ALEX Lesson Plan


Computer Comparison Project

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Laura Roberts
System: Shelby County
School: Calera Middle
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 4741


Computer Comparison Project


In this collaborative project students compare computer hardware and software. Handheld computers may be utilized to provide students experience in inputting data and beaming it for use in a class summary.
 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
1 ) Appraise technology systems to determine software and hardware compatibility.

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
4 ) Determine basic troubleshooting strategies to correct common hardware and software problems.

Examples: checking connections, restarting equipment, creating a backup copy of digital data

•  Describing the importance of antivirus and security software
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
5 ) Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.

Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures

-  spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets

-  databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers

-  presentation software—slideshow

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
9 ) Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.

Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites

•  Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying

-  penalties—fines, incarceration

•  Citing sources of digital content

Local/National Standards:

8th Grade Business Technology Essentials - Major Course Projects - Learn about computer hardware and architecture including safety procedures.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will learn about computer hardware. Students will develop teamwork skills. Students will gain experience in working with word processing and spreadsheet software.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will gain experience in self-evaluation.
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Advertisements about computers, printed handouts (see attachments), materials for posters (scissors, glue, paper, markers)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers with Internet access, spreadsheet software, computer projection device, PowerPoint presentation about the project (see attachment), Handheld computers desirable but not essential,


Download chart students are to complete to handhelds if available. Students should already know how to enter alphanumeric informtion on the handheld computers.
1.)Engagement Activity - PowerPoint presentation about computer characteristics (monitor, modem, ram, warranty)(see attachment), group responsibilities and evaluation charts. The engagement PowerPoint presentation can be printed for students to take notes.

2.)Divide into groups.

3.)Each group will work together to complete the computer comparison chart (see attachment) with information from 3 different computer advertisements. The advertisements may be from the newspaper or can be found on different websites. There are many websites with computer sales information. Major computer companies have easy to use websites with current computer sales information.

4.)Students decide on the "best" computer from the worksheet and enter that information on the handheld computer.

5.)The group must successfully "beam" the information to the teacher. (If handheld computers are not available, the students may enter the information on a shared directory.)

6.)The group (or a member of the group) will design a poster about their choice of computer. Students may use the advertisement and cut/paste a poster or they may use word processing software and clip art to produce a poster about the computer they selected.

7.)The group or a designated group member will produce an essay in Word about the project, the characteristics of the computer chosen, a paragraph about other information the group would like to have about the computer and a final paragraph about why this computer was better than the other computers.

8.)The group will decide the group's grade on the group self-evaluation rubric (see attachment).

9.)Teacher will complete evaluation form next to the self-evaluation column.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

This link includes a rubric that can be printed for students to self-evaluate. The Group rubric (see attachment) allows for the teacher to evaluate the group. The groups are evaluated by observation, self-evaluation, and evaluation of final product such as the poster, essay, computer comparison sheet and successfully beaming or completing information for the summary.


Students could investigate other items such as Palm Pilots or Handspring Visors. Students could investigate the cost of vehicles or household air cleaners.


Students can be given a demonstration using the actual parts from an old computer for a hands-on learning activity. Another way to remediate the project is to spend time in class going over the computer advertisements for information and filling in a form together as a class.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.