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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 continues to look at the ideas behind the transmission of data over different media types and any associated bandwidth issues.  It also takes a look at cost as an aspect of the digital divide. The lesson will look at how data is transmitted by different media, in particular to compare the performance of cables versus wireless transmission methods and how this relates to cost.

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, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words bandwidth, fibre optic, Ethernet, wireless, digital divide 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 and any cost issues 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.  Are there cost issues?  Can everyone get the best possible Internet services?
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and describe the main types of Internet connection
  • To explain, with examples, the difference in performance and cost
  • 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.

They need to investigate the cost of each type and look at issues of social inclusion.

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
  • detail investigation of cables and wireless technology
  • detailed look at the main cable types and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Students can break into groups and work on some basics of cable performance
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider issues of data transmission and access
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of security and the digital divide

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.

Begin to look at issues of access and fairness.

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

Ethernet socket

Students should be able to identify different types of transmission medium and some of the associated strengths and weaknesses of each kind.  They also need to have a good idea of the cost of each and any other potential issues.

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 produce a blog on their idea of the future of the Internet. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding. Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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