The Internet and the Cloud

This lesson introduces students to basic concepts of the Internet and cloud computing. The students will complete two sets of activities using the POGIL structure. (POGIL stands for Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning; more information is provided in the background knowledge and teaching tips sections below and in the pedagogy lesson X.Y.) The first activity addresses a common misconception that the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) are the same thing. In the second activity, students explore a case study involving an app transmitting data on the Internet and storing data in the cloud. These activities reinforce the enduring understandings that the Internet is a network and that cloud computing affects how we communicate and interact.

CSP Framework Lesson Activities
BI 6: The Internet
, EU 6.1 - The Internet is a network of autonomous systems.
LO 6.1.1: Explain the abstractions in the Internet and how the Internet functions.
Exclusion: Specific devices used to implement the abstractions in the Internet are beyond the scope of this course and the AP Exam.
EK 6.1.1A EK 6.1.1D EK 6.1.1I P 3
Students discuss, in POGIL teams, the different kinds of web browsers they use and the kinds of web applications they use.
BI 7: Global Impact
, EU 7.1 - Computing enhances communication, interaction, and cognition.
LO 7.1.1 - Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
EK 7.1.1B EK 7.1.1D EK 7.1.1O P 4
Students discuss the use and impact of applications such as Skype and Google Hangouts.

Students discuss a case study involving cloud storage of data used in an app.
LO 7.1.2 - Explain how people participate in a problem-solving process that scales.
EK 7.1.2F P 4

Professional Development

The Student Lesson: Complete the activities for Mobile CSP Unit 2 Lesson 2.3: The Internet and the Cloud.


Computer lab, POGIL role cards, Slides (add link)

Learning Activities

Estimated Length: 45 minutes

  • Hook/Motivation (5 minutes): Ask students if they can explain the difference between the Internet and the WWW — many students will say that they are the same thing. Present the concepts in the introduction section and first set of slides.
  • Experiences and Explorations (30 minutes):
    • POGIL Roles and Teams (10 minutes): Divide students into groups of 3-4 teams. Review the POGIL structure and roles with the students, having groups assign each member a role. Since this is the first time using the POGIL format, you might find it useful to distribute the POGIL role cards (add link) to the groups. Be sure to emphasize that POGIL has been shown to help students learn the concepts better and that most students prefer this format.
    • The Internet and WWW (10 minutes): Have students answer the critical thinking questions, discussing their personal experiences with the Internet in the POGIL groups.
    • Computer Ethics (10 minutes): Read aloud the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics then have students read the case study and answer the critical thinking questions
  • Rethink, Reflect and/or Revise (10 minutes): Review answers to the POGIL critical thinking questions, especially for the Measuring Your Network and Computer Ethics activities. Have students post their answers to the questions and the portfolio reflection questions on their portfolio.

Assessment Opportunities

You can examine students’ work on the interactive exercise and their reflection portfolio entries to assess their progress on the following learning objectives. If students are able to do what is listed there, they are ready to move on to the next lesson.

  • Interactive Exercises: Students should be able to...
  • Portfolio Reflections:
    LO x - Students should be able to ...
  • In the xxx, look for:
    - ...

Differentiation: More Practice

Here are some additional resources if students are struggling with lesson concepts:

  • Webopedia includes an article on the difference between the Internet and the WWW, including links to related terms and concepts.
  • This video contains a very visual example of bandwidth using balloons and pipes that you might consider showing (or recreating!) in your classroom.
  • A good metaphor to use would be to compare bandwidth to vehicles such as buses and race cars, as explained in this video. It also explains latency concepts in terms of the speed of light and queues (lines).

Differentiation: Enrichment

Background Knowledge: POGIL

POGIL, Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, as used in Mobile CSP, is a structured cooperative learning approach where students work in teams of 3-4 students to solve problems. Research suggests that the POGIL approach helps students master the content more effectively and that most students prefer to learn in POGIL teams over more traditional approaches. This video provides an overview of POGIL. Learn more about the POGIL Project and POGIL being used in computer science courses.

Teaching Tip: Enforcing POGIL Roles

One key to POGIL being effective in the classroom is ensuring that students are participating cooperatively - each student is assuming responsibility for their role in the group. As students are working, teachers should be moving around the room and listening to groups to make sure that students are not only staying on task with activities, but are also actively fulfilling their roles. You can print and distribute the role cards to each group, or even post them in your classroom for easy reference.

Professional Development Reflection

Discuss the following questions with other teachers in your professional development program.

  • How does this lesson help students toward the enduring understandings that the Internet is a network of autonomous systems and its characteristics influence systems and applications built to use it? [
    EU 6.1
    EU 6.2
  • How does the use of POGIL reinforce the computational thinking practices of communication and collaboration? [
    CTP 5
    CTP 6

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