Farmer's Agribusiness Training Course: Module 4 - ICT in Support of Farming. Lesson 1: Introduction to Computers

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This Farmers' Agribusiness training course has been developed to help both farmers and farmer organisations. Its intention is to provide access to provide access to additional skills and knowledge that will allow farmers to move from a 'farm' to a 'firm'. This lesson provides information on the basics of computer hardware and software systems, information on different storage devices, the importance of the role ICT can play in agricultural operations, and the importance of ICT as a communication tool in sharing farming information.


  • 1. 16MODULE4: ICT in Support of FarmingLESSON 1: Introduction to ComputersTIME: 1 hour 36 minutesAUTHOR: Dalton NdiranguThis lesson was made possible with the assistance of the following organisations: Farmers Agribusiness Training by United States International University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at
  • 2. MODULE 4 1 ICT in Support of Farming INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERSLESSON AUTHOR: TIME: Dalton Ndirangu 1 hour 36 minutes INTRODUCTION: OUTCOMES: : :By the end of this lesson Welcome! This sub module introducesparticipants will: computers and their role in agriculture. Computers have become a very important Have an understanding of tool in our daily lives and can play a the basics of computer significant role in agriculture. We will learn hardware and software the basics of computer hardware and systems. software systems, the importance of using Understand different information and communication storage devices. technology (ICT) in our daily operations Appreciate the importance and moreover, the importance of sharing of using ICT tools in their agricultural information using modern daily agricultural operations. technology. The module includes a case Appreciate the importance study drawn from a reputable farm in of sharing farm information Nakuru County, which might provide using modern technology as ideas on how you might use ICTs. a medium of communication. Page 135 Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 3. Activity Experience (5 minutes)Introduce yourselves briefly by sharing the type of farm activities that you are engaged inand whether you have used a computer before.Basic Computer Hardware and Software SystemsMany farmers shun using ICT because they believe it is complicated and overly expensivebut in reality, there are many benefits to be derived from using such systems. Let usinvestigate..What is a computer?A computer is a tool for processing data. Processed data is called information. Thus acomputer is a tool that enables us to input agricultural data such as farm records orfinancial records and it outputs relevant information such as yield information or profits tosupport us in our business and daily lives.A computer can also be viewed as an automatic electronic device, that process and storesdata. Figure 1 shows the components that make up a typical personal computer (PC) ordesktop system.. Figure1: A desktop computer or PCWhat is a System? Page 136A system is a set of interrelated functional parts working together for a commongoal/purpose.. Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 4. What is a Computer System? Yes, because it consists of functional parts that work together to produce vital information. In simple terms we could say that it consists of only three components, hardware, software and org-ware. Let us look at hardware first. Below is a diagram that shows you some of the most common hardware components.. Figure 2: examples of computer equipment Computer hardware consists of input devices, output devices and a central processing unit (CPU) . Figure 3:computer hardware devices Page 137 . Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 5. Software SystemsThese are computer programs that instruct the computer how and when to perform certainfunctions or achieve a desired result. The Software System consists mainly of SystemSoftware and Application Software..Software SystemsThese are the programs that control and coordinate the operations of a computer. Theyconsist of operating systems like Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, Linux, AppleMacintosh etc. and include utility programs like an antivirus program Figure 4: Illustration of how operating systems control and coordinate other computer resources Page 138 Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 6. Application SoftwareThese are programs designed to accomplish a given task. Examples include wordprocessors for producing documents like letters, memos and reports, spreadsheets fortabulation (an automatic worksheet), and database programs for advanced data storageand analysis. If you are reading this document on a computer use the blue link below to access introductory lessons on the Microsoft Windows Operating System. You will need an Internet connection: Figure 5: Diagram showing how operating system controls hardware, application programs and indirectly, users Page 139 Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 7. Basic Computer Navigation (Windows OS)Enough theory! Let us boot up a computer and navigate our way around the operatingsystem for ourselves. You will need to have computer access for these tasks. Activity 2 Identifying parts of a computer (5 minutes) Take 5 minutes to identify the following computer hardware parts provided and group them according to the following categories: input devices, output devices and processing devices: 1. Keyboard 2. Monitor 3. Printer 4. Mouse 5. Speakers 6. CPU tower or case Refer to the Feedback section at the end of this lesson for comments and answers Page 140 Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 8. Activity 3 Booting (starting) the computer (2 minutes)Find the power button and boot up your machine. Look for this symbol on the powerbutton. 1. Switch on your computer and wait until you can see the Login screen 2. Type in your username and password accordingly The course facilitator will provide you with these details if you do not already have yoursActivity 4 All program menu (2 minutes)Now identify the popular application software, MS Word, a word processor program.Follow these steps. 1. Click Start 2. Select All Program menu 3. Select Microsoft Office 4. Identify applications under Microsoft Office Alternatively, the course facilitator will demonstrate this procedure Page 141 Module 4: ICT in Support of Farming Lesson 1:Introduction to Computers
  • 9. Activity 5 Using paint program (8 minutes)Now look for the drawing software program Paint. Follow these steps. 1. Click the Start Button 2. Select All Program Menu 3. Select Accessories 4. Select Paint 5. Click on Select Icon 6. Click on Pencil Icon 7. Draw a face that has an expression that reflects how you are feeling! (Hint: