Understanding early mechanical computing machines is crucial to appreciate the unprecedented progress we have made. These pioneering inventions laid the groundwork for modern computing systems, shaping our capacity to process information, communicate, innovate, and solve complex problems. By studying the history of computing, we gain insight into the principles that underpin our current technologies. It reminds us of the perseverance, creativity, and vision needed to transform abstract ideas into tangible innovations.
• Full Class Lesson Plan for 2 Days
• Video Based
• Perfect for a Sub Day!
• 2 Crossword Versions
• Video Pause to Ponders
• Timestamped Video Bullet Points
• Part of the Technology & Society: Computer Technologies unit
This lesson uses the video Modern Marvels: How the First Computer Changed the World.
• Describe the historical evolution of computing machines built prior to the development of the transistor (e.g. Babbage’s Difference Engine, Lovelace’s Programming, Hollerith’s Tabulating Machines, the British Colossus, the U.S. built ENIAC).
• Explain the role of early computing machines in science and industry (e.g. census data collection, wartime code breaking, keeping data for the railroad industry).
• Describe the problems inherent to large computing machines built with thousands of working parts.
• Explain the main differences between computing machines and the design of modern computers.
• Describe how the space race fueled the commercial development of transistors, integrated circuits, and microprocessors.
• Outline the people and companies that were involved in the evolution of the modern computer and graphical interface.