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Raspberry Pi Foundation

Understanding Computer Systems

Raspberry Pi Foundation via FutureLearn


Learn what really happens when you turn a computer on

Understanding how a computer works after you press the power button is key to working with technology effectively. On this course, you will explore what happens inside the machine and learn how computers turn inputs into outputs.

You will learn what the computer operating system does and why you need it. You will also compare software and hardware, understand the importance of the central processing unit (CPU), and address factors that affect computer performance.

This course is for GCSE computing teachers as well as teachers from other countries at an equivalent level.


  • Booting Up
    • Welcome to the course
    • What happens when you turn on your computer?
    • Hardware, software and systems
    • End of Week 1
  • Inputs & Outputs
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Input and Output
    • Computers in our Daily Lives
    • End of Week 2
  • The Operating System
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • What is an Operating System?
    • Peer Review
    • End of the course

Taught by

Lauren Hyams


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 70 ratings

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