Unit 3: Week 2: Installing Peripherals and using File Systems

Unit 3: Week 2: Installing Peripherals and using File Systems

Essential Questions

  • How do I determine the type of computer system that’s best for me? For other users?
  • What can I connect to my computer system to increase its efficiency and effectiveness?
  • How much storage is enough?

Big Ideas

We very often connect computing devices to other devices, called peripherals, to increase the functionality of the system. Common peripherals include monitors, printers, scanners, and cameras, but there are a wide range of peripherals that can be added depending on what you want to accomplish with your computer system.

The ports and cables that we use to connect peripherals have changed over time and now include wireless connections. As you design or set up computer systems, you’ll have to know which peripheral devices are best for your uses and how to connect them.

Once a computer is in use, users can generate a lot of files. It’s best to start off organized so you can find your files again, but there are ways to search and find files on every computer system. Also, many software applications can create different types of files. Even most word processor applications can create plain text, rich text, HTML (web page), and PDF files, in addition to word-processing file formats. Some file types are designed for specific uses, and so you should know which file types are the best for your intended use.

Connection to Student Lives

Are you a gamer? Or do you know someone who is? Gamers can be quite particular about the gaming systems they use so they have the best experience possible. Or have you ever considered what it would take to be popular on YouTube? Getting the best videos can require some significant computer power and special peripherals; otherwise, your videos might just look like the millions of others who don’t have the right system and they won’t stand out.

Gaming systems are just computer systems, and so choosing the best computing system for gaming or video requires some similar decision making to designing a computer system for other uses. In order to determine the best system, including how much and what kind of storage you need and whether you want to connect any peripherals, is best to start out considering what you want to be able to do with your computer system then comparing compatible devices. This module uses that principle of designing for a specific user, just like you might do if you were a gamer, or a photographer, or wanted to be a YouTube star.

Framing Problem

Design the best computing system for given users and uses, whether based on personal preference or needs within your school or district.

Cornerstone Assessment

Students will implement their plan for a computing system they developed during week one, including connecting and installing common peripherals.

DPI Standards

  • 1.05 Identify common peripheral devices.
  • 3.01 Identify the steps to set up a basic computer workstation
  • 3.04 Identify the factors that influence the computer purchasing decision making process.

CompTIA Standards

  • 2.5 Compare and contrast storage types.


  • What Plug-and-Play devices are and how they are installed
  • What drivers are and how to find the appropriate driver for peripherals
  • Different types of displays and how they are installed/uninstalled and configured within a computer system
  • Different types of multimedia devices and how they are installed/uninstalled and configured within a computer system
  • Different types of printers and how they are installed/uninstalled and configured within a computer system
  • The types, features, and limitations of internal and external memory and storage options
  • Different file types and what they are best used for
  • What partitioning a hard drive means and why it is used
  • What a user profile is and how it is associated with libraries
  • How to create, open, move/copy, and delete files and folders/directors
  • What a file manager is and how it functions
  • How to search a computer system for files and folders/directories


  • Use Plug-and-Play to install devices and understand the use of device drivers.
  • Describe different display technologies and install and configure a PC display.
  • Install and configure multimedia devices, such as sound cards, speakers, microphones, and webcams.
  • Describe the features and capabilities of different types of printer and their associated interfaces.
  • Install and configure printers and scanners.
  • Contrast volatile and non-volatile storage types.
  • Describe the types of system memory modules used in PCs.
  • Describe the types and features of Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives, optical drives, and flash memory.
  • Describe the properties of file systems and select an appropriate file system for a given OS and usage.
  • Use a file manager to create, open, move/copy, and delete files and folders/directories.
  • Use search tools and view options to locate files quickly.


  • Device management -
  • Devices (External hard drive) -
  • Devices (Printer, Scanner, Camera, Speakers, Display) -
  • Drivers -
  • Features (Compression, Encryption, Permissions, Journaling, Limitations, Naming rules) -
  • File management (Folders/directories, File types and extensions, Permissions) -
  • File systems and features (File systems, NTFS, FAT32, HFS, Ext4) -
  • Installation types (Plug-and-play vs. driver installation, Other required steps, IP-based peripherals, Web-based configuration steps) -
  • Local storage types (RAM, Hard drive [Solid state vs. spinning disk], Optical, Flash drive) -
  • Volatile vs. non-volatile -

Supporting Vocabulary

  • Access denied error
  • Access time
  • Blu-ray discs
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Digital signal Processor (DSP) chip
  • DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module)
  • Directories
  • Display devices (Liquid Crystal display)
  • Double Data Rate SDRAM
  • DVD media
  • Dynamic RAM (DAM)
  • Enclosure
  • File properties
  • Hot-swappable
  • Inkjet printer
  • Laser printer
  • Multi-card readers
  • Optical disks and drives
  • Partitions/partitioning
  • Revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • Rewritable media (CD-RW)
  • Scanner types
  • Screen Resolution
  • Small Outline DIMM (SO-DIMM)
  • Speaker and Microphone jacks
  • Speaker configurations
  • Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM)
  • System memory
  • Touchscreen
  • Unified file system
  • User profiles and libraries
  • Webcam
  • Write Once REad Many (WORM) media

Weekly Map


Check in on progress on the problem: Emphasizing peripherals and storage devices

Online Pre-assessment for Units 3.3-5 (available for student practice, as well)

Assign Lab 16: Using File Explorer for independent practice

Team meetings to develop project plan and goals


Review content resources with whole group

Small group and independent exploration of resources

Contribute to team project


Hands-on exploration with IT professionals setting up a device with peripherals and storage options

Team progress check with supervisor (using project plan)


Hands-on exploration with IT professionals setting up a device with peripherals and storage options

Small group and independent exploration of resources

Contribute to team project


Team sharing of computer systems and issues faced with whole group

Online post-assessment of entire Unit 3

Lesson Ideas

Students work in teams to review Units 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 in their textbook. The students collaborate on adding to their Frayer-type digital presentation that records and illustrates key vocabulary and concepts in the Units. Students contribute to these files throughout the semester to prepare for the CompTIA certification exam and to contribute to the Help Desk knowledge base.

Student teams implement their plan for a computer system by installing peripherals. They continue to document their progress (digital text, images, video, other) as they collaborate on setting up their system. Students should justify the decisions they made in setting up their computer system, perhaps identifying limitations of the system based on the availability of hardware or software resources.

Technicians guide students through setting up common devices found in the school or district as well as connecting and/or installing common peripherals. If possible, technicians can show students how they use a File Explorer program to search computers.

Students complete Lab 16: Using File Explorer in Unit 3.5 independently to fill in any gaps in knowledge or skills about file types and common file management procedures.