Saturday, September 29, 2012

Internet Email Game

This week we tried out my Internet email game. Pupils were given
stacks of packet cards and a dice. We watched a short video that I
made to explain how the Internet cuts up data into packages and
reassembles the data at its destination. Pupils then chose someone not
on their table to send their email to. When they wrote their message
they had to place each letter or number into its own square. If, as
often happened, their message was longer than the packet they spread
the message on to a second or third packet card. They then numbered
the packets 1/1 or 1/3 2/3 etc. We all rolled our die together and
changed the results into a time to live on the packet card. It was
then time for everyone to hand one packet to an immediate neighbour
who acted as a router and reduced the time to live TTL by 1. Add in a
random event and repeat the process.

The first round was hard work, with lots of questions which will
enable me to refine the packet card and my instructions. After the
second round the class was running smoothly. They cheered when my
random action turned up a no effect for the third time in a row and
groaned when a virus destroyed some packets.

We had a good discussion at the end which allowed me to refine the
model and explain that real TTL's are much longer. It is not a perfect
model but fits well into the module now pupils understand some of the
basics.

24 pupils out of 31 said they really enjoyed the session.

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