**Goal:**

- Get students to think critically about the definition of computers, and to contemplate the ways they interact with different types of computers each day.

**Action: **

- First, ask students to count how many computers there are in the room.
- Some students will only count the desktop and laptop computers in the room, while other students will count a wider variety of things.
- Examples of other computers students may come up with include calculators, phones, and even humans.

- Some students will only count the desktop and laptop computers in the room, while other students will count a wider variety of things.
- Change the question "How many computers are in the room?" to "What different computers do you see?"
- This question can be found on pg 31-32 of ECS Unit 1, version 6.
- This shifts the focus to inquiry encouraging debate and open-ended discussions.

- Next, have groups of 3-4 students discuss other examples of computers, and write these examples on post-it notes to put on the board.
- Once the results are in, discuss them as a class and ask students why they think certain objects are or are not computers.
- Then, have students create classifications for different types of computers and regroup the examples of computers into these classifications.

- To conclude this exercise, have students follow up the discussion of what a computer is by discussing what computing is.
- Suggest that students consult their list of computers to help them define computing.
- Remind them that there is no single correct answer to this question.

- Suggest that students consult their list of computers to help them define computing.
- Before the class ends, implore students to keep this question in mind as they learn more about computing throughout the course.
- For more details on this activity, visit the ECS Curriculum Version 5.0 and navigate to Days 1-2 in Unit 1, page 28.

**Additional Activities:**

**Pro Tip by Mark Folger**from ECS forum on Code.org - Have students rate items as "Definitely Computers," "Maybe Computers," and "Not Computers."- Give each student 15 post-it notes, 5 post-its for "Definitely Computers," 5 post-its for "Maybe Computers," and 5 post-its for "Not Computers."
- Setup category spaces on the board at the front of the classroom for students to place their post-its.

- As students bring their post-its to the board, discuss and debate whether the class agrees or disagrees with the post-its and why.
*Alternate Option*: Split the classroom in groups of 4 and have the small groups place the post-its on their own categorized board and discuss their choices with each other. Then have the groups report out to the classroom.

- Give each student 15 post-it notes, 5 post-its for "Definitely Computers," 5 post-its for "Maybe Computers," and 5 post-its for "Not Computers."
**Pro Tip by Steve Schulz**from ECS Forum on Code.org - Ask students as a class to "List all of the computers you’ve seen in the last 24 hours (not counting the desktops in your classroom)."- Have the students take turns adding items to a list of computers on the whiteboard.
- As a class, discuss possible definitions for a computer that emphasize input, process, and output
- Note: There is no "correct" answer - What is a Computer Anymore?

**Pro Tip by Jennifer Bearce**from ECS Forum on Code.org - Have small teams of students sort items that are and are not computers into a chart, then have a class discussion comparing answers.- Split the class into teams of 4 - 6. Provide each team with cards that contain pictures or names of items on them, some of the items are considered computers and others are not.
- Each team sorts the cards into a chart or Venn Diagram (left circle is "YES it is a computer", right circle is "NO it is not a computer," and the overlapping area is for the "MAYBE" category for when they aren't sure if it is or isn’t a computer).
- Teams share out their results and defend their reasoning over conflicting answers.

**Additional Resources suggested by CS10K Curated Content by John Landa:**

- What Matters—Katherine Johnson: NASA Pioneer and "Computer" (26:03): Katherine Johnson was a "computer" for NASA when computers were people.
- Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII—Trailer (1:48): This video describes a secret military program to recruit female mathematicians who would become human "computers" during World War II.
- What Is a Computer? (3:45): This video explores what a computer is and how many computers are around us.