GCSE Computer Networks

How does the internet work? How do the networks in our home work? What types of network are there? What shape are they? How do machines on networks communicate with each other? It is ever more vital that students know the answers to these and similar questions if they are to successfully navigate the networks they will encounter throughout their lifetime.

Both the physical layout of the networks we use (topologies) and their type are important distinctions that the modern user needs to be aware of. Students will learn about the shapes, and types, of modern and historical networks, along with their applications and the considerations that are needed when designing a network for a given task. 

 

Links and Resources

Networks and HTML

This presentation includes a number of topics on Networks and HTML, and includes various exam questions and other activities for students to complete. The presentation covers a wide range of network related topics, briefly covering: Network Types, Media, Topology, Protocols, Handshaking, Transmission, TCP/IP and Checksums. 

 

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

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Networks and the Internet

This resource contains 6 presentations on various aspects of Networks and Network Management. These include presentations on The Internet (DNS servers and IP addresses), How Networks Communicate (IP addresses and packets), Types of Network (Network topologies, Peer-ToPeer vs Client/Server, LAN and WAN), Managing a Network (Disaster Recovery and Backup Strategies), HTML and CSS (Basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript) and Compression (File Types, Lossy and Lossless Compression).

publication year
2010 to date

6 files

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Network topologies - unplugged activity

A short unplugged activity. This uses string and various other props to enable students to simulate the various network topologies required for GCSE Computing. The activities lead naturally into discussions around protocols, data collisions and reliability. A large open area may be required depending on the size and nature of the class. 

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

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Drawing a network diagram

This resource contains a presentation to use as the starting point for a lesson on drawing a diagram of the school network. It features alternate slides depending on whether a tour of the school network infrastructure is available or not. There is an example of a computer suite in diagrammatic form and suggestions for extension activities. The presentation will need modifying before use with students. 

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

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Networks

This resource consists of 5 lessons, each comes with a comprehensive presentation along with supporting worksheets and activities. The lessons start with a lesson on Network advantages and disadvantages along with the common Network Topologies, this then moves on to a second lesson detailing the hardware found in common network setups along with a discussion of the differences between Peer-To-Peer and Client/Server Networks. The third lesson looks at some of the protocols underpinning how the internet works focusing mainly on IPv4 with a brief mention of IPv6. The fourth lesson includes a discussion of HTML and related technologies, students are expected to produce a simple HTML page, the lesson closes with a discussion of some common file types. The last lesson has a number of topics which groups of students will then research and share with the rest of the group (these could be modified according to ability, topicality etc). Also included in the resource are a number of homework sheets and an end of unit test, along with a teacher's guide, which includes lesson plans and advice for differentiation.

publication year
2010 to date

17 files

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5

Stone Tablets

This resource features a number of links to other resources relevant to the topic of networks, protocols and security. The Stone Tablet activity itself is an unplugged activity where students model how packets are transferred across a network. It also includes the possibility that some packets do not arrive at their destination in a timely fashion and requires students to develop their own protocols to ensure the accuracy and completeness of any message they send. The activity can then be summarised at the end by the teacher, with a discussion of how the internet (and similar networks) address these problems. 

publication year
2010 to date

3 files

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Networks Role Play -Packet Routing

This resource contains some rules for an unplugged networking activity to model how routers and networks deal with transmitting packets of data. The activity is designed for 6 people to act as routers, who apply the routing rules to packets of data. There are 4 end points which send and receive packets according to a different set of rules. The rest of the class act as "minions" to carry packets between endpoints and routers as directed by the routers. The teacher also has a variety of roles to perform, they act as clock, each message is moved when a tick of the clock occurs, once students understand the activity the teacher then also attempts to sabotage things by breaking links in the network, and randomly removing/altering packets in transit. 

publication year
2010 to date

2 files

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Raspberry Pi Networking

This resource details an activity where students set up their own network of Raspberry Pis in a classroom, using another machine as their server. As with all of these sorts of activities, it is highly recommended to work through the whoole activity first, downloading the required software ahead of a lesson and double checking that the instructions are still relevant. By using the command line to get the Raspberry Pis communicating with each other, students should gain a better understanding of soem of the intricacies involved in setting up and maintaining a network. 

publication year
2010 to date

3 files

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Network topologies - unplugged activity

A short unplugged activity. This uses string and various other props to enable students to simulate the various network topologies required for GCSE Computing. The activities lead naturally into discussions around protocols, data collisions and reliability. A large open area may be required depending on the size and nature of the class. 

publication year
2010 to date

1 file

0

0

How does your home network work?

This resource contains an unplugged activity to model how home networks work. It builds up to increasingly more complex networks, adding in details such as routers, wifi aceess points and the internet along the way. The lesson plan contains links to the Progression Pathways documentation, and differentiation ideas for delivering the content. The presentation takes students through, building increasingly complex networks (by adding to the previous network) using cards and connectors to model the network. The resources for these cards are included at the end of the Presentation. The activity finishes with a model of a network and some vocabulary, the students are then asked to tell the story of how a data packet moves from one device to another across the network using all of the vocabulary, listed. There is a focus throughout on the Computational Thinking ideas of Abstraction and Decomposition. 

publication year
2010 to date

5 files

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