O484.U01. Computers Today

1. Living in a digital age.

2. Computer essentials.

3. Inside the system.

4. Buying a computer.

1. The digital age

READ the text from the book

2. Collocations 1

Language work

Verbs and nouns often go together in English to make set phrases, for example acces the Internet. These word combinations are called collocations, and they are very common. Learning collocations instead of individual words can help you remember which verb to use with which noun. Here are some examples from the previous text:

perform operations, do research, make calls, send texts, display data, write letters, store information, complete exercises, carry out transactions

3. Computers at work

Talk about how different people use their computers at work (e.g. electrical engineer, secretary, librarian, composer)

4. The magic of computers

Talk about things computer do for us in our daily life

5. Other aplications

Give examples of how computers are used in Formula 1 cars, Entertainment, Factories & industrial processes, Schools / Universities


How artists can (finally) get paid in the digital age | Jack Conte

Inside a Google Data Center

Microsoft underwater Data Centers

1. Computer hardware

Describe the elements of a computer system

2. What is a computer?

READ the text from the book

3. Different types of computer

List & describe: laptop, desktop PC, mainframe, tablet PC, mobile phone, chromebook

4. Classifying

Language work

Classifying means putting things into groups or classes. We can classify types of computers, parts of a PC, etc. Some typical expressions for classifying are:

  • ...are classified into X types/categories
  • ...are classified by...
  • ...can be divided into X types/categories

Digital computers can be divided into five main types: mainframes, desktop PCs, laptops, tablet PCs and mobile phones.

  • ...include(s)...
  • ...consist(s) of...

The basic configuration of a mainframe consists of a central system which processes immense amounts of data very quickly.

  • There are X types/classes of...
  • X is a type of...

A tablet PC is a type of notebook computer.

5. Benefits of laptops, tablet PCs and chromebooks

WRITE an emal describing the benefits of using these portable devices.



Article about quantum computers (2019)

Quantum computers explained at 5 levels, by IBM



1. Technical specifications

2. What is inside a PC system?

READ the text from the book

3. Defining relative clauses

Language work

Defining relative clauses

We can define people or things with a defining (restrictive) relative clause. We use the relative pronoun who to refer to a person; we can also use that.

A blogger is a person who/that keeps a web log (blog) or publishes an online diary.

We use the relative pronoun which (or that) to refer to a thing, not a person.

This is built into a single chip which/that executes program instructions and coordinates the activities that take place within the computer system.

Relative pronouns can be left out when they are the object of the relative clause.

The main circuit board (which/that) you have inside your system is called the motherboard.

4. How memory is measured

READ the text from the book

5. A PC system

Complete a diagram of a PC system

6. Your ideal computer system

Describe your ideal computer system, using words such as CPU, speed, optical disc drives, wireless connectivity, minimum/maximum RAM, monitor, ports and card memory slots, hard disk, external USB disk, software, etc.


Main parts of the computer


Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford 2005


The mind behind Linux: Linus Torvald




1. In a computer shop

Imagine the conversation at the shop when buying a new computer

2. Language funtions in a computer shop

Read the HELP box

Language functions useful to a sales assistant

Greeting and offering help

Good morning. Do you need any help?

Giving technical specifications (specs)

The MacBook has a processor running at 2.0 gigahertz. The iMac has two gigabytes of RAM. They feature a camera built into the display.


Both computers are very fast and reliable


The MacBook is more practical if you travel a lot.

PDAs are cheaper that laptops but laptops are more powerful.

Language funtions useful to a customer

Explaining what you are looking for

We are looking for a personal computer. Have you got any fairly basic ones?

Asking for technical specs

What's the storage capacity of the hard drive?

Do they have a DVD drive?

Asking the price

How much do they cost?

How much is it?

3. Buying a computer

Role play: shop assistant and customer

4. Choosing the right computer

Surf the web and find at least 4 different models of computers

5. Vocabulary tree about parts of a computer

A nice technique to remember new vocabulary

6. Recommending a computer

WRITE an email recommending a computer to a friend


How to start a speech


Get clear on your message

5. Type, click and talk!

6. Capture your favourite image.

7. Display screens and ergonomics.

8. Choosing a printer.

9. Devices for the disabled.

LANGUAGE WORK: Describing functions

READING: The eyes of your computer

LANGUAGE WORK: superlatives


READING: How screen displays works

LANGUAGE WORK: Instructions and advice

READING: Which type of printer should I buy?

