Short notes on the new GES (naCCA) curriculum, 2019. Computing for primary four (Basic four).

Strand 1: Word processing

Sub-Strand 1: Generation of computers and parts of a computer and other gadgets.

Content standard; B4.1.1.1: Identify parts of a computer and technology tools.

Indicator; B4.1.1.1.1:Identify parts of a computer and technology tools.

What is a computer?

A computer is an electronic device that accepts data, process it and gives out information. Examples are desktop computers, laptop computers, phones, etc.

PARTS OF A COMPUTER

A computer has many parts like monitor, speaker, keyboard, system unit, printer/scanner, mouse, etc. But the four main parts are;

  • Monitor
  • System unit
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

Monitor

Monitor is the TV-like part of the computer which displays videos, pictures and texts. It is also called visual display unit (VDU). There are two types of a computer monitor. These are liquid crystal display (LCD) and cathode ray tube (CRT).

System unit

System unit is a square or rectangular container that contains other internal parts of the computer.

 Some of the internal components of the system unit are;

  • Random access memory (RAM)
  •  Hard disk drive (HDD)
  •  Compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) drive
  •  Motherboard
  •  Central processing unit (CPU) or processor
  •  Fan
  •  Power supply

Keyboard

Keyboard is the part of a computer that has keys for typing. Examples of keyboard are; QWERTY, AZERTY, DVORAK, QWERTZ, etc. The examples are based on the arrangement of keys. The most popular one is the QWERTY. Mostly, the standard keyboard has 101 keys but there are others with 84, 104 and 107 keys respectively.

Mouse

A computer mouse is the hand-held part of a computer that is used to control the cursor/pointer on the desktop. Basically, it has a right button, left button and a scroll button.

There are two main types of computer mouse. They are;

Mechanical mouse

Optical mouse

An optical mouse can be wireless (without a wire or cord) or wired (with a wire or cord).

Computer peripheral

A computer peripheral is any device that can be connected to the system unit. Examples are monitor, keyboard, mouse, flash drive, external hard drive, printer, joystick etc.

Indicator; B4.1.1.1.2. Describe the types of input devices of a computer and their uses.

Input devices

Input devices are devices that are used to feed the computer with data for processing.

Before information is displayed on the screen, the computer is first fed with data using input devices. After the computer is fed with data, the processor in the system unit will process the data then the monitor will display the information. The speaker also brings out information in the form of sound.

Examples of input devices and their uses;

  • Joystick; It is used to control computer game.
  • Light pen; It is a light-sensitive pen used to draw on the screen of a cathode ray tube.
  • Mouse; It is used to control the cursor or mouse pointer.
  • Pointing stick; it is just like a joystick used as a pointing device.
  • Keyboard; It is used for typing.

Indicator; B4.1.1.1.3 Differentiate between RAM and ROM

Random access memory (RAM)

RAM is the main memory of the computer which stores data temporary and loses the data when the computer goes off.

Read only memory (ROM)

ROM is a storage medium that can only be read but cannot be modified. This means that the computer can read the data on a ROM but cannot add or remove data from it.

Difference between RAM and ROM

The main difference between RAM and ROM is that, a RAM loses the data stored on it when the computer is turned off but ROM does not lose data stored on it when the computer is turned off.

Indicator; B4.1.1.1.4 Type short phrases

What is a word processing application?

A word processing application or word processor is an application that enables a computer user to create and edit a document on the computer.

Examples of word processor; 

  • Microsoft Word (also called Ms Word)
  • OpenOffice
  • LibreOffice
  • Abiword
  • Corel WordPerfect

Ms Word is the most popular word processor among the above listed examples.

To guide pupils type short phrases, help them to place the right fingers on the right keys, that is placing left little finger, left ring finger, left middle finger, left index finger and left thumb on keys A,S,D,F and spacebar respectively.

Right thumb, right index finger, right middle finger, right ring finger and right little finger are also to be placed on keys spacebar, J,K,L and ; respectively.

Indicator; B4.1.1.1.5 Summarize the first generation of computers which used vacuum tubes as a major piece of technology.

The first generation of computers existed between 1940 and 1956 and used vacuum tubes as their main piece of technology. Because the size of vacuum tubes are large, the sizes of the first generation computers were larger since the vacuum tubes were their components. A first generation computer can take up the space of almost an entire room.

First generation computers use a huge amount of electrical power and generates a lot of heat which causes them to malfunction most at times.  They are unable to perform multiple tasks at a time. This means that they perform one task or solve one problem at a time. They process data very slowly.

