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Computer Networking & Home Automation

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The Computer Networking and Home Automation curriculum has been taught in high school technology classes. The goal of the curriculum is to solve a real-life problem through the use of home networking applications. Students are introduced to a variety of situations, the technology to address them and the skills to implement a reasonable solution.

Students initially brainstorm a solution to a common problem. For instance, "Mr. Smith has closed his summer camp (cottage) for the winter. The temperature in the water heater room in the camp (cottage) cannot fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Mr. Smith, who lives hours an hour away, must be alerted if it does." The proposed solutions should encompass fundamental networking concepts, such as security, home automation, and systems monitoring.

As students progress through this curriculum, they apply technical knowledge to hands-on projects. They use hubs, switches and private IPv4 addresses to build simple Ethernet networks, use outers and adapters to build wireless networks, and use packet-tracing exercises to visualize and apply the TCP/IP networking model. Students also explore available technologies that allow remote monitoring and control of security, heating and/or air conditioning, lighting, and appliances. Open Source software tools, such as Linux and Ethereal are studied.

Students design their own culminating project. They select a realistic problem and design and build a network to address it. Then, the students present their project for review.

The Computer Networking and Home Automations curriculum was developed by graduate student James P. Owen with support from K-12 Project-Based Learning Partnership Program 

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Computer Netwroking and Home Automation Lesson Plans and Activities
Unit plans include complete lesson plans and activities

Unit 1—Introduction to Home Networking Technologies

Lesson plans:
Introduction and Problem Statement

Home Automation Web Quest & Presentations

Activities:
Home Automation Web Quest

Unit 2–Computer Network Fundamentals
Lesson Plans:
Network definition, types & uses
Network Models: TCP/IP
Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses
Ethernet LANs
Network Cabling
Wired Local Area Networks
Sharing Resources with Samba
Wireless LANs

Activities:
Sending Email via Telnet
Ethernet patch cables
Networking with DHCP
Networking with Static IPs
Sharing Resources with Samba
Setting Up a Wireless LAN
Securing a Wireless LAN

Unit 3 – Applications of Home Networks
Final culminating project