The invention of the computer had me a little confused, to be honest. I had to get to the bottom of it. Check out these free resources about the history of the computer and the internet to find out how they came to be.
The modern computer wasn’t presented until the 1800s, but the very first hints of computers were said to have been created way back in time circa 500 B.C.
Hard to believe? Not really – and we still use it today!
The invention of computers…
In its simplest form, a computer is a machine that can store and process information.
Nowadays, a computer is known as an electronic device that manipulates information, or data. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data.
One of the first computers was an abacus, which many families still use today for teaching math. It was invented in Babylon around 500 B.C. and was made of string and beads. The abacus was for the purpose of counting, tracking money, and similar things.
In the 1600s, two different inventors made calculators that ran with gears and wheels. The word “computer” was initially used in 1613.
What is cool about that? It was originally used to describe a person who performed calculations or computations. This definition of a “computer” remained until the end of the 1800s when it started being used for a calculating machine.
So, people were the first computers – not too shabby.
Then in 1833, an inventor named Charles Babbage developed all the parts of the modern computer. About 120 years, later the first modern computers were invented – and they were HUGE.
The first computer (ENIAC) weighed over 27 tons and took up 1,800 square feet of space. (More than a small home!)
This may seem incredible, but the true computers as we know them today only began being made in 1980.
Just five years later came ARPANET- the INTERNET.
The precursor to the internet was ARPANET, the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. A large part of the protocols for internet communications was developed from there.
Global networking began when the University College of London (England) and Royal Radar Establishment (Norway) connected to ARPANET.
Many people helped to develop the internet. yet much of the credit has gone to computer scientist Lawrence Roberts. Roberts invented a method of data transmission called “packet switching” that built a communications network to connect the computers in the agency.
In 1985, the first dot-com domain was registered; but this was years before the World Wide Web came to be.
Note: Many people use the World Wide Web and the internet interchangeably, but that is incorrect. (I know, mind blown.)
The internet is a huge network of networks that links computers together across the world using a variety of wires and wireless technologies.
The World Wide Web is a collection of linked pages accessed through the internet and a web browser.
Explore these free resources about the history of the computer and the internet inventions to share with your homeschoolers.
This resource will help you get the most out of your lesson:
History of computers:
Computers – Timeline of Computer History | Computer History
A History of Computers for Kids | Sciencing
Computer Facts | Cool Kid Facts
Fun Computer History Facts for Kids | Easy Science For Kids
Computer History Timeline with Google Slides | CommonSense.org
20 Computer Facts You Probably Don’t Know | Computer CPR
Internet Facts for Kids – Kids Encyclopedia Facts | Kids.Kiddle
The History of the Internet | KidzWorld
The Invention of the Internet – Inventor, Timeline | History.com
19 Internet Facts for Kids, Students and Teachers | Facts Just for Kids
All About The Internet Invention | The K-12 Internet Resource Center
Videos about computer history:
History of Computers for Kids | Bedtime History
Generation Computers – Computer History | Make t Easy Education
Introduction to Computers for Kids | Socratic Kids
Videos about internet history:
Who Invented The Internet? | Fiveminded
How the Internet was Invented | SciShow
What is the Internet? (video) | Khan Academy
Today, BILLIONS of people all over the world use computers of some sort and the internet. It would benefit your children to understand where they came from.
Even adults find it incredible how we can communicate with people all over the world from a simple device. The internet just didn’t magically appear.
Computers and the internet, at the root, came from inventors and people who sought to improve communications and to connect with others.
Inventions and inventors are crucial parts of world history. Learn more about famous inventors with this resource notebook from DailySkillBuilding.com.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!