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Daily Classroom Special
Bits & Bytes: Networking

About this Daily Classroom Special
Bits & Bytes combines technology objectives, activity ideas, web sites, and resources in an effort to make it easier for everyone to incorporate technology into their instruction. Bits & Bytes is maintained by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and Teachers Network  web mentor. 

To the Bits & Bytes Directory

K - 2  

Use networking terminology such as on-line, network, or password and access remote equipment on a network such as a printer.

Contrast on-line and off-line. Show students how you can work on a computer whether it is networked or not. If it has an active connection to a phone line, Internet, or a server, it is on-line. Being on-line lets you communicate with other people and machines, sharing programs, hardware, and information. If it is a stand-alone or not connected, then it is off-line. People also use these methods in combination. They go on-line to do something (usually to download files), then work on the files off-line. If you are paying for on-line time with your service provider, this combination method lessens your on-line time and saves you money.

You can relate this to using a cell phone. Someone calls you and gives you a math problem. If you stay on the phone while you solve the problem, you are on-line and using more airtime, costing you more money. The best use of resources is to get the problem, hang up, solve the problem, and call back when you have the answer.

Network: Get several books about a topic from the library, and distribute to individuals in the classroom. Ask them how much they can learn if they only look at their book. How much could they learn if they looked at all the books? Use yarn to show how computers and other peripherals are joined together (networked) to let you use more resources, sharing information that each person has. If possible, take students to view a server in the building, or bring in a picture of one. Show them how the cables connect the hardware together.

If you are connected to a network printer, let a child draw a picture on a computer, then print to the network printer, and retrieve. How does a network let us share work and ideas with others?

Password: bring locking diary or box. Relate how a password is like a key that lets only us get into our own work and network. Why do people get upset when others get into their work and "hack" a site? Why is it illegal?

3 - 5 

Identify and describe the characteristics of digital input, processing, and output.

Bring a simple appliance from home (toaster, waffle iron, paper shredder, food processor) and relate input, processing, and output. Example with toaster: Illustrate putting an item in (bread = input), the appliance does some work on the item (heating the bread = processing), take it out (toasted bread = output).

Now relate this to a computer:

Input=wiggling your fingers on the keyboard

Processing=computer puts letters and numbers on an imaginary piece of paper in a format we choose

Output=final product, letter, graph, etc.


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