We had fun doing an Open Lab activity this week on "How the Internet works". Our students learned about network addresses on the local lab network and then we continued past our wifi router to the internet. We learned about IPv4 addresses and network tools like ping and traceroute. The kids pinged and traced some of their favorite websites and were amazed where some of them were located in the world.
Check out where the Minecraft web servers are located. This was pretty cool to the students.
Next we learned about IPv6 and why the internet is running out of addresses. Four billion addresses are not enough in a world with five billion mobile devices already! In the future we will discuss networking tools and concepts like DNS, DHCP, packets, binary numbers / addresses, etc.
While teaching kids programming is a very big part of Start Code, we want to also give them a sense of wonder about all the technology and tools that they have at their fingertips. Hands on lab activities like this one are a perfect example of how we accomplish this.