LANGUAGE WORK: connectors 1

LANGUAGE WORK: comparatives


READING: Computers for the disabled

LANGUAGE WORK: noun phrases

O484.U03. Storage devices

10. Magnetic storage.

11. Optical storage.

12. Flash memory.

READING: Magnetic storage

LANGUAGE WORK: Precautions

READING: Optical disc and drives

LANGUAGE WORK: connectors 2

READING: Memory in a flash

LANGUAGE WORK: Word building

O484.U04. Basic Software

13. The operating system (OS).

14. Word processing (WP).

15. Spreadsheets and databases.

O484.U05. Faces of the Internet

16. The internet and email.

17. The web.

18. Chat and conferencing.

19. Internet security.

O484.U06. Creative Software

20. Graphics and design

21. Desktop Publishing

22. Multimedia

23. Web design

O484.U07. Programming & Jobs in ICT

24. Program design and computer languages.

25. Java

26. Jobs in ICT.

O484.U08. Computers tomorrow

27. Communication systems

28. Networks

29. Video games

30. New technologies

Professor 1 (70% de la nota). Bases de Dades.

Professor 2 (30% de la nota): Bases de Dades (3h en anglès).

  • Exàmen: 60%
  • Pràctiques obligatòries: 40%
  • Actitud, assistència i feina a classe: permet d'arrodonir la nota final a l'alça (+1 punt) o a la baixa (-1 punt).
  • Si les pràctiques son entregades fora de plaç puntúen com a màxim un 5.
  • Durant el curs els alumnes hauran obligatòriament de llegir dos llibres en Anglès adaptats al seu nivell que podran agafar en prèstec a la biblioteca del centre. Els hauran de comentar amb el professor i amb els companys a finals de Gener i durant el mes de Maig.

Enter your gmail account

Go to blogger.com and create a blog associated to your gmail account


You can go to your blog and:

  • see it, as any Internet user might do
  • edit it, since you are the owner

Another way to post a message to your blog is by sending an email to

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As far as contents are concerned, your blog should document all the exercises you do in class.


Projects: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28


  • how_screen_displays_work
  • the_digital_age_1
  • the_digital_age_2
  • the_eyes_of_your_computer
  • what_is_a_computer
  • what_is_inside_a_pc_system
  • which_type_of_printer_should_i_buy

In groups of 3 or 4 people, prepare a 10 minute presentation about technology or the impact of technology in society.

All the material you use to support your presentation must be original, i.e. prepared by yourself.

Be ready to answer questions on the topic and engage a conversation with the rest of the students.



  • Speech recognition: state of the art
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data and medicine
  • Robots: will they take our jobs away?
  • Future jobs that do not exist today
  • The future of mobile telephony: new devices vs classical phone terminals
  • Spacial trips: what's next?
  • The evolution of video consoles



  • Good preparation is critical.
  • Choose well your approach to the subject: too technical? too boring? too much detail? -> fix it!!!
  • Look at the audience. Interact with the audience. Respect your audience.
  • Speak clearly and not too fast. Avoid monotonous speech. Respect the timing.
  • Do not put too much content on a single slide. Use pictures and only a few lines per slide. Never read a whole slide.
  • Put yourself in your audience's skin: what will other presenters do? will it be repetitive? Find a new format that suits you.
  • Innovate a little bit: are slides the only approach? Can I start with a video? a question? a quiz? -> Yes, but... always respect your audience!



Prepare a presentation about the different types of displays:


DISPLAYS Technical description Other insights
CRT How it works

Black Friday: special offers

Price evolution

Is size important? inches

Huge TV set vs Personal glasses

Resolution improvements 4k

Can I still buy CRTs or LCDs?

Historical milestones in the use of huge panels: U2 world tour

LCD How it works
LED How it works
OLED How it works


Prepare a podcast about a technology-related topic


Inside Bill Gates' brain with Davis Guggenheim

 hosted at https://megaphone.fm


Read a book of your choice about technology (you can borrow it from the school's library) and explain it to the class before end of January 2020.

In groups of 3-4 people, prepare an alphabet soup and a crossword using the technical vocabulary of the first term. It should contain between 10 and 20 words and their associated definitions.

Send it to your teacher via email. in jpg format.

  • alphabet_soup-2
  • alphabet_soup
  • alphabet_soup2
  • crossword1

Think about the proposed topic and discuss it in a debate, in a round table format:

Artificial intelligence (opening by Eric)

  • machine learning
  • deep learning

Space (opening by Raúl)

  • solar system
  • exoplanets

Gastronomy (opening by Jesús)

  • Estern (Asian) vs Western (European) Food
  • Healthy vs Trash food

E-Sports (opening by Joel M.)

  • competitions

Economy (opening by Bernat D.)

  • capitalism vs comunism
  • Finding new economy models for the future


How will life be in 2050?

  • Techonology devices
  • Transport
  • Jobs
  • Life at home



The class is divided in two groups, A and B 

  • Group A supports the proposed fact
  • Group B attacks the proposed fact



Read a book of your choice about technology (you can borrow it from the school's library) and explain it to the class before end of May 2020.

Prepare a presentation about the different types of storage devices:


DISPLAYS Technical description Other insights
MAGNETIC DISK How it works  
OPTICAL DISK How it works


How it works



Please write a summary about the STEM talks you attended to on Friday, the 24th of January 2020.

Minimum length, an A4 page. Post it to your English blog.