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Lesson 1.1
World Wide War

Lesson 1.1
World Wide War

LEARNING GOAL: The Basics of Web History

Students will understand how the Internet evolved from a classified government research project into a world wide resource with the help of highly educated teachers and students.

Click Here to View the Learning Goal and Scale


After getting settled into the classroom, we’ll be going back in time to a world before computer technology. Do we even know what a computer is, why it was built in the first place, or what its purpose is a piece of equipment? Answers to these questions and many more begin with a world at war. World War II was a conflict unlike any that humankind had seen before. Airplanes were firing from the sky, codes were being passed back and forth between spies, and everyone was looking for a way to keep up with the warfare of Germany’s Nazi Party. This lesson will help you to see the world the way it was before anyone even owned a personal computer of any kind. You will also learn about the engineers who created some of the important technologies that were built between 1940 and 1960. Be prepared to go “unplugged” in a computer classroom for about an hour.

PART 1: REVIEW & OVERVIEW (35 Minutes)

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Topic #1 – Class Guidelines & Student-Teacher Agreements (Begin WATA40YOD)

spicehouseTopic #2 – The Purpose of Web Design

The overall purpose of Web Design at Milwee isn’t to just make a few web pages for fun, but to learn a skill that we can use to serve the people who need it. It may seem like everyone in the world and every business in the world has a website, but that’s not entirely true. You might even know a few people in your life who own a business, but either don’t have a good website or they don’t have a website at all.

In Web Design II, students actually compete for the privilege of designing a website for a real local business. For example, the 2014 Winner designed a website for a local gluten free cafe called The Bald Strawberry, but that was a long time ago and the company decided to take down their site last year. The 2015 Winner designed a website for a local Indian Grocery store called The Spice House of Longwood, but they have changed a few things since we gave them their website and some of the links don’t work.The 2016 Winner designed a website for a local wedding DJ called Rythmix. The only semesters that have been successful in designing LIVE websites have been in the Fall and this challenge is now ONLY given to the Web Design II students, since they have advanced in their knowledge.

Topic #3 – Class Overview – 4 Learning Goals

1. The Basics of Web Technology

2. The Basics of HTML

3. The Basics of CSS

4. Applied Web Design

Topic #4 – Class Website Introduction

1. Information Section

2. Lessons Sections & Lesson Structure

Lesson Breakdown

a. SOLO Work

b. Class Discussions

c. Daily Designs

What about Mondays?

3. Resources Section

4. Penzu Journals & eCampus Links

did-we-do-anything-while-i-was-goneTopic #5 – A Few Last Things

Class Breakdown – There should never be a need to ask, “What are we doing today?” Because when you pull up the lesson of the day, read the overview, and skim through the lesson, you will discover this information on your own and “discovery” is good practice for all Internet users.

Class Guidelines – After today, we will not review these guidelines again for several weeks. You will simply be expected to know the rules of the classroom and your signature from the Student/Teacher Agreements will be proof that you have already heard and agreed to these rules. No one can claim, if they signed, that they did not know or understand what the rules were in the beginning.

Students from Web Design II – From time to time, students from WD2 and students from WD1 on the left side of the room will be rotating seats. This will only happen at times when WD1 students have something to work on independently and WD2 students need specific instruction.

Turn in All Student Teacher Agreements


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worldmapabstractTopic #1 – WORLD GEOGRAPHY (6 Primary Locations)

*Students can move chairs nearer to the world map

*Discussion of World Nations involved in World War II

*At this time, what kinds of technologies existed in the world?

6 PRIMARY LOCATIONS: Soviet Union/Russia, Pearl Harbor, United States, Germany, Great Britain/United Kingdom, Japan

Topic #2 – OSRD: Office of Scientific Research & Development

By early 1941, the United States was still not involved in World War II, but President Roosevelt (FDR) set up an Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) to at least get as prepared as possible for war. He wanted this group, the OSRD, to conduct research and solve problems related only to war.

Topic #3 – Japan picks a fight and wakes a “sleeping giant” – December 7, 1941

Topic #4 – The Giants Who Woke Up: Teachers and Students


Vannevar Bush, Leader of the OSRD

When the United States got pulled into World War II, the OSRD was under the leadership of Vannevar Bush, a former MIT professor, who brought along some of his fellow teacher and students from the Harvard, MIT, and CalTech to help with research. Bush wanted to improve communications between the Army and the Navy, but President Roosevelt wanted him to work on the following war-related projects:

1. Underwater Sound Laboratory (Sonar & Submarine Warfare)

2. Mobile Radar Fire (Antiaircraft Guns)

3. The Manhattan Project (Nuclear Technology & the Atomic Bomb)

While the OSRD was wrapped up in war projects, a British math professor (teacher) named Alan Turing believed that a computer could be built that would solve an unlimited and infinite number of problems if it was programmed to solve those problems through something called an algorithm. Basically, an algorithm is like a recipe of instructions for a computer to do what its creator wants it to do. Alan Turing went on to lead a code-breaking team during World War II, helping to solve secret messages that were going back and forth from the Germans in Europe. A recent movie, called The Imitation Game, tells the story of Alan Turing during his “code breaking” days in World War II. Here is a clip from the beginning of the film.

Topic #5 – Ending World War II

The two giants that were awoken when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor were the U.S. Military and the Educated Community of students and teachers. Together, these two giants proved to the world how strong AND how smart Americans were. Because of the OSRD, that research team that was working for the military, the atomic bomb was created, then dropped on two Japanese cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This ended our war with Japan. But also, because of Alan Turing and his team of experts, the U.S. was able to read Hitler’s secret codes and ultimately defeat Germany.

Topic #6 – Early Computer Technology

Before World War II, the closest thing to a computer (as we know them today) was a comptometer, which acted more like a calculator than a modern computer. It solved simple functions based on a sequence of numbers, but it couldn’t solve multiple functions. It was slow, noisy, and sounded a lot like this.

Even the best computers had a hard time storing, remembering, and recalling information for someone to use later. Eventually, someone started noticing patterns of extremely common letters and words that people were using to communicate in writing. For example, what word shows up most often in this paragraph? How many times? Which letters are the most frequently used in this paragraph? How many times? And why would any of this matter to someone trying to build a computer?

(A Definition of “Computer” from a 40-Year-Old Dictionary)

Since computers needed people to work them and more people were getting interested in using them to help with bigger problems, the word “digital” was a way of describing the fact that people were using their fingers, or “digits,” to push buttons and type data.

One of the first and most famous “digital” computers was called the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), built by students and teachers at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946 about a year after World War II finished. Two of the more famous women on the team that built ENIAC were Jean Bartik and Betty Snyder. Here is a clip of Jean Bartik talking about what it was like and how important it was to work on a team.

Topic #7 – Building A Card-Based Computer

*One Index Card Per Student & One Hole Punch Per Pair

Part One & Part Two

Topic #8 – Food For Thought

What is the difference between a computer and a human being? For example, why is a calculator NOT free to decide whether it wants to tell me the answer to a math problem?


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