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Hardware & Software - Elementary
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Microcredential ID : 58
Computing Systems - Elementary
0.5 PTSB Recertification Credit


Earners will demonstrate their understanding of hardware and software to communicate and process information in digital form. Earners will show how to effectively support students in learning how to use both hardware and software to represent and process information, including a deeper understanding of the interaction between hardware and software at multiple levels within computing systems. Earners will also have to demonstrate how they create and implement a plan to improve access, engagement, and full participation in CS using classroom data to inform decision-making. Additionally, earners need to demonstrate how they identify and connect resources in the local community and broader CS ecosystem to support student learning in CS.

  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Equity and Inclusion
    2d - Use data for decision-making to improve equity. Create and implement a plan to improve access, engagement, and full participation in CS using classroom data to inform decision-making.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Professional Growth and Identity
    3e - Leverage community resources. Identify and connect resources in the local community and broader CS ecosystem to support student learning in CS.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4a - Analyze CS curricula. Analyze CS curricula for implementation in their classrooms in terms of CS standards alignment, accuracy, completeness of content, cultural relevance, and accessibility.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4b - Develop standards-aligned learning experiences. Design and adapt learning experiences that align to comprehensive K-12 CS standards.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4g - Inform instruction through assessment. Develop multiple forms and modalities of assessment to provide feedback and support. Use resulting data for instructional decision-making and differentiation.
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Hardware & Software
    2.CS.HS.01 - Demonstrate and describe the function of common components of computing systems (hardware and software) (e.g., use a browser, search engine).
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Hardware & Software
    5.CS.HS.01 - Model how information is translated, transmitted, and processed in order to flow through hardware and software to accomplish tasks.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this micro-credential you will process through the ADDIE learning model producing evidence that demonstrates your knowledge of the Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards and the CSTA Standards for Teachers. Through the ADDIE learning model you will analyze standards, design/develop and implement a lesson, collect student work artifacts, and evaluate your professional practices.

There will be no fee assessed for reviewing this microcredential.

This micro-credential is intended for teachers in grades K-6. If you teach middle school or high school grades, you will want to work on the secondary level computer science micro-credentials. The Hardware & Software micro-credential is one of three micro-credentials that make up the Computing Systems stack. The Computing Systems stack is one of six micro-credential stacks that will lead to a Computer Science Teacher Master Distinction when completed.

Important Terms

The design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. Accessibility standards that are generally accepted by professional groups include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) standards. [Wikipedia]

Computing Device:

A physical device that uses hardware and software to receive, process, and output information. Computers, mobile phones, and computer chips inside

Computer Science:

The study of computing principles, design, and applications (hardware & software); the creation, access, and use of information through algorithms and problem-solving, and the impact of computing on society.

Computing System:

A collection of one or more computers or computing devices, together with their hardware and software, integrated for the pur pose of accomplishing shared tasks. Although a computing system can be limited to a single computer or computing device, it more commonly refers to a collection of multiple connected computers, computing devices, and hardware.


The physical components that make up a computing system, computer, or computing device.


The signals or instructions sent to a computer. [Techopedia]; (noun): A device or component that allows information to be given to a computer (code.org)

Operating System:

An operating system, or "OS," is software that communicates with the hardware and allows other programs to run.


The information computers give to users, devices, or other computers.


An individual’s belief in his/her ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.


Programs that run on a computing system, computer, or other computing devices.

System Software:

System software refers to the files and programs that make up your computer's operating system.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL):

UDL is a framework for designing a curriculum to be broadly accessible to ALL students. Learn more about utilizing the UDL Framework in CS education: https://ctrl.education.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/05/Copy-of-UDL-and-CS_CT-remix.pdf

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

This micro-credential collection provides earners with the opportunity to document their knowledge and skills in teaching computer science to students in grades K-6. The content provides resources to support understanding.

Earners are encouraged to participate in additional learning opportunities if more extensive learning is needed. Additional learning opportunities may include free online resources, postsecondary courses, and local courses.

The micro-credential structure offers earners flexible pathways and timelines. Earners can complete the micro-credentials in any order that aligns with their classroom timelines and availability. Micro-credentials offer earners the opportunity to submit evidence and receive evaluator feedback. Earners are encouraged to resubmit evidence until mastery is earned. Each resubmission will be reviewed, and updated feedback will be provided.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Analyze

This task requires an analysis of both computer science content standards and the CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers.

Analyze: Standards:

All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet, upload it in the evidence section as a PDF. Google Docs Version: https://bit.ly/3rs9M23

ANALYZE K-6 Computing Systems – Hardware & Software.docx

Category: Design/Develop

This lesson plan shows the planned instruction of your computer science focus standard.

Lesson Plan:

All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you are finished with this task, upload your lesson plan in the evidence section as a PDF. Google Docs Version: https://bit.ly/3ummSzC


Category: Implement

Implement the set of activities or lesson plan you designed.

Student Work:

Submit evidence of student learning for your focus standard. Include evidence of students that have met the standard and students that have not met the standard. Examples include videos of students working, completed student worksheets, etc. Annotate each piece of evidence to demonstrate how you facilitated student achievement of the standard.

