Computing KS2: Input and output

This short film gives a brief history of input and output methods with examples, and brings us up to date with examples of familiar input and output devices that we use every day.

The film discusses the ways in which input and output devices can be adapted to help people with disabilities or access requirements communicate with computer systems.

The film then looks at the way input and output methods often overlap, and goes through the sequence of input and output that brought the viewer to the film they are watching right now.

This short film is from the BBC Teach series, Cracking Computing.

Teaching Notes

A good way to start exploring this topic is to collect examples of familiar technology and list the different input and output methods and devices being used. Pupils can also explore ways that devices can be both input and output, like touch screens.

Creating annotated diagrams and adding labels to photos can be a useful way for pupils to share their understanding and consolidate their specialist vocabulary.

Flow diagrams can help pupils explore the relationship between input and output devices in a visual way, either with paper and pencil or using flowchart or mind mapping software, or the drawing tools in word processing or presentation applications like MS Word or Google Slides.

Other subjects

Maths: The idea of input and output can be explored using function machines in maths, where numbers are manipulated by a series of operations that live inside a function box. Numbers go in, are changed, and then come out as a new number.

Design & technology: The invention of machines and devices that support input and output are interesting types of technology to study, including the computer mouse, 3D printers, QR codes, etc.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching:

  • KS2 computing curriculum in England
  • Technologies curriculum area at 2nd Level in Scotland
  • KS2 digital competence framework in Wales
  • KS2 using ICT cross-curricular skill in Northern Ireland

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