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Lesson 10: The Past - what is a computer?

This lesson brings the discussion back to the first lesson in the unit, in which we discussed what is and isn’t a computer. Students will look at the analog computers, precursors/pre-computers, and early digital computers. For each device shown, students will see what discoveries it was used for and why it was important to computers today. This will help students see that computers come in different shapes and have fulfilled different purposes throughout time.

Included Resources

This pdf contains two articles on the history of computers and early computing machines.  The first article is from and discusses different historical concepts of early computers.The second article, from Smithsonian Magazine, discusses an ancient Greek mechanism that tracked the path of the sun and planets.