Networks and the Internet
Although software defines much of the modern way we interface with the internet, the software runs on an interconnected system of hardware and protocols (rules) for how we connect. The study of networking and the internet seeks to explain how these pieces work together to keep the world connected.
The connected technology infrastructure creates the opportunity for communication, business, and art to be shared globally. Video phones were a dream just a short while ago, and today joining a video call is commonplace. Advancement in software often needs parallel advancement in the hardware and communication protocols in order to have maximum impact. At the same time, these layers also create the opportunity for risks or vulnerabilities
Three Examples of how a professional or person might use networks and the internet:
Professionals might think about the connectivity of customers or clients - do they have access to high speed internet? Will they be connecting over the phone or through a computer? - when designing products and web pages.
People need to think about how they will connect their house to the internet, how to choose a service provider, and what type of service they should pay for depending on the needs to connect at home.
Politicians, local leaders like town mayors or city councils, need to think about local infrastructure to support community connection to cellular service and high speed internet for businesses and schools.
Are there SPECIFIC standards for networks and the internet?
Are there places where networks and the internet appears in other standards?
This content is very specific to computer science, but may appear in Technology, CTE, or Digital Literacy standards in your state.
How do ethics and social impacts intersect with this topic?
The modern world requires connectivity to do business, and often to just interact with family, friends, and society. Many of the things in our daily lives involve information on the internet or require us to complete a form on the web. How we connect, what is required to connect, and how those resources are distributed are important social impacts to consider when studying networks and the internet for all students.
What keywords could be searched to find out more about this?
Career and Technical Education: Hardware and Networking
Internet of Things
How can we build capacity to add this field to our instruction?
Most curriculum platforms have lessons or resources for teaching networks and the internet. Check with your favorite curriculum or platform, such as code.org, brainPOP, Learning.com, or others, to see what is available and use the member curriculum page at CSforALL.org to find others.
Physical computing can be aligned with many existing subject areas like science or ELA. Look for funding for new and novel approaches to teaching existing subjects, and inspiration from project examples from the internet.
The CHIPS Act is focused on supporting microelectronics which are the building blocks of hardware and many networking applications. The National Science Foundation as well as private companies have grants to support a variety of approaches to CS education including networking or the internet.
Pathway planning and Support
Check with your local CSTA chapter or with your state department of education for upcoming professional learning and pathway planning opportunities.
How its connected
Networks and the Internet are one of the earliest fields of computer science. Because of advancements here, we can collect large data sets, communicate quickly with each other, and take advantage of advancements like AI and Quantum through our global network.