Computer Networking Overview

I like the practical application of computers and technology, which is why I’m studying Educational Technology and IT systems administration. Generally, I am not interested in specific technical details of how a computer works or how a network is configured. I leave that to the IT engineers. While I have a basic understanding of things like routers, LAN networks, and wi-fi, I really only care about the network or computer hardware when something goes wrong. In those instances I wish I knew more about how it all comes together so that I could better fix it or at least know intelligent questions to ask.

For this week’s assignment in EdTech 541 I dove into networking like I never had before. I read numerous articles online and brushed up on computer terminology. I  learned about LAN and WAN networks, protocols, platforms, infrastructure, topologies, media types, hubs, nodes, links, Ethernet, bandwidth, switches, and DCHP/DNS servers. I dug deep and immersed with a sound understanding of the overall networking picture. Sure, I won’t be a systems engineer anytime soon — and still don’t want to be — but I do have a greater appreciation for all of the moving pieces that make my computer do what I want it to do.

I also had a wonderful visit with a few key IT players at my children’s school. To protect privacy and security, I have not named the school nor the individuals who proved so helpful to me, but from them I was able to take what I had read and studied and see its practical application. I saw switches, routers, servers, Ethernet and fiber optic cables. I saw how the school network is designed and what some of its strengths and weaknesses are. It was a very enlightening exercise and one that I found very beneficial.

I chose to share what I learned in a Prezi because of its graphic appeal. My intended audience is the school faculty to help them gain a better idea of how the school’s network is designed and how it affects them. Since most find this information rather unenlightening, I wanted to jazz it up a little by at least making it graphically appealing. It will be most effective if the presenter adds his/her own voice-over throughout the presentation.

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