Thursday, 21 November 2013

Raspberry Pi and Networks

Luckily our entire staff got to go to CPIT for half a day this week. Through this day I was re-introduced to something that I had done over 10 years ago. Creating a network cable. The week before I had been at another school looking at their programme and the focus on networking, however it was focussed on the networking in CISCO. Now I am not a CISCO certified instructor and don't really want to be. However, I have done networking in my Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Business Computing when I first left school.

This is an area of interest, and one that I wish to get back into. I looked back into my teaching practice and when training at a school, I had students put together a bunch of computers, create their own network cables and network them together to create a Beowulf cluster.

Why have I not done this before...

The standards did not allow me, I was teaching Information Management and Technology.
Now though, I have been struggling to get my head around the new standards, developing understanding with my students and completely forgot what I had accomplished so many years ago.

Instead of trying to find 13 computers and space to hook them up, I have the Raspberry Pi, small, easy to use and so much fun. I can imagine these connected and the students creating their own networks and having to understand IP addresses, subnets and having to work out who gets what address Then introduce them to DHCP and what it allows to happen. But what a fun unit. Getting students to work through this will provide skills and knowledge. Though I plan to do this at Level 3, It is a Level 2 AS91378 skill based on the Body of Knowledge.

So, here is what I am thinking, I have heaps of network cable... I have just brought 4 crimpers, network plugs and have a spare 16 port switch at school. They have to create a network, there is no cables, no DHCP, and no Internet connection, yet! So, they need to setup network address, and connection, ping a machine, ftp a file to that machine, and connect to the webserver to display a webpage. simple enough? Let the challenge begin! I can use my 256Meg RPi to run the server that they will need to connect to.

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