What is a computer?


In this video Michael Pound asks 'what is a computer?'

Computers are everywhere, in our homes, our pockets, even our cars. But what exactly is a computer? We cover the main parts of the computer in a simple way, linking these back to the items someone might find on their desk when trying to solve some homework or puzzles.

We have a lot of fun opening up two computers, and looking at the components inside. We compare the parts of a regular desktop PC against those found in a tiny laptop - all the same, but very different sizes!

Talking points:
  • Can you think of any other parts of a computer that we didn't talk about in the video?
  • Do you think a standard PC or a laptop would be easier to fix, and why?
  • When you shrink everything in a computer to fit it into a laptop, do you think this does to the temperature of the machine?
  • What's the smallest computer you can think of? Do you think it has all of the same components as the larger ones we looked at?
  • Did you know that the computer on the spacecraft that landed humans on the moon was less powerful than a modern calculator?
  • Worksheet: Can you spot the parts of the computer? [Link]
  • High resolution computer images: [One] [Two]

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