Teacher Resources

Computer History

California's Computer History Museum is a fun place to explore many aspects of the computer age. Check out the interactive timeline of computer history from the 1930s to the 2020s, and category timelines for modern computers and computer languages.

Dates and Events provides a more detailed timeline of the inventions of the past that eventually led to the development of the computer.

History of Computers and History of Computing are two illustrated slideshows that you may want to share with your class.

Learn about the history of the computer mouse.

Lesson Plans and Tutorials

Crazy 4 Computers is a teacher-made resource for elementary educators, full of computer-related lessons based on grade level and skill. Explore the menu to find lesson plans as well as activities for independent learning.

BBC Bitesize offers a great collection of short tutorials, videos, and games that teach students about computer science, digital literacy, and information technology. Lessons range from What Is A Computer? to Dance Mat Typing to Viruses & Malware. Check out the offerings for students in primary grades and intermediate grades.

Programming Basics includes lessons and teaching resources to introduce students to the world of programming. The sequential self-paced tutorials give students the chance to begin writing simple programs of their own.

The PBS Kids' Scratch Jr. Collection contains lesson plans, activities, tutorials, and resources to introduce kids to coding. Lesson plans center around familiar PBS shows such as Wild Kratts, Peg + Cat, and Word Girl. Students will create their own stories, games, animations, and solutions as they learn the basics of coding.

Code Studio has a wealth of free lessons and resources for elementary and middle school classrooms. Complete lesson plans include “unplugged” activities (for example, My Robotic Friends), digital citizenship concepts, computer science fundamentals, and hands-on coding practice. Also available are Express Courses for independent learning. Computer Science Connections addresses cross-curricular applications, while Hour of Code offers one-hour tutorials.

Take the mystery out of computing and build kids' confidence with these simple hands-on lessons: Five Technology Lessons for Everyone and 12 Activities to Teach Kids Coding.

Teach your students about binary code with this Code To Picture Interactive from PBS LearningMedia. Hands-on investigations, teaching guide, and background context are included.

For anyone new to computers or in need of a refresher, these self-paced tutorials teach basic computer usage and navigation. DigitalLearn from the Public Library Association also offers tutorials in basic computer skills that you may want to recommend to any students' families who might need them. Available in English and Spanish.

Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

You will want to check out Google's Digital Safety Resources for the classroom. Students can play the engaging Interland game as they learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship. The standards-aligned classroom curriculum, available in English and Spanish, includes lesson plans, vocabulary, activities, and worksheets. In addition, there are resources for families that you may want to share with parents.

Common Sense Education has a free K-12 Digital Citizenship curriculum that includes videos, lesson plans, and student resources.

Safe Online Surfing is a resource created by the FBI for grades 3-8. There are seven interactive games for each grade level as well as a teacher's guide.

This overview of digital citizenship highlights essential skills that students should be learning and resources for teachers.

Take a look at PBS LearningMedia's collection of Technological Literacy resources for middle-school and above. From the basics of digital citizenship to discussion of social media and screen time, you'll find resources to engage your students.

Wonderopolis addresses digital citizenship, safety, and accuracy on the Internet.

This digital citizenship text and interactive worksheet can be used with primary students and English language learners.

Internet Safety for Kids is a series of tutorials that address cyberbullying, privacy, file-sharing, and social media.

More Resources for Teachers

How PCs Work and How Laptops Work provide basic information about computer hardware and functions.

PBS Learning Media has several resources for educators to help you build student understanding of computer concepts.

Web resources for kids that explain more about how computers work in student-friendly language include Kiddle Encyclopedia and Brittanica Kids gr. 3-5 and gr. 6-8.

DK Find Out offers an illustrated overview of coding for kids.

These resource compilations for educators provide links for teaching computer basics, apps for teaching programming in the classroom, and technology tips for teachers.

You and your students may find this glossary of computer terms to be a helpful tool. Definitions are precise and user-friendly.

Students who are interested in computers may enjoy learning about possible careers in computer technology. Here are a few profiles of people who currently work with computers: