Teach Computing

Revision notes, activities, lesson plans, teaching ideas, and other resources for GCSE, A-Level, and IB Computer Science teachers and students.

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1.2 Communication and Internet Technologies

Lesson resources

Networks Banned Words game
Networks revision game
Recommended IGCSE Computer Science textbooks
Cambridge IGCSE Computer Science textbooks

Note that the latest syllabus from Cambridge has added several new requirements in this section, including different methods of data transmission (simplex, half-duplex, duplex), serial and parallel transmission, and several topics in section 1.2.3 related to the world wide web.

1.2.1 Data Transmission

Network error detection

Parity and Checksums activity

The card flip 'magic' game is a great idea from Computer Science Unplugged. The teacher sets up a grid of black/white cards and asks students to turn over one card without the teacher seeing. Using parity rules, the teacher is able to 'magically' determine which card the students turned over. This is a really fun game which demonstrates how simple techniques like odd/even partity can be used to solve significant problems.

The Computer Science Unplugged page has a range of support material: instructions for teachers, videos of the activity being performed, and a PDF download with extension activities and details about check digits in ISBNs.


Updated: 2015-05-02

Parity bit game

This interactive online game is like a digital version of the parity card game. Students are presented with an 8x8 grid. They must first set the parity bits correctly using even parity. The computer will then scramble the grid and change a single bit, which students must identify using the rules of parity.


Updated: 2015-05-27

1.2.3 Internet principles of operation

Creating a Website

Creating a Website: The Missing Manual

Amazon.com | Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK) | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Creating a Website introduces students to creating correct HTML and CSS code without overwhelming them with details of uncommon or rarely used features. It is well laid out, enabling students to find example code for their particular requirements with ease, making it a useful reference book. However, it is not a tutorial or 'howto' book, so it needs using as part of planned lesson activities or independent projects.


Updated: 2015-05-02
Internet protocols

What Happens When You Click a Link?

This video explains step by step what happens when you enter a URL in your web browser. It covers looking up the IP address using the HOSTS file or DNS, connecting to the destination machine using TCP/IP, and using HTTP to fetch the page. It does a good job of breaking down the process into a series of simple steps that demystify this process for students (hopefully!).


Updated: 2015-05-02
How the Internet Works activity

How the Internet Works

This kinesthetic activity involves students acting out various parts of the Internet including websites, routers, servers, and clients. It starts by examining swtiching networks (e.g. telephone systems) before looking at routing networks such as the Internet.

This is quite a complex activity which requires some preparation and setting up, but when this is done it is an excellent way to help students understand these topics. Thorough instructions are given in three blog posts linked from the CSE4K12 page. It is also possible to vary the difficulty level by including fewer aspects, making it suitable for students of different age groups.

This activity was created for Computer Science & Engineering for K-12 by Gary Kacmarcik, and is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.


Updated: 2015-05-14
Cookies

Follow the Cookie Trail

In this video Computerphile explains the problems that cookies solve, why they are used on many modern sites, and how they work. It also discusses the difference between first party and third party cookies, and does a particularly good job of explaining how third party cookies raise privacy issues. The video also includes coverage of recent European legislation regarding cookies and user tracking.


Updated: 2015-05-27
Internet protocols

Internet Protocols

The most common Internet protocols - TCP/IP, FTP, POP3, STMP, VOIP, and HTTP are given the BBC treatment in this page. Although largely text based, the resource clearly explains each term and uses examples to highlight how these protocols are used in everyday life, even if we don't notice them.


Updated: 2016-03-27