Category: Evaluate

Evaluate how effective your activities were at promoting student learning of the standards. Use specific examples from the artifacts you submitted in the Implement activity.


All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet, upload it in the evidence section as a PDF. Google Docs Version: https://bit.ly/3J5Og8X

EVALUATE – Worksheet.docx

Review Criteria

Evidence submissions and reflections will be reviewed for alignment with the assignment guidelines and this proficiency scale, found here: https://bit.ly/3uqZTDC. This checklist will help you review your submission materials to ensure you address everything that is expected for this micro-credential: https://bit.ly/35ICeE9.

Reflection Prompts

Please provide a self-assessment, a score from 1–4, on each component of the proficiency scale found here: https://bit.ly/3uqZTDC. Provide a few sentences stating where the pieces of evidence that support the scores for each component are located.

If you are resubmitting, please indicate what changes were made in the documents (e.g., highlight, text color) and include "Resubmission #" with the resubmission number in the file title when you upload.

Review Criteria

Content knowledge – The teacher demonstrates accurate and complete knowledge of the content and skills of the standard being taught. CSTA 4a

Inform instruction through assessment – The teacher develops multiple forms and modalities of assessment to provide feedback and support. The teacher uses resulting data for instructional decision-making and differentiation. CSTA 4g

Supporting standards The teacher identifies and explains the connection of supporting CS standards to the standard being taught in their lesson.

Vertical alignment – The teacher explains the relationship of the standard in the scope and sequence of computer science standards directly above and below chosen grade band. CSTA 4b

Use data for decision-making to improve equity – The teacher creates a plan to improve access, engagement, or full participation in computer science using classroom data to inform decision-making. CSTA 2d

Leverage community resources – The teacher explains how they are using their school, local or broader computer science community resources to support student learning. CSTA 3e

2nd grade CS Lessons Gilbert Public Schools

Lessons aligned to each CS Standard for grades K-2.

3 Ways Student Data Can Inform Your Teaching

Article giving ideas on how to use student data to inform decision-making in the classroom.

5th grade CS Lessons Gilbert Public Schools

Lessons aligned to each CS Standard for grades 3 -5.

Computer Science in K-12: An A to Z Handbook on Teaching Programming - F: Feedback through Formative Check-ins (Paid Resource)

This is a handbook for K-12 teachers interested in teaching programming. It's designed to focus on pedagogy and be accessible to beginners and useful for more experienced teachers. Each chapter has tons of examples and ideas of what to look out for in terms of misconceptions.

Computer Science is for Everyone

A toolkit for increasing diversity in Computer Science.

CS for All Teachers

CSTA 3e is all about identifying and connecting with resources in the local community to support student learning and the CS for All Teachers is a great resource to do that.

CSTA Wyoming

CSTA Wyoming's website so teachers can join, connect and collaborate with each other.

Data-driven Education

Khurram Virani discusses the similarities and differences between technology and education. Focusing on the use of data in the classroom to personalize learning.

Engagement in Computer Science and IT –What! A Matter of Identity?

Research paper on student identity in CS and its impact on engagement.

Hardware and Software

Engineering manager Erica Gomez, program manager Jerome Holman, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates explain how a computer's hardware and software work together.

How Computers Work

This activity has students act out the various parts of a computer: CPU, ALU/Memory and Display.

How Does Software And Hardware Work Together?

Q&A format to discuss the relationships between hardware and software.

Love Lettters for Computers

Love Letters for Computers is a free resource including a series of videos, resources, classroom materials, and a teacher journal that will help you plan how to integrate computer science into your curriculum for children in kindergarten and first years of primary school.

My First Computer

Lesson from Hello Ruby introducing the parts of a computer. Students will make a paper computer.

Physical Computing - Code.org

Unit 6 is all about physical computing and the role of hardware platforms in computing.

That Could be a Computer

In this lesson, students reimagine an everyday object as a computer, identify what problem the computer helps solve, and decide how it receives input and outputs.

What are Computers for Kids

In this video Puppet Topher meets his friend Ulka, a computer programmer, who explains to kids how computers work. This is a basic Intro to Computers and Programming for Kids. Introduces hardware and software vocabulary.

Canvas Course - Computing Systems - Elementary

This course is designed to support you in completing the Wyoming Elementary Computer Science (CS) micro-credentials in the Computing Systems stack: (1) Devices, (2) Hardware & Software, and (3) Troubleshooting. The course has three modules, one for each micro-credential. The course supports educators in better understanding the Computer Science Wyoming Content & Performance Standards, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers, and how to complete the Analyze and Develop tasks associated with the micro-credential.

Linsay Alexander

Linsay Alexander
Sue Clarke

Sue Clarke
Jamie Fortman

Jamie Fortman
Erika Jorgensen

Erika Jorgensen
Sandra Joslin

Sandra Joslin
Sara Kirkpatrick

Sara Kirkpatrick
Carolyn MacFarland

Carolyn MacFarland
Megan Mohr

Megan Mohr
Kaylee Nygren

Kaylee Nygren
Melissa Price

Melissa Price
Courtney Pushcar

Courtney Pushcar
Melissa Rasmussen

Melissa Rasmussen
Annie Sampson

Annie Sampson

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