• Video/Demo Time 1.1.1 A Certification 3:13 Total Time
  • Video/Demo Time 1.2.1 Using the Simulator 12:01 Lab/Activity
  • Students will learn how to: Connect common peripherals to standard ports. A Essentials Objectives
  • Lab/Activity Set Up a Computer Number of Exam Questions
  • A Essentials Objectives
  • Number of Exam Questions
  • Section 1.1: Course Introduction

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    Section 1.1: Course Introduction


    The A certification is an entry-level certification. You should have a basic understanding of computers, including the following skills, before taking this course.

    • Installing and running programs.

    • Using basic productivity software including word processing applications.

    • Saving files created by common applications.

    • Browsing the Internet.

    The A certification has been updated for 2009. To obtain the certification, you must pass two exams:

    • The A Essentials exam (220-701) covers basic operating system and hardware concepts.

    • The A Practical Application exam (220-702) covers details on installing and troubleshooting hardware and configuring devices for use by the operating system.

    This course covers content for the A Essentials exam. TestOut training is also available for the A Practical Application exam. You should study the material in the Essentials course before studying for the Practical Application exam. If possible, we recommend that you study for both exams before taking either exam.

    In addition to covering everything you need to know for the A Essentials exam, this course has been designed to help you:

    • Set up a new computer.

    • Identify system requirements when purchasing a new computer.

    • Understand the technology and specifications used to describe computer components, and make informed choices about which device characteristics are required for your situation.

    • Install or upgrade the operating system.

    • Manage external devices.

    • Troubleshoot common computer problems that can be resolved without replacing internal components.

    • Connect to a small home network.

    Video/Demo Time

    video1.1.1 A Certification 3:13

    Total Time

    About 5 minutes

    Section 1.2: Using the Simulator


    This section introduces the student to the TestOut simulator, which is used in most of the lab exercises throughout the course. Students will become familiar with the:

    • Scenario

    • Bench

    • Shelf

    • Selected Component Details

    • Processes to complete labs.

    • Elements of the Score Report.

    Students will learn how to:

    • Read simulated component documentation and view components to make appropriate choices to meet the scenario.

    • Add simulated computer components to the Bench.

    • Change views and zoom in on objects on the Bench.

    • Attach simulated cables.

    • Use the simulation interface to identify where simulated cables connect to the computer.

    • Use the simulated Windows desktop to complete software configuration tasks.

    Video/Demo Time

    demo1.2.1 Using the Simulator 12:01


    • Explore the Lab Interface

    Total Time

    About 15 minutes

    Section 1.3: Hardware Basics


    This section discusses the basic elements and functions of computers. Basics discussed include:

    • Elements of a computer:

      • Hardware

      • Software

      • Firmware

    • Functions that computers perform:

      • Input

      • Processing

      • Storage

      • Output

    • Componentization

    • Standardization

    • Common types of ports and connectors

    Students will learn how to:

    • Connect common peripherals to standard ports.

    A Essentials Objectives:

    • 1.2 Explain motherboard components, types and features

      • I/O interfaces

        • Sound

        • Video

        • USB 1.1 and 2.0

        • Serial

        • IEEE 1394 / Firewire

        • Parallel

        • NIC

        • Modem

        • PS/2

    • 4.2 Categorize network cables and connectors and their implementations

      • Connectors

        • RJ45

        • RJ11

    Lecture Focus Questions:

    • What is the difference between hardware, software, and firmware?

    • What types of devices use USB ports?

    • What are common input and output devices?

    • What is the definition of processing?

    • What are the most common types of storage devices?

    • Why is it important to increase componentization and standardization?

    Video/Demo Time

    video1.3.1 Computing Basics 17:06
    demo1.3.3 External Components 8:12
    demo1.3.6 Internal Components 4:21
    Total 29:39


    • Set Up a Computer

    Number of Exam Questions

    5 questions

    Total Time

    About 50 minutes

    Section 1.4: Operating System Basics


    In this section students will learn the basics of operating systems. An operating system is a set of programs that acts as an interface between the applications that are running on a computer and the computer’s hardware. Concepts covered in this section include:

    • Actions performed by operating systems

    • Operating system attributes:

      • Multi-processing

      • Multi-tasking

      • Multi-threading

    • Parts of an operating system:

      • Kernel

      • Drivers

      • Interface

      • Utilities

      • Applications

    • Types of Windows operating systems discussed in this course:

      • Windows 2000 Professional

      • Windows XP (Home and Professional)

      • Windows Vista (Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate)

      • Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate)

    • Components of the Windows interface:

      • Desktop

      • Start Menu

      • Taskbar

      • System Tray

      • Windows Explorer

      • My Computer

      • Control Panel

      • Sidebar

      • Aero

      • Search

      • User Account Control (UAC)

    Students will learn how to:

    • Customize the Windows Taskbar.

    • Add and remove gadgets in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
    A Essentials Objectives:

    • 3.1 Compare and contrast the different Windows Operating Systems and their features

      • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista

        • Side bar, Aero, UAC

        • User interface, start bar layout

    • 3.2 Given a scenario, demonstrate proper use of user interfaces

      • Windows Explorer

      • My Computer

      • Control Panel

      • Task bar / systray

      • Start Menu

    Lecture Focus Questions:

    • What are the functions of the kernel?

    • What is the difference between a GUI and a CLI?

    • How are Windows Explorer and My Computer similar?

    • What type of information is shown on the Taskbar?

    • Which Windows interface components would you use to switch from one running program to another?

    • Which Windows versions include the Sidebar, Aero, and UAC?

    • How does an index improve searching on your computer?

    Video/Demo Time

    video1.4.1 Operating Systems 10:28
    demo1.4.3 Using the Windows Interface 16:53
    Total 27:21

    Number of Exam Questions

    5 questions

    Total Time

    About 40 minutes

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    Section 1.1: Course Introduction

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