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Table of Contents
Our devices are made up of several parts and each component has its own job. These components, hardware and software, work together to help our devices function well. One of the most important parts of any computing device is the operating system. This software is designed to make any computer easy to use.
See the fact file below for more information on the operating systems or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Operating Systems worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Understanding Operating Systems
- Before the development of operating systems, users need to enter binary code into their computers to communicate their instructions.
- Binary code is the language of computer processors. Computers describe, transmit and store information as sequences of binary digits. Binary code only uses numbers 1 and 0, which represents two possible states of the electric signals inside computers – on (1) and off (0).
- Early computing devices have no operating system. These devices could only handle one task or run one computer program at a time.
- Now, computers with operating systems can accomplish several tasks at a time without compromising its performance.
- Operating systems make life easier for users especially those who do not know how to “speak” the computer’s language.
- Operating systems act as managers that oversee everything that happens inside the computer. It is in charge of the computer’s overall operations. It handles the different components that make up the computer – memory, storage, input and output devices and CPU (central processing unit).
- The central processing unit’s job is similar to that of the human brain. It sends signals and controls other computer components. One can think of it as the command center of a computer.
- These components might need to accomplish some tasks that require the work of the CPU. It is the job of operating systems not to let the command center be overwhelmed by the components’ requests. It creates a schedule for the job requests directed to the CPU. This OS function is called process scheduling.
- “A major role of the operating system is to allocate system resources to various tasks, scheduling resource use to avoid conflicts and interference between programs. The system maintains prioritized queues, or “waiting lists,” of jobs that need CPU time. It must decide which job to take from which queue and how much time to allocate to it, so that all jobs are completed in a fair and timely manner.” – Britannica Kids
- Modern operating systems allow users to input commands without coding. GUI or graphical user interface makes it easier for users to navigate their computer. It displays everything on screen – users can click on folders, menu and other applications with the use of their mouse pointers or finger (if they are using a touch screen device).
- However, there are still operating systems that use a text-based interface. Users need to enter commands by typing lines of code. This type of interface is known as CLI or command-line interface.
- Operating systems are also designed to manage applications in computing devices. Applications are programmed to help users accomplish particular tasks. For example, users can open Mail application to write and send emails to others.
- These applications may require the attention and support of the CPU. Operating systems mediates for these applications and schedules the requests accordingly.
- Modern operating systems allow multi-tasking which is running more than one application at a time.
- Operating systems are also in charge of device’s security. It uses different techniques to keep devices secure from unauthorized access – like requiring users to enter passwords or scan their fingerprint. It can also identify systems threats that may potentially harm the device and users.
Most Popular Operating Systems
- Linux. Users are drawn to Linux because it is a free and customizable operating system. One can simply download and install it in their device. It also comes with a lot of free useful applications, from productivity (like word processors) to creative applications (like image editing). Since it is under an open source license, this means that users have the freedom to do with it as they wish. They can modify it in any way they think is beneficial and share the modified OS to other users.
- MacOS. MacOS is a family of operating systems developed by Apple company and is installed in every Mac device. This OS does not offer the same freedom as Linux does to its users. Users need to purchase Mac devices in order for them to use this OS. It is exclusive to their hardware. Users cannot download and install it to their non-Mac device, modify or distribute it. Although this is the case, Mac users still benefit from several pre-loaded, powerful applications that help them accomplish important, everyday tasks. It is also known for its elegant and intuitive user interface design.
- Windows. Windows, developed by Microsoft company, is one of the most popular and widely-used operating systems in the world. It was originally designed to power personal computers and rival the Macintosh. This OS is not exclusive to Microsoft devices and can run in other machines as well. Like the other operating systems mentioned, Windows also come with useful tools and applications.
Operating Systems Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the operating systems across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Operating Systems worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the one of the most important parts of any computing device – operating system. This software is designed to make any computer easy to use.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Computer Talk
- Hardware VS Software
- Computer Components
- OS Functions
- User Interface
- Popular Operating Systems
- Let’s Talk Applications
- DIY Operating System
- Desktop VS Mobile
- OS Check
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Link will appear as Operating Systems Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 21, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.