Unit2

Unit 2 - The Internet

Unit Overview

Students learn how the Internet works and discuss its impacts on politics, culture, and the economy. This unit heavily features the Internet Simulator, a tool designed to let students see, use, and explore the way different layers of the internet work. Through a series of activities that build on one another, students investigate the problems the original designers of the internet had to solve and then "invent” their own solutions. At the conclusion of the unit, students research an "Internet Dilemma," both from the standpoint of its technical background and its impacts on different groups of people.

Teaching Tip

Modifications for Virtual and Socially-Distanced Classrooms

Are you teaching in a virtual setting or in a socially-distanced classroom? Check out this document for ideas and resources to help you tailor common practices like Think Pair Share or Peer Feedback to your learning environment.

For lesson-specific modifications, check out the Lesson Modifications section within Lesson Plans.

Learn more about how to use these resources here.

Unit Philosophy and Pedagogy

  • Inventing the Internet with the Internet Simulator: This unit features many different versions of the Internet Simulator, a digital widget that simulates the way different features or "layers" of the Internet work. As students move from lesson to lesson, the version of the Internet Simulator they use will have slightly more functionality than the last. Within a lesson, students will be presented with challenges that are modeled closely on those that the original inventors of the internet needed to solve. Students will collaboratively design and test solutions to those problems to develop an intuitive understanding of not just how the internet works, but why it was designed that way. By the end of the unit, students will have "invented the internet" themselves!

  • Continuing to Establish a Strong Classroom Culture: Much like the Digital Information unit that comes before it, this unit emphasizes collaborative problem solving and the development of a supportive and inclusive classroom culture.

Major Assessment and Projects

The unit project asks students to design a policy position for an imaginary political candidate related to an "Internet Dilemma." Students must analyze news stories about their topic to identify impacted groups, explain those groups interests, explain technical background about the dilemma, and then recommend a policy solution that the candidate should advocate for. Students will also complete an end-of-unit assessment aligned with CS Principles framework objectives covered in this unit.

AP Connections

This unit and its associated project help build towards the enduring understandings listed below. For a detailed mapping of units to Learning Objectives and EKs, please see the "Standards" page for this unit.

  • CSN-1: that computer systems and networks facilitate how data are transferred
  • IOC-1: and that while computing innovations are typically designed to achieve a specific purpose, they may have unintended consequences

This unit includes content from the following topics from the AP CS Principles Framework. For more detailed information on topic coverage in the course review Code.org CSP Topic Coverage.

  • 4.1 The Internet
  • 4.2 Fault Tolerance
  • 5.2 Digital Divide

Week 1

Lesson 1: Welcome to the Internet

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Learn how computers are connected into networks and the tradeoffs involved in building different types of networks.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Video

Lesson 2: Building a Network

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Learn how computers are connected into networks and the tradeoffs involved in building different types of networks.

Teacher Links: Presentation

Lesson 3: The Need for Addressing

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (30 mins)
  • Wrap Up (10 mins)

Learn how computers are able to send information across a network even though the computers may not be directly connected. Investigate the protocols used on the Internet to make this possible.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Video | Activity Guide

Lesson 4: Routers and Redundancy

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Learn how information is routed through the Internet and the reasons networks often will include many multiple paths between different points in the network.

Teacher Links: Activity Guide | Presentation

Lesson 5: Packets

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (30 mins)
  • Wrap Up (10 mins)

Learn how information travelling over the Internet is divided into many packets that travel separately through the network as well as the protocols that allow this process to work even when some packets are lost or delayed.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Video | Activity Guide

Week 2

Lesson 6: HTTP and DNS

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (30 mins)
  • Wrap Up (10 mins)

Learn how websites are shared on the Internet and then examine whether everyone actually has equal access to information on the World Wide Web.

Teacher Links: | Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide | Video

Lesson 7: Project - Internet Dilemmas Part 1

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Begin forming your own answer to the question "Has the Internet made the world better or worse" by considering your own experiences and then reading articles about the impact of the Internet on the world.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Project Guide

Lesson 8: Project - Internet Dilemmas Part 2

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (1 min)

Share your conclusions on the question "Has the Internet made the world better or worse" by discussing the articles you read as well as your own experience.

Teacher Links: Exemplar | Presentation Students Links: Project Guide

Lesson 9: Assessment Day

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Assessment (25 mins)
  • Assessment Review (20 mins)

Assessment day to conclude the unit.

Teacher Links: Presentation