6.2. Computer Networking

This lesson introduces basic concepts and terminology about the Internet. It consists of three short lectures. The first introduces basic Internet terminology. The second focuses on the client/server model. And the third focuses on Internet performance in terms of bandwidth and latency.

Professional Development

The Student Lesson: Complete the activities for Unit 6: Lesson 6.2 Computer Networking.


  • Computer lab with projection system
  • Handout for Activity 2 (students could do this activity online in a copy of the Google doc)
  • Slides or videos

6.2.1. Learning Activities

Estimated Length: 45 minutes

  • Hook/Motivation (5 minutes): Ask students how they receive Internet service at at home, cable? satellite? name of their ISP (Internet Service Provider). Ask them how fast their Internet is and introduce the term bandwidth. Explain that this lesson introduces some basic Internet terminology and they'll learn about latency and bandwidth, which are terms that are used in the AP CSP exam.
  • Experiences and Explorations (35 minutes):
    • Lecture, Part 1: Basic Concepts and Terminology (5.5 mins). Present the first lecture, video (5:29) or slides (28), on concepts and terminology.
    • Activity 1 - Collaboration on the Internet (5 mins): Show students how to access and explore The Internet Society's interactive portal to their annual report. There are lots of data sets that can be explored. The activity has suggested questions to discuss in class including a discussion of the digital divide.
    • Lecture, Part 2: Client/Server Model (3.5 mins). Present the second lecture, video (3:37) or slides (15).
    • Activity 2 - Client/Server Model (7 mins): The activity asks them to identify various parts of the client/server model accessing some demo web pages using this handout which students could use online or in a printout.
      Answers: The client is the student's computer or browser app. The server is https://course.mobilecsp.org. The protocol is http or https (secure). The client requests the web page webpage2.html. And the server responds by sending that web page.
    • Lecture, Part 3: Internet Performance (6.5 mins). Present the third lecture, video (6:26) or slides (17).
    • Activity 3 - Measuring Bandwidth (7 mins): Have students run the tests as described on the student branch. Have them share their data with others in the class. Optional - have them collect data at home or at a public place such as a coffee shop or the library and share it the next day in class.
  • Rethink, Reflect and/or Revise (5 minutes): In whatever time remains, have students complete the self-check questions and their portfolio reflections.

AP Classroom

The College Board's AP Classroom provides a question bank and Topic Questions. You may create a formative assessment quiz in AP Classroom, assign the quiz (a set of questions), and then review the results in class to identify and address any student misunderstandings.The following are suggested topic questions that you could assign once students have completed this lesson.

Suggested Topic Questions:

  • Topic 5.2 Digital Divide

Assessment Opportunities and Solutions

Solutions Note: Solutions are only available to verified educators who have joined the Teaching Mobile CSP Google group/forum in Unit 1.

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:
  • Portfolio Reflections:
    LO X.X.X - Students should be able to ...
  • In the XXX App, look for:

Differentiation: More Practice

If students are struggling with lesson concepts, have them review the following resources:

Differentiation: Enrichment

  • Internet Hall of Fame - allows you and the students to explore some of the pioneers and contributors to the Internet
  • Pew Internet has many reports on surveys of how people use the Internet, including ones related to teens and social media that might be interesting for students to explore
  • Here is a web page that shows live statistics for size and activity of the Internet.

Background Knowledge

6.2.2. Professional Development Reflection

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

    I am confident I can teach this lesson to my students.
  • 1. Strongly Agree
  • 2. Agree
  • 3. Neutral
  • 4. Disagree
  • 5. Strongly Disagree