1 Computer Networks

Welcome to our course, Kids Biz Club! In our first two class sessions, we will explain how computers work and how networks work. Below are links to the articles and assignments for our first two class sessions. 

In this lesson, we will cover three important topics. First, we review the purpose of computers. Second, we explain several important computer terms. Finally, we will outline the parts of a computer, why each part is important and explain how to compare various economical computer options.

1.1 The Purpose of Computers
Your computer is a home for your files and documents. The purpose of a computer is to create and store files and folders. These files, which are also called documents, are organized inside of folders and stored on your computer in your File Manager.

What is a File?
A file is like a sheet of paper you have written something important on. Files should be placed inside of folders.

What is a Folder?
A folder is a place where you put a group of files to keep those files organized and separate from all of your other files.

What is a File Manager?
A file manager is a place where you store a group of files. The files are usually organized in alphabetical order.


Above is a file cabinet with a bunch of folders inside of it. Note that the folders have sheets of paper inside of them. These sheets of paper are like the files we create and store with our computer.

Here is what the file manager on your computer looks like:


You can create new folders and new documents by clicking on the File Menu in the top menu. You can change the appearance of your file manager by clicking on Edit, then Preferences. You can move files and folders to other folders in your file manager by selecting them in the right (light) workspace and dragging them to where you want in the left (dark) workspace.

A second purpose of computers is to browse the Internet and gather more information to help you build your own business or learn a new skill. A third purpose of your computer is to create and edit images and videos. We will review web browsers, images and videos later in this course.

1.2 Important Computer Terms
Computers have introduced many new terms to the English language. Here are some of the most important computer terms we will cover in this article:

In this session, we will first give some examples of networks. Second, we will introduce some terms related to computer networks. We will then explain how computer networks work. Finally, we will explain what web browsers are and why we should learn how to use more than one web browser.

2.1 What is a Network?
A Network is a group of people or computers that are connected in some way so they can work together to share information.


Do you have a network you use to share information?


These people are sharing information… They are a network.

Another term for building computer networks is Information Technology:


This course could be called a course in Information Technology. Often courses in Information Technology can be very difficult and confusing:


How are we doing so far???

2.2 How information gets from your computer to the Internet
You open a web browser and do a web search. You then click on a link to a website. Your computer sends a signal to a router in your home or school. The router sends the signal to an Internet Service Provider.

Eventually, the signal reaches a Server which is hosting the website you would like to see. A single server can host up to one thousand websites. Think of the server as being a big hotel where hundreds of websites live.

The server responds to your signal by “serving” up your website – just like how restaurant serves up a meal that you have ordered. The website is sent back to the Internet Service provider who sends it back to the router who sends it back to your laptop where the website magically appears on your laptop screen. All of these steps can happen in less than one second.

Here is a simple diagram of this process:


Here is a more complex diagram of this process: