A computer is a programmable machine with two specific characteristics; it responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner, and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions, known as a program. Personal computers were first introduced into the schools in the early 1980s, and since that time computer-related activity in education has penetrated nearly every component of the national educational scene—as demonstrated by the rapid surge in the number of computers found in schools today (Geisert & Futrell, 2000). The modern personal computer, also referred to as a microcomputer or PC1, is electronic and digital. The actual machinery—wires, transistors, and circuits—is called the hardware; and the instructions, programs, and data are called software. Hardware also refers to additional peripheral devices such ...

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