~ Year 9: Input, Output, Storage & Computer Hardware


In this unit, you will be looking at some basics such as computer input and output devices, storage devices as well as a general look at Computer Hardware

*Be thinking about what makes a computer 'good', and in fact, what makes a computer a computer? What are the components that make up a computer to begin with? You always need input devices (to allow for data or input to go in), output devices (the output is displayed or "given" to the user), storage - this is obviously simply to store data and information.!

The future of PCs

Oh, and check out the below video before you get started (PC technology)

And here's a link to the 5 best gaming laptops of 2016 (as suggested by this video).

Input, Output and Storage Devices

Any given computer system is typically made up of input, output and storage devices

Starter - A closer look at what a computer really is!


Discuss in pairs or with the group.

1. Humans receive input, they process data, store data, and output information. Humans are ultimately just machines like computers. Do you agree/disagree? Give reasons for your answer!

2. What do you think the ultimate computer system would look like? What sort of input, output and storage would it have?

Main Tasks

1. Define the following terms and write down their definitions: 1. Input device 2. Output device 3. Storage Device. 4. Computer system.

2. Use the internet and make a list of 10 input devices, 10 output devices and 10 storage devices.

Components of a Computer System

Let's look at what a computer system is comprised of ...

Starter / Discussion

1. What parts of a computer do you think are responsible for the speed/performance/power of a computer?

2. Does the hard drive and memory (e.g. 16GB) of a computer affect its speed? 

3. What sort of input and output devices would a robot of the future have?

What are the main components of a computer system?

Key words:

Use the internet to research the following key words and add definitions. Extension: Add more components that are typically part of a computer system to the list

Key Word


(Once you know it, write in the meaning of each key word)

Input device


Output device


Storage device




Hard drive


Optical drive












Computer Hardware - more on this topic

What really is a Computer System? Can you define the term "Hardware". What sort of hardware is necessary in any given computer system?


 Computer Systems have really evolved since then! Watch Steve Jobs reveal the first Mac in 1984.


1. Compare a computer system to a hunan being. What similarities exist? What are the obvious differences? Discuss your thoughts and opinions with a partner or with the group. 

Main Tasks

1. Watch the following video

2. Download and complete this worksheet on Computer Systems

3. Challenge: Visit the following sites to nose around for different PC components. Create a power point presentation that includes all the components you would put together to create your very own PC from scratch. Don't forget to include the price and add it all up at the end. Be prepared to share this powerpoint with the group. A comparison could be made as to the most powerful and cheapest machine! *Feel free to research other sites which sell components for PC creation.

  1. http://www.ebuyer.com/gaming/hardware
  2. www.misco.com
  3. www.aria.co.uk

Feel free to download and use this spreadsheet template to complete your challenge, or create your own!

Theory - useful links for your research.

Computer Systems




Hardware and Software: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zmpsgk7

Computer Components: http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-computer-hardware-components-definition-examples.html

Intro to Computers: http://cs.sru.edu/~mullins/cpsc100book/module02_introduction/module02-03_introduction.html


Most powerful computer in the world?

Want to build your very own PC?

Have you ever browsed the shops for PCs and wished you could custom design one instead of buying it off the shelf? Well you can! Lesson 3 provided an overview of what make a computer system, and here's some additional information that will help you actually bring that dream to life! If you do build our own PC, make sure you video it and bring it in to show to the class!

So first things first - visualise a typical PC. Think about the components you'll need. You'll also need to think about what you'll be using your PC for as the components will vary based on your requirements. If you're building it for your grandma (sorry, assuming your grandma isn't into heavy gaming or quantum simulations!), you could create something very nice and very cheap!

Image result for wikipedia commons gaming PC

Components needed

A few years ago I had a team of students build a bunch of computers (and network them) for a local charity. You can read more about the project here: https://diplomainit.wordpress.com/coursework/networking-project/ They were an inspiring bunch! The charity had been quoted 30,000 pounds to build their network which they didn't have, and our students sourced the computers and created their network for them for under £5000! The first stage involved buying PC components. Here's the original list of orders. You'll note the individual components (like the CPU, motherboards, case etc). 

*MB = Motherboard.

You might also want to check out this video on Computing basics:

Where do I buy my components?

Google PC components and see if you can find some cool places to buy the things you need. You can also check out companies like Ebuyer, Aria, Misco etc. 

Ebuyer has a specific site for the gamer: http://www.ebuyer.com/gaming/hardware

Tutorial on putting a PC together from scratch

Have a look at: http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Computer

Suggestions for assessment on this topic

1. Test on Input, Output, Storage Devices + Components of a Computer System

2. Submit a poster: Draw and label the "ULTIMATE ROBOT", which includes input, output and storage devices as well as all the other essential computer components clearly labelled. How is your robot going to be different from an ordinary computer system used today?

3. Source the parts needed to create your very own SUPER PC (try to minimise the cost as well)....and then see if you could get your parents to buy you the bits to make the PC! Check out sites like www.ebuyer.com, www.misco.co.uk and www.aria.co.uk