hardware

Expansion slots can hold expansion cards such as a sound card or modem. Bus is a series of conductor wires that transport data between internal hardware.
Wider bus widths result in more data being transported at faster speeds.

Internal Hardware

Drive bays hold disk drives such as hard drive and DVD drive. Memory chips are also attached to the motherboard.
ROM Read Only Memory
also called the system BIOS houses information such as instructions for startup

RAM Random Access Memory


How CPUs Work

The CPU is the brain of the computer. The CPU performs four tasks:
1. fetch 2. decode 3. execute 4. store

Computer Storage
The type of storage device used depends on
the type of information being stored how much information being stored

Examples of storage options include

hard drive floppy disk CD-R or CD-RW DVD+/-R or DVD+/-RW online storage external hard drive USB Flash drive

Peripheral Devices
Peripheral devices are hardware plugged into ports or connected to a computer wirelessly. These devices can be for input, output, or both. Monitors provide a visual display on a screen. The two common types of monitors are
cathode-ray tub (CRT) liquid crystal display (LCD)

Modems transmit data by converting digital signals to analog signals and vice versa. This allows computers to communicate over phone lines. Expansion cards contain chips that add new features to a computer, such as a graphics card.

Peripheral Devices

Printers print text and graphics on paper. They can be impact or non-impact. Pointing devices control the movement of a cursor on the display screen. Examples include the mouse, the trackball, and the touch pad. Graphic tablets are a type of pointing device used by graphic designers. Gamepads are input devices controlled by a users thumbs. Keyboards enable users to enter data.

Peripheral Devices

Speakers allow the output of sound. Microphones input sound to a computer. Scanners allow documents and pictures to be scanned into the computer and to be stored in a digital file. Webcams take pictures and videos that can be uploaded to the Web.


Share your notes with your team. Decide how you want to present information for this section.

Computer Software
Computer software carries out the four functions (input, storage, processing, and output). Software is a set of electronic instructions that tell a computer what to do. A computer must have software. There are two types of software:
1. operating software 2. application software

Operating System Software

The operating system software - recognizes data coming from an input device - sends information to an output device - keeps track of directories and files -controls peripheral devices - responsible for running software and for security Examples of operating systems include MS-DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux, and Mac OS.

Analyzing a Case Study
Before you read determine what you already know about the topic and predict what the case will be about. While you are reading make notes, identify facts, determine your issue statement, and organize viewpoints. After you are finished reading, summarize the case out loud, think about alternative outcomes, and respond to any questions. When working as a group
set the tone work as an individual member of a team

Application Software
Application software is designed to allow users to perform specific tasks. Application software is categorized by its function:
utility productivity (word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation) desktop publishing graphics Web development Internet browser computer games communications

A desktop is a computer case designed to sit on your desk. It is also the primary screen on your computer. The appearance depends on interface:
menu-driven command-driven

Most desktops use a graphical user interface (GUI) with windows, icons, and pop-up menus.

Typical Desktop Features

Typical desktop features include - wallpaper - icons - taskbar/menu bar - windows - screensaver


Meet with your team to discuss your points. How will you present your information?

Computer Communication
To communicate, computers must be linked via a network.
A network is two or more computers connected by cable or radio signals.

A computer that is not part of the network is a called a stand-alone. The two advantages of a network are
access to information access to equipment

Types of Networks
There are two types of networks:
1. A local area network (LAN) is located in one building. 2. A wide area network (WAN) covers a large geographic area.

Networks are arranged in two ways:

1. client/server
One computer is the leader, or the server. The other computers (also called nodes) are clients.

2. peer-to-peer
All computers act as both clients and servers.

Network Topologies
A topology is the physical layout of computers. There are two main topologies:
1. bus
All nodes and peripherals are attached to one main cable. All nodes and peripherals are attached to a central hub.

2. star


Meet with your team to discuss your notes on Computer Communication. Establish how you will present this information. Complete your booklets.

Update competencies. Update ICT Terminology wiki. Update portfolio.