'15-'16 Routers and Redundancy

Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.

This lesson did not go well today. Maybe it was Friday, but this went wrong and fast. Very quickly students just focused on saying goofy (to innappropriate) things on the simulator. I don’t think much learning occurred. Here are some thoughts on how to improve it:

  • Make a place where the student’s name is logged with their IP address for the teacher. It was difficult to find the student (or students) who were being the most inappropriate since I would see something, say “who is 7.11” and no one would answer. It is hard to redirect individual students if you don’t know who they are.
  • Put sentence starters in the activity guide to help students get started. There are a lot of questions in the activity guide and I think that made it seem difficult for students to track in the guide.
  • Make a video of how the simulator works for teachers to view. I sort of felt I was flying blind into the lesson because I wasn’t really sure what the simulator would look or feel like so I was trying to learn along with the students, but really I should have spent more time monitoring behaviors.
  • Give a set of questions for students to ask “to have a conversation.” I gave them would you rather cards to ask and answer, but they just put random goofy/inappropriate things into the simulator. Next time I will tell them you can ONLY ask the questions provided.

I think the simulator and the ideas behind it were good, but my students got terribly off track which was disappointing. In the past they “got off track” but it was always in creative and relevant ways for the content… today they were just off track overall.


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Yikes. Sounds like a rough day. Thanks for the suggestions as well. Sentence starters is a good idea.

We’ve already previously logged it as an item to make some kind of “teacher view” for NetSim. It would be akin to the router logs, it would just show student names. So your request is noted. This feature just didn’t make it to production for the pilot.

Since this already happened, I can only offer a few suggestions for how to turn this into a “teachable moment”. Take or leave as you please…

  • To some degree using NetSim will always carry a risk of students doing inappropriate things, just as the real Internet does. As a teaching strategy you could address issues of privacy, abuse and harassment BEFORE using netsim at all in the Internet Unit.

  • Since this already happened you might be able to confront it directly it after the fact by turning it into a “teachable moment” about the global impacts of the internet. “I know you all were trying to joke around, but what was happening was inappropriate speech. Are the problems with inappropriate speech on the real Internet? Where have you seen it? What might be done to control it? Should you be able to do anything/everything anonymously on the internet?”

  • If you read the “Internet is for Everyone” in lesson 1 there is a passage there about the benefits and drawbacks of free speech and anonymity on the Internet. You could refer to that.

  • Note that one of the topics for the practice PT in lesson 12 is about censoring speech on the Internet. This might be a good episode to refer to :wink:

So those are the things that come to mind. Sorry you had a rough day. But TGIF, indeed!

Monday is a new day.



When I go to the internet simulator I still see the view that I had during PD. It gives me an option to add to a section. I donot see any of the routers that my students are seeing. As a result I don’t see the log browser. How do I change my view?

Hi Sangeeta,

Just to double check:

  • Make sure that there’s no ?s=… at the end of the URL you’re visiting. If there is, just remove everything after it.
  • I assume you have a section successfully set up for your students?

When you navigate to an Internet Simulator level, the first thing it should show you is a list of all sections you’re affiliated with. And when you get to the section chooser, do you see the section that your students are in? If you select that it should bring you to the same place your students are.

Hope that helps, but let me know if that doesn’t resolve your issue.


Thanks Baker,

This feedback was really insightful and helpful. I did address this with my students today, and with the additional structure of the next lesson, we did not run into the same issues. It was nice to go back to the previous content to show how it was still indeed relevant - even in our own internet simulator.


I too had some issues with inappropriateness (despite me even stating to “be clean” ahead of time). It would be VERY helpful for us as teachers to have a way to police and/or lock them out if we witness this. Or, maybe even flag them for inappropriate behavior.

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Yes, this could be a problem.
One student used Notepad to record everyone’s IP Address for his info. I told students to print off their traffic report from a screen shot at the end of class as part of their grade.

I showed the following video at the beginning and we had a discussion about the way traffic works. It was a great discussion and clarified many terms. Redundancy was a difficult concept, but choosing kayaking was a great visual. (Check it out!)


beautiful i saved in my youtube apcsp playlist

Can you help with the additional reflection question from this unit? I believe the ISP would have access to all emails in our area and also be able to dictate what path all messages should take. Is there anything else that i should be focusing on?

For those playing along at home the reflection question referred to here is
“An Internet service provider (ISP) just purchased all the routers in your area. What types of things is this ISP capable of doing? Are you comfortable with this arrangement?”

I think your response it fine. The point is if you own the routers, you could theoretically see everything. Now it takes a lot of work to piece it all together, and it’s a huge amount of data, but theoretically, it’s possible. It’s also possible that they can favor some traffic over others (this is what the Net Neutrality debate is about).

And yes a router can dictate the path a message takes but sometimes only in a limited way. A router passes a message onto a recipient or some other router. If you don’t control that other router there’s not much else you can do. The issue of inspecting traffic for both concerns about surveillance as well as preferential treatment are larger concerns than actual routes taken.

Again, these are theoretically possible and so some steps can be taken to mitigate the risks which we address later in the unit. Hopefully this is helpful.