Commonwealth University-Lock Haven students receive hands-on experience with computer motherboard

Lock Haven


By Ashton Peters

Commonwealth University-Lock Haven students in Dr. Marian Tzolov’s Inside Computers and Communication Networks class recently received hands-on experience with discovering and understanding the motherboard of computer software. 

Tzolov’s class is designed for students from various majors and who are part of the Honors College. This semester’s class consists of accounting, computer science, biomedical sciences, criminal justice and social work majors. 

The basic principles of modern computer technology and the major enabling elements of the class include hardware, software and networks. Students also learn the functionality of physical components like processors and memory; the purpose of operating systems and specialized software, e.g. productivity, connectivity, utility software; and the organization of systems like networks, and the internet. 

While a detailed understanding of all components of these complex systems is not realistic, even for professionals, knowing more about the internal workings of the components and systems will make them less formidable to the students.

“Digital technology is ubiquitous in our daily lives,” Tzolov said. “Using digital technology, we strive to achieve a goal and we don’t spend extra efforts to understand the framework, the bigger picture in which these processes happen. The complexity of the devices and processes is a formidable barrier to developing such understanding.” 

Tzolov’s goal is to bring digital technology closer to students to let them see and touch the machine’s components without the fear of breaking device.

"In this class, we get different experiences with technology, devices, networks and the components behind it,” said Bryanna Johnson, of Mansfield. “We complete hands-on activities, where we get to tear apart computers and use microscopes to look at the screens. It is a fun experience, but still a class where we learn the needed information so we can teach others, as well as gain the presentation skills that are needed throughout the rest of our lives."