Computer Lessons for Kids and Small Adults

Lesson 1
What do the parts do?

You are pretty familiar with your TV, maybe too familiar!   The TV is mostly an output machine or device.   This means that the stuff, be it information or junk, flows from the TV out to you.   It also has some input controls so that you can give it some input.   These are the volume control, the on off switch and the channel changer, which lives under the couch.

So output is the flow of information to you and input is the flow from you to the device.

Now computers.   Computers have: What is kind of surprising is how much effort is spent getting input and giving output, and how little is actually spent on doing work!   By work I mean heavy duty arithmetic or searching through long lists for a certain item.  

So now, the parts of the computer.

The Parts of a Computer
Item Duty

Monitor (screen)











Input and Output

Memory (RAM)

Short term storage

Floppy Disks

Long term storage

Hard Disks

Long term storage

The computers main job is to run programs.   Programs are instructions in a language that computers and programmers understand.   A programmer, or a team of programmers writes a program and saves it on a long term storage device like a floppy drive, a hard disk or a CD-ROM.

Then, when you want to run that program, you type its name and the computer goes and gets the program off the hard drive, or wherever it is stored, and brings it into its short term storage, called RAM, and runs the program.

We'll look at this in more detail later.

Lesson 2 - The DOS Operating System
Lesson Start