Examples of first generation computers;

  • UNIVAC
  • EDVAC
  • ENIAC
  • IBM-701
  • Manchester Mark 1

Sub-strand 2: Introduction to MS Windows interface (Desktop background and locations of the computer)

Content standard; Demonstrate the use of the desktop background as well as working with folders.

Indicators; B4.1.2.1.1. Describe the desktop background and explain its features AND B4.1.2.1.2. Demonstrate how to personalize the desktop background using required tools and settings.

What is a desktop?

Desktop

It is the visual user interface that appears after the computer has finish booting which displays icons, wallpaper and taskbar.

Features of the desktop

Features of the desktop are the things we see on the desktop. Some of the main things we see on the desktop are;

  • Wallpaper
  • Icons
  • Taskbar

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is the colourful background of the desktop which can be a colour or picture.

The wallpaper is the background, meaning the other features are on the surface or in front of it. It can be changed to the colour or picture that the computer user likes.

Personalising the desktop background

Procedure in changing the wallpaper of the desktop (on Windows 10)

  1. Right-click an empty space on the desktop.
  2. Click on Personalize from the pop-up menu.
  3. Choose the picture you want to use.
  4. Close the settings window.

Changing the wallpaper to your own picture on the computer

You can take a picture of pupils and guide them through the procedure below to use it as the wallpaper.

  1. Right-click an empty space on the desktop.
  2. Click on Personalize from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click on Browse under Choose your picture.
  4. Open the folder in which your picture can be found.
  5. Click on the picture.
  6. Click on Choose picture.
  7. Close the settings window.

Changing the wallpaper to a colour

  1. Right-click an empty space on the desktop.
  2. Click on Personalize from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click on the rectangular shape with the down-pointing arrow under Background.
  4. Click on Solid color.
  5. Click on the colour you want under Background colors.
  6. Close the settings window

. The procedures above may differ from other windows’ procedures.

Icons

Icons are the smaller images on the desktop that represent applications or programs on the computer.

They are used to open the applications they represent. There are two main ways to open an application using an icon. These ways are;

  • By double clicking on the icon
  • By right-clicking on the icon and clicking on Open from the drop-down menu.

Indicator; B4.1.2.1.3. Demonstrate the use of the sections of the taskbar; Start menu (location and launching only), Pinned Applications (launched/minimized programs) and Notification Area or system tray (date & time and volume).

What is a taskbar?

Taskbar

Taskbar is the horizontal bar at the bottom part of the desktop. There are differences between the taskbars of the various windows but basically, they all have four main sections. The sections are;

  • Start button section
  • Quick launch toolbar section
  • Active programs section
  • Notification area/System tray.

Start Button

The start button is in the left corner of the taskbar and it is used to launch/open the Start Menu. The Start Menu is launched by clicking on the Start button or by pressing the windows key on the keyboard.

Quick launch toolbar

It is the section of the taskbar that contains icons of pinned applications. Pinned applications are the applications that are made to stay in the taskbar even if they are closed. It helps the computer user to open those applications quickly and easily.

Active programs section

This is the empty space just after the quick launch toolbar section which shows programs or applications that are active or opened. It helps the computer user to switch between opened applications easily.

Notification area/System tray

The Notification area or System tray is the section in the right corner of the taskbar. It shows the volume icon, time & date and other notifications. The volume icon is used to increase or decrease audio. You can click on the time and date, go to their settings and set them.

Indicator; B4.1.2.1.4. Adding and removing icons from the desktop.

Adding icons to the desktop

The icons on the desktop can be removed and others can be added. Icons of some applications are added automatically after those applications are installed. The procedure involved in adding icons may differ slightly based on the windows the computer is using.

Procedure in adding icons to the desktop (on windows 7 and 8)

  1. Right-click on empty space on the desktop.
  2. Click on Personalize from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click on Change desktop icons.
  4. There are five names of icons with check boxes, click on the ones you want to add to the desktop.
  5. Click on Ok and close the settings window.

Procedure in adding icons to the desktop (on windows 10)

  1. Right-click on empty space on the desktop.
  2. Click on Personalize from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click on Themes.
  4. Click on Desktop icon settings.
  5. There are five names of icons with check boxes, click on the ones you want to add to the desktop.
  6. Click on Ok and close the settings window.

Removing icons from the desktop

The icons on the desktop can be removed either by hiding them or deleting them. When an icon is deleted but not permanently, it can be restored from the recycle bin. Also, when an icon is hidden from the desktop, it can be unhidden again.

How to delete an icon from the desktop

There are two main ways to delete an icon from the desktop. These are;

  1. a. Right-click on the icon you want to delete.

b. Click on delete on the pop-up menu.

2. a. Click and hold down the left mouse button on the icon you want to delete.

b. Drag it into the recycle bin.

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