WebQuest Mission:

 Computer History



Commodore PET


Introduction | Task | Process | Resources 

 Evaluation | Conclusion | Teacher Information



Computer history is a fascinating realm of interesting facts and exciting events occurring through the 20th and 21st centuries (NOT!!!!). Your group will be embarking on a mission, if you decide to accept it (actually you have little choice in the matter), to produce your own accurate view of the history of computers. Instead of listening to your teacher talk about computer history you have a group mission. 



 Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to catalog the important moments in the history of computers and to present your findings in a power point presentation to the class. There is no wrong or right important moments, just your accurate presentation of the facts and events that your group determines important in the history of computers. Your group will develop a timeline that outlines your group's findings. There will be several questions in the evaluation section which the group must answer.



Using the websites available in the resource section, accomplish each of the following directions. All of these steps should be a part of your power point presentation to the class.

  1. Define what classifies a computer. This definition can effect the history that you present.

  2. What happened today in history?

  3. Who are key people in the development of computers? Find a picture of at least 5 famous computer scientists/inventors (at least 2 women). Why are they "key people"?

  4. Who invented the first computer, the first integrated circuit, and the first transistor? Find a picture of each.

  5. Develop a timeline of the computers and inventors in the history of computers. Use graphics and pictures to illustrate your group's computer history.

  6. Include in your presentation why the events, people, and ideas your group chose are important. 

  7. When your group completes a rough draft of your presentation show it to your teacher and then you may move on to the evaluation section of this WebQuest.



www.computerhistory.org/  - computer history, today in the history of computers.

www.mos.org/tcm/tcm.html - computer history.

http://vlmp.museophile.com/computing.html -virtual computer history museum.

www.computer-museum.org/ - virtual computer history museum.

www.computer-museum.org/exhibits/pccomeshome/pc01.html - history of the personal computer.

http://ftp.arl.mil/~mike/comphist/ -  comprehensive links to computer history. 

General Search Engines




  1. Your group will produce a presentation detailing your important events, people, laws and computers in the history of computers. Include a section on the laws and how they can relate to and effect a person using the Internet.

  2. After your teacher reviews your group's presentation go to http://www.quia.com/session.html to take a quiz on the history of computers. You will need to enter in your name and the session name, which will be supplied by you teacher. You will receive a score when you finish. Allow your teacher to see this score when you finish taking the quiz. You are allowed to work in your group on the quiz and you may do research in order to answer any of the questions on the quiz.

  3. Then try your luck at who wants to be a millionaire computer history quiz developed by a Virginia Tech University alumnus. There is a choice between a computer history quiz and a general knowledge quiz. Try the computer history quiz first then you can enjoy the general knowledge quiz. Extra credit: What is a hokie (attach answer to power point)?

  4. Additional websites for games, practice, and quizzes.

        http://www.quia.com/jg/68098.html - Overview of Programming

        http://www.quia.com/jg/68099.html - Beginning Computer Programming: Data Types

        http://www.quia.com/jg/67749.html - The History of Computers

        http://www.quia.com/jg/66623.html - Computer Programming C++ Review



After finishing this WebQuest, you should have encountered many different facts, people, laws and events in the history of computers. The steps involved should have given you a thorough understanding of the history of computers. You should now be familiar with many online resources available to you when searching for computer history. Constructing a computer history with your group enables a personal understanding rather than a remote list of dates and names of computers.


Teacher Information

This WebQuest was developed for an accelerated computer science class that is quite savvy on the computer. There is much freedom in the project. This freedom allows for latitude in the content of the presentations, but also hits upon important points involved in the online quiz. The quiz can be modified at http://www.quia.com/ the session name is mr_macalicious. The actual quiz can be accessed directly at  http://www.quia.com/tq/162717.html. This quiz is designed  to touch upon the points you feel your class must touch on.