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Knowledge of digital infrastructure DTG 8-11

Knowledge of digital infrastructure focuses on the concepts of digital infrastructure within personal computers, local area networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs).

Learning objective: DTG 8-11

Students will:

  • demonstrate understanding of WAN infrastructure systems.

Indicators

  • Describes Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies such as WAN protocols, basic routing principles including static routing, common wired, optical and wireless technologies, WAN architecture specified in terms of physical topologies and logical topologies.
  • Explains why the components have been used in a WAN to achieve the desired characteristics.
  • Describes the use of WAN protocols in a WAN architecture.
  • Compares and contrasts the characteristics and the purposes of different WAN technologies and components.
  • Explains the layers in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/Internet Protocol (IP) networking model and the role of this model in a WAN architecture.
  • Discusses IP (Internet Protocol) addressing with reference to static addresses and dynamically obtained addresses.
  • Explains the WAN technologies and components of a WAN.
  • Explains IP addressing schema.
  • Explains how NAT (Network Address Translation) provides a form of firewall.
  • Explains the management procedures for a WAN link.

Progression

Initially students learn about the common components of basic digital infrastructures consisting of personal computer hardware, associated peripherals and system software. Students learn about the purpose of the components, typical connections and data flow between components, characteristics of components that limit their inter-operability, and procedures and protocols for installing or replacing a component or a program. At level 8 students' progress to learn about complex concepts of digital infrastructure associated with LANs and WANs.

Teacher guidance

To support students to develop understandings about WAN infrastructure systems at level 8, teachers could:

  • provide students with the opportunity to explore wide area networks (WANs)
  • provide the opportunity for students to explore the characteristics and purposes of WANs, and discuss their components, and the layers in the TCP/IP networking model
  • assist in the refinement of reflective and inquiry questions related to the understanding of procedures and protocols associated with the development and maintenance of WANs
  • support students to prepare reports including ways to structure a report and literacy strategies to support report writing in a way that will allow students to describe, explain, and discuss
  • ensure students have opportunities to practice report writing.

Contexts for teaching and learning

This assessment resource uses the context of a Wide Area Network (WAN) that students are familar with. Students need to explore networking concepts, such as cabling, addressing, wireless and security and show an understanding of why these are important. When describing WAN technologies, and explaining why components have been used to achieve the desired characteristics, students will need to investigate concepts such as IP addressing, switching and routing and show an understanding of some of the advanced protocols as the complexity and size of the network increase.

This investigative report can be done through selecting appropriate WANs to investigate (the WAN must be complex enough to allow for a full investigation). Selections could include basic home setups, through to business or enterprise examples. As students research the selected WANs they are able to create clear diagrams that illustrate the differing architectures, addressing, topologies, and management procedures, and are able to comment meaningfully on network performance. 

This learning could be part of a practical WAN simulation where students are engaged in learning about the practical configuration of a simulated environment. The simulation will provide students with the ability to test configurations and investigate topologies and allow the practical application of skills. Case studies of existing solutions will provide students with a depth of understanding. This simulated testing and practical skill development is not part of the assessment, but may contribute to other portfolios of evidence for other standards.

In this case students are assessed on their understanding of wide area network technologies implemented across a range of varying sized networks.

Literacy considerations

Students will be required to:

  • research a selection of WAN protocols and technologies to gather and analyse relevant information
  • identify what technologies are implemented, their purpose and characteristics
  • compare and contrast characteristics of the WANs with reference to protocols, layers, architectures and topologies
  • present this evidence in the form of a report or presentation that includes annotated diagrams that convey standards and protocols.

Resources to support student achievement

Students will require access to a computer, the Internet and examples of a range of WAN technologies. Other resources that may assist include:

Please note that these resources go into more depth than the standard requires. 

Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard could assess learning outcomes from this learning objective:

  • AS91641 Digital technologies 3.50: Demonstrate understanding of wide area network technologies

Key messages from the standard

For the purpose of this standard a WAN (Wide Area Network) that refers to any network where the purpose and characteristics can be described, compared and contrasted against others of increasing complexity as to the best ‘fit for purpose’ design. Students will need to comment on differing architectures, addressing, topologies, securities and management procedures.

Last updated May 23, 2018



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