This unit is a reworking of my first attempt to introduce students to computer systems in a thorough, formal and organised manner. In this version I have reduced the length of the unit, and focused less on the role of people in computer systems (not an easy choice, but necessary given my time constraints). I have also updated the 4 Layer Model, to further help students understand how hardware, software, networks and people each function as parts of complex computer systems.
For most of my Year 9 students, this unit represents their first opportunity to really work with computer hardware (they have to reassembly old PCs) and software (they have to install Ubuntu Linux). It also gave them new insights into how the Internet works, and finally a glimpse of the complexities involved in human use of technology at the individual and group levels.
One of the main aims of this unit is to demystify those little plastic and metal boxes that students spend so much time staring at. If you are planning on running this unit, be prepared to answer lots of interesting questions, and fix lots of problems. Let me know if you need any help.