A basic computer network consists of a collection of computers, printers and other equipment that is connected together so that they can communicate with each other. The internet is a network of networks connecting devices all around the world, which is based on a set of rules (protocols) governing its use. Choose a familiar network system, such as a transport system, as a way of comparing and contrasting another system with the computer networking system. Computer networks require security measures to protect against threats. Use a practical activity to simulate a basic network. Problem solve a way to send data from program board to program board to represent an image.
Flow of Activities
A basic computer network consists of a collection of computers, printers and other equipment that is connected together so that they can communicate with each other.
The school network provides an opportunity to describe a basic local area network (LAN) connecting computers with each other, the internet, and various servers. The school may also incorporate wireless technology via wireless local area network (WLAN).
Typically, networks are made up of:
The internet is a network of networks connecting devices all around the world.
Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules governing the format of data sent over the internet or other network. It describes how data packets move through a network based on their IP address (a unique address identifying a machine on a network). Transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) is used for controlling file transfers over the internet. TCP/IP makes sure that the packets reach the end destination and are reassembled correctly.
The IP address is similar to the mailing address of a person. It is known as a logical address because it is logically assigned based on the host location.
Data sent across the internet is divided into packets to reduce the file's size. For example, downloading a 3 MB song is likely to be split up into over 20,000 packets of 1,500 bytes each.
The internet provides opportunity for cybercrime. Examples of security measures that can protect computer networks include: passwords, security settings on routers, firewalls, security certificates, and anti-virus and anti-malware tools.
Unauthorised use of our digital devices is an everyday threat and is a key aspect of cybersecurity. We need to ensure measures are in place to protect our personal information and privacy.
There are a range of security measures used, depending on the device. On a smartphone, AI has opened up the way to use biometrics (for example, thumbprint or iris scan) to protect the authorised user of a phone and deny access to unauthorised users.
Students can create computer programs to demonstrate a security measure such as using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) – for example, a 4-digit code. Alternatively, students can incorporate a type of image recognition to mimic AI. Another option is to use an AI tool to create a model and incorporate this into their program. Another programming challenge is to create a password generator.
In electronic communication, data is represented as 1s and 0s. These separate elements are known as bits (or binary digits). All electronic data is stored in this digital binary format. People interpret words and pictures; however, computers interpret bit patterns.
The advantage of using digital coding is that data can be stored more efficiently and can be transmitted over long distances without the quality becoming degraded.