How Computers Work: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Programming Languages Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Computer Life
  • 0:20 Central Processing Unit
  • 0:53 Motherboards
  • 1:21 Hard Drive
  • 2:01 External Ports
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Computers are everywhere, and our daily lives depend on them for work and for fun. In this lesson, we will go inside of a computer to discover its components and how they work together.

Computer Life

It's almost impossible to imagine life without computers and technology. You're probably watching this lesson right now on a computer! These machines are full of specific parts that work together to do some amazing things. Let's find out about different parts of a computer, and how they work together.

Central Processing Unit

The main part is the central processing unit, which is sometimes abbreviated as CPU. Think of this as the secret control area, or the main part of the computer that uses a processor to follow directions. Information is put into the CPU, and this is called input. A processor is a device that helps the computer read the input and determines what it needs to do.

Let's talk a little more about a processor. It's very small, and sometimes it's referred to as a chip. This chip might be tiny, but it is powerful. Processors perform many complicated calculations.


A computer is composed of many different circuits. Inside of each computer is the main circuit board called a motherboard. This is where important circuits are located, like the CPU you just learned about.

The actual motherboard is made many different materials. The board itself is composed of fiberglass, which is an insulator. This helps control the flow of electricity to other parts of the computer. The actual circuits are usually made from copper, which is a conductor. This allows the electricity to flow within the motherboard.

Hard Drive

Have you ever known someone to freak out when their computer crashes? A computer crash is very inconvenient because our daily lives depend on computers. But this is also stressful because people store a lot of information, or data, on their computers. Documents and pictures are examples of data, and this data is stored on a hard drive.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account