Module 3 – Computer Software
When we think of a computer, we usually think of the physical machine or the hardware. But it is the software including the operating system and other applications, that truly make our computers work for us. This module introduces computer software, including how it interacts with the computer hardware, the importance, and function of the operating system, and how applications facilitate productivity and creativity. We will also take an introductory view of how computer software is created and licensed, as well as how users access and use computer applications.
There are four (4) lessons in this module. You can access the modules from the list below, or by using the course table of contents navigation on the right hand side of this page.
Educational Values for this Module
Information and Media – Knowing how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use needed information, and to analyze and produce content in a variety of media forms through a variety of delivery channels
STEM – Knowing how to use concepts from science, technology, engineering and mathematics in critical analysis to solving complex problems and innovate with others in a broad spectrum of personal and professional contexts.
Critical Thinking – Ability to identify, analyze and evaluate situations, ideas and information to formulate responses and solutions.
Lesson 1 – How Computer Software Works
- An interactive article on how computer software works
Video: What is Programming (2:00)
- An introduction to programming basics from Khan Academy
- Article covers the history of programming and basic programming languages. from Wikipedia
- Article covers types of computer software. from Wikipedia
- Computer applications from Common Craft
Lesson 2 – Computer Operating Systems
- This video covers the basics of computer operation systems
- This video covers the basics of computer operation systems
- This article covers the history of operating systems form Wikipedia
- This article covers the history, types, examples, and components of operating systems from Wikipedia
- This site tracks computer use by different OS and other metrics from StatsCounter
Lesson 3 – Application Software
Productivity Software Support Links
Application Software Links
Lesson 4 – Software Sources
Video: Free software, free society: (13:39) on Free software and control of your computer and the Internet from Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva 2014
Video: Open Source Basics from Intel Software (5:41) on Explanation of how Open Source Software grows over time from Intel Software
Video: End-User License Agreements (10:53) on How Copyright and EULA apply to software from Mike Murphy
Links for software licensing and Copyright
- algorithmin computer programming, a sequence of actions or set of instructions used to perform?a calculation,?or automated reasoning?tasks in a problem-solving operation.
- application softwarea category of computer programs that do something useful for the user, and interact with the operating system. It is the? software that allows the user to accomplish some goal or purpose.
- cloud computingpersonal computing using a network of remote servers and services to run applications, or manage and store data through the Internet, as opposed to installing programs or saving files on a personal computer hard drive. (The Cloud)
- command line interfacea computer interface that relies on the user typing in exact commands to interact with the computer programs
- compilersComputer software that programmers use to convert computer programming language or source code into another language, usually machine-readable code
- computer hardwarethe physical parts that make up a computer. This can include a CPU, hard drive, RAM, motherboard, sound card, or graphics card
- computer softwarea computer program. Software allows for the user to interact with the hardware and to accomplish tasks.
- debuggerAlso Debugging tool, is software that tests and repairs computer programs
- End User Licensing Agreement (EULA)a legal contract between a user and the provider of that software, service, or content
- EULAa legal contract between a user and the provider of that software, service, or content
- file systemthe structure and organization that an operating system uses to manage files on a computer
- free or open source software (FOSS or OSS)available under different specific licenses, including GNU public license, that grant the right to distribute, modify, create, and share this software with others as opposed to proprietary licensed software which restricts access to the computer code
- Graphical user interface (GUI) –a computer user interface that is structured with menus, icons, and folders that allows users to interact with the computer programs through point and click visual cues instead of command line. It is pronounced “gooey”.
- kernela software program that is the base level of the operating system
- operating systema computer program that manages computer hardware and creates the interface between the hardware and the users and his or her additional application software
- OSSavailable under different specific licenses, including GNU public license, that grant the right to distribute, modify, create, and share this software with others as opposed to proprietary licensed software which restricts access to the computer code
- productivity softwareapplications designed to help create and manage information and data files, for example, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, charts, and graphics
- programming languagean artificial language that provides a way for a programmer to create structured code to communicate logic in a format that can be executed by the computer hardware.
- proprietary softwaresoftware that is developed by an individual or company that maintains full copyright or restricted access to the source code, as opposed to open source software
- SAASis a licensing model where a user licenses software for use, often through cloud computing, instead of purchasing and installing software onto a personal computer hard drive.
- Software as a Serviceis a licensing model where a user licenses software for use, often through cloud computing, instead of purchasing and installing software onto a personal computer hard drive.
- source code(or code); the programming language text used to provide instructions to the computer
- web browsera software application used for interacting with the Web. Examples include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.