Computing Progress logo
Community Supported
Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus This lesson introduces the ideas behind the transmission of data over different media types and any associated bandwidth issues. The lesson will look at how data is transmitted by different media, in particular to compare the performance of cables versus wireless transmission methods.

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words bandwidth, fibre optic, ethernet, wireless, These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment compare the performance of cable and wireless connections Evidence here will be the students showing a basic understanding of the main differences between these transmission types Explore different cable transmission speeds if possible.  Investigate cable structures and look into how wireless signals work.
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what controls transmissions and what the restrictions are on bandwidth. What are some of the issues associated with each type?  What is the speed difference between basic types: Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet vs. Fibre.
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and describe the main types of Internet connection
  • To explain, with examples, the difference in performance
  • To understand how bandwidth is measured
  • an understanding of some of the restrictions on bandwidth
  • To understand what features are used to control and regulate speed

Students will need to understand the hardware and software restrictions on transmission of data and some of the issues related to each type.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • introduction to cables
  • detailed look at the main cable types
  • Students can break into groups and work on some basics of cable performance
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider issues of data transmission
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of security

In this lesson we need to discuss how physical elements determine the speed and throughput of data transmissions and how other factors can affect them, such as microwave ovens affecting mobile Wi-Fi badly.

There is no need to go into great details, but it would be useful to explore some of the hardware and software used in transmissions.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate transmission data cables
  2. investigate wi-fi signals and issues
  3. group work to work on some of their own views and examples
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

Wireless router

Students should be able to identify different types of transmission medium and some of the associated strengths and weaknesses of each kind.

The technology controlling transmissions is constantly changing and they need to have a good overview of this development and where it currently stands.

Is there a digital divide?  Schools in rural areas will be struggling on very slow Internet connections compared to their urban neighbours.

Homework Get students to work together to produce a table of all the class's Internet connection speeds using the same speed checker website. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding. Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


Print Friendly, PDF & Email