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The Science of Human Body Systems (HBS)

Life Skills

Wired: How the Internet Works and Why It Matters

This digital life skills / computer science course dives into how the Internet functions and how its function should impact our safety and security.
Tom Shiflet
30 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 4 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
$14 per class
Meets 3x per week
Over 4 weeks
55 minutes per class
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There are no open spots for this class.

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Class Experience

- Explore methods of communication using binary numbers.
- Explain bit synchronization in serial communications.
- Collaborate to build a communication protocol using a shared wire.
- Model the function of protocols such as TCP and IP as they relate to the Physical Layer.
- Explain how the user interacts with the Application layer through protocols such as HTTP and HTTP/S.
- Create an abstract model of source to destination Internet traffic through all levels of abstraction.
- Explore risks and analyze solutions associated with content propagation.
- Discuss Internet archival at various levels of abstraction.
- Evaluate data collection methods and the risks associated with them.
- Explain how a data driven culture impacts our view of privacy.
- Compare data collection methods and privacy laws to create a usability model for the future.
This class will be graded and will contain 4 assignments (one per week). These assignments will be done outside of class time but will take around 30 minutes per week to complete. All grades and student feedback will be given through Teacher-Student feedback. 

Example: Think about your morning routine and find a real-life parallel with the simplified abstraction model that we've discussed. What part of your morning relates to the physical layer (less abstraction), the transport layer (medium amount of abstraction) and the application layer (most abstraction)? Put together a simple one page document that shows each of these parts of your routine, clearly labeled as "Physical," "Transport," and "Application." This can be done in a word processor (Google Docs, Word, etc), presentation software (PowerPoint, Google Slides, etc) or other software. Please submit as a PDF document.
Various PDF "cheat sheets" will be posted in the classroom as we cover specific topics.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
Learners will be assigned a final number grade with specific commentary at the end of the course.
2 hours 45 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
As part of the discussion on data tracking and collection, I will make sure that learners understand that any website (including "inappropriate" sites) and messages that are sent or received are leave "digital footprints," regardless of what methods that they may use to try to hide their activities. While I will not specifically mention pornographic websites, sexting / sending nude pictures, I will infer the meaning by referring to "THOSE websites" or "private" pictures" sent by text or SnapChat...and pretty much everyone will know what I mean while making the learners feel less awkward about having this important conversation.


Tom Shiflet
Lives in the United States
Former High School Computer Science Teacher / Game Industry Veteran
30 total reviews
27 completed classes

About Me

Hello! My name is Tom Shiflet and I teach a variety of computer science, game design and math classes tied together with game programming as a hands-on "math lab"! I am a game industry veteran, having worked on about 20 PC games in the past, I've... 
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