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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 takes a brief look at the concept of contention. 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 speed.

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, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words contention, ISP (Internet Service Provider) This word needs to be reinforced throughout the lesson  
Assessment explain the term "contention" Evidence here will be the students showing a basic understanding of the term with some basic examples. Explore different contention ratios and how they might affect performance.
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what impact contention has and why it might be used by ISPs. How much impact does this have on your internet?  Have you noticed your service slow down every time you see the BT van outside your broadband cabinet on the street?
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and describe contention
  • To explain, with examples, the different speeds resulting from contention
  • To understand how it is used and why

Students will need to understand the idea of contention in planning a good internet service, though it may not be so prevalent these days due to higher capacity lines being shared.

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
  • an introduction to contention ratios
  • detailed look at the main capacities with examples of different ratio levels
  • Students can break into groups and work on contention examples
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider issues of contention
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of service

In this lesson we need to discuss how contention is used in planning networks and why it is important to try and manage the bandwidth effectively.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate different ratios
  2. investigate the idea of contention and resource limits
  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

Traffic jams

Students should be able to see the issues of managing data and how contention ratios help in planning to make sure everyone gets the same service.  Do they have examples of service being affected by this.  Does their network have slow times?

Homework Get students to blog about fairness in data transmissions for all people. 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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