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Consultation on the Primary Curriculum now open

Consultation on the Primary Curriculum now open

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3. The Evolution of Computers in Society

Resources and Strategies for the Classroom

Many learning outcomes across all 3 strands can be achieved through a blended pedagogy of group activities with guided exploration and creative problem solving.

Suggestions on how to use this resource

This resource aims to primarily support the learning outcomes around Computers and society, and the evolution of computers in society, in strand 1, and also the core concept of Computer systems in strand 2.

The resources and strategies provided are intended mainly for the teacher to use in the classroom. They can be used in the context of an Applied learning task (ALT) or simply as classroom strategies to engage students in wider ethical and cultural questions. They are not prescriptive and the concepts do not have to be taught in the order they are presented. Teachers will discover many other ways of helping their students achieve the learning outcomes. Much of the learning around computers and society and the direction of technological development can be facilitated by teachers with classroom techniques, such as Power of Persuasion, Think-Pair-Share-Snowball and Stimulate a Debate, which are described within this resource. There are also design and development activities, plus ideas for other suitable activities. The resource itself, with guidance and differentiation from the teacher, can be used as a learning platform by students.

Material that is suitable for Higher Level only is indicated by an orange bar to the side.

The evolution of computers in society is outlined below. Each development in the evolution is used as a platform to study subsequent related developments. In this sense the learning outcomes can be achieved in an iterative and non-linear fashion.

Resources and Strategies for the LCCS Classroom - building key skills and addressing learning outcomes

Each resource is in the form of a Rich Media PDF (RM-PDF)

Description of Resource Type ID     Learning Outcomes

Overview of Resources

Description of Teaching and Facilitation Methodologies suggested in these resources

Early computers and computing technology - A (very) brief overview


1936 The Turing Machine

The Turing Test, AI and Machine Learning algorithms and why the sudden expansion. HL classroom activity to add numbers on the Turing Machine.


1.7  1.12  1.13  1.14 1.18 

2.5  2.8

1942-1946 First Electronic Computers : Colossus and ENIAC

The common components of all electronic computers. Stimulate a Debate on the positive and negative impacts of the military and society. 


1.11  1.12  1.13  1.18


1947 Solid State Transistors

The digital revolution begins. Why Binary? A description of logic gates. A HL activity to simulate a half-adder in Python or Javascript.



2.3  2.11- 2.14

1953 Invention of High Level Programming Languages

How text-based languages evolved. The importance of the keyboard and how a Q is formed! Stimulate a Debate on how CS is changing our World.


1.11  1.13  1.18  1.22  1.23

2.4 - 2.7  2.17

1958 Integrated Circuits

Smaller, cheaper, faster, better. The birth of Moore's Law. Stimulate a Debate on how societies should respond to the rapid expansion of AI and machine learning technologies.


1.2  1.13  1.14  1.18

2.3  2.4  2.11

1973 Mobile Phones and Interconnected Computers

How modern communication systems began to evolve. A protocol is devised (TCP) to coordinate the newly formed networks of computers. Facilitate a classroom communication activity - plugged and unplugged.


1.8  1.11 - 1.13  1.15 - 1.18


1977 First Modern PC - Apple II

The common components of all computers. The spread of digital literacy. Why have an Operating System (OS)? The layers of an OS.


1.7  1.11  1.13  1.15  1.18

2.1  2.4  2.11  2.12

1989 The World Wide Web

Who Why Where? Simulate the internet with with, investigate TCP through the Packet Attack Game and follow a request for a webpage around the internet world. Stimulate a Debate on data, government, multinationals and the individual.


1.11 - 1.13  1.18  1.22


2000 - 2020 Cloud Computing and the Smart Phone

Stimulate a Debate on the pros and cons of how human transactions are moving to the cloud. Since 2017, over 50% of all internet activity is on smart phones, a device launched only 10 years previously.

RM-PDF 1.8  1.11 - 1.13  1.15 

Emerging Trends in the 21st Century

Investigate how difficult it is to predict the path of future technologies. Explore 9 ethical questions to consider how the future can be shaped by today's users and developers. 

RM-PDF 1.11  1.12  1.13

The Evolution of Computers in Society - A Classroom Resource

RM-PDF The full resource addressing all the above LOs and more.
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