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.
Everywhere you go online, you leave footprints. Things you search for (good and bad), websites you visit (good and bad), or even the people you connect with on social media (good and bad) are just the beginning of your footprints. Hackers like to watch your habits and your patterns, then use those things against you in a cyber attack. They might even steal your identity. Just consider that everything you touch leaves a print that can be found later. The same is true on the World Wide Web.
During this lesson, you will learn about online safety, the real meaning of SPAM, and fake WiFi hotspots. We’ll even look back at Malware and consider how hackers can break into your computer without you ever knowing it.
Before our discussion begins, however, you’ll get a chance to think creatively about a fictional scenario and imagine a story that could happen as a result of the situation. This is the last lesson in Learning Goal #1.
GETTING STARTED: THE INTERNET LOCKDOWN
Now that you have a better understanding of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the time has come to do a little bit of creative writing. Begin with Step 1.
Step #1 – PENZU LOGIN
Click on the appropriate Penzu class from the Journals tab on the left, then log into your account and create a new post called “The Internet Lockdown” at the top.
Step #2 – WRITING PROMPT (Narrative Fiction)
The Internet is out in all of Seminole County. No one can connect. Turns out, a female hacker planted a virus on one of the packets travelling through the network (TCP/IP). The police have just discovered the hacker is at Milwee Middle School, but they are not sure which building or which room. You are the only one who knows that the hacker is in Building 10-017 (your Web Design classroom). And she is in the room right now. Milwee is about to be locked down while the police search the campus.
Step #3 – WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT
Using the imaginary prompt above, write a short story about the fictional day when a female hacker at Milwee was being hunted by the police. In your story, you can be the hacker, you can be a random student, you can be a teacher, or you can just be a narrator, but try to write a believable story about the day. You must use at least 2-paragraphs, 200-words, but for a good short story, you might need to write more. Feel free to have fun with this post, but continue to be careful with your grammar. This is a graded post that will be due by September 11, the day of your first quarter quiz.
Step #4 – THE GRADING RUBRIC
Before you submit your post, please look over the grading rubric to make sure you know how you will be graded on this assignment. Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.
Step #5 – IF YOU FINISH EARLY
All students have 20 minutes to work on this post, but if you are one of the students who finishes early, please visit w3schools.com and explore the website. The more you explore, the more you get comfortable. The more comfortable you get, the better you’ll do this semester.
CLASS DISCUSSION: ONLINE SAFETY
This is our last major class discussion from Learning Goal #1.
Topic #1 – ONLINE SAFETY QUIZ
Chances are, you probably think most of the online decisions you make are pretty safe. And you might be right. But you also might be wrong.
Open a new Notepad document and save it as safetyquiz.txt in your “misc” folder. There are twenty questions on this quiz, so number your Notepad from 1-20. And when you’re ready, take the safety quiz.
Topic #2 – THE MEANING OF SPAM
SPAM is any kind of unwanted email or online advertisement with a link. As we learned in Lesson 1.5, the founders of Google decided to rank search results by popularity. And popularity on the web is based on how many times someone visits a website or a webpage. So if someone sends you an unwanted email or online advertisement, they ultimately just want you to do one thing: click the link. Why? Because if you click the link and a bunch of other people click the link, spammers believe their sites will get more popular. So don’t click the link. It might even have malware.
Topic #3 – REMEMBERING MALWARE
Back in Lesson 1.4, we started talking about hackers and some of the ways they can attack those little packets traveling along the routes of the Internet (TCP/IP). Anytime something is done to interfere with the normal path or routes of the Internet, this is considered malicious. And for that reason, malicious programs or codes are just called malware. Below are a few types of malware that we discussed.
1. A virus is a small program or script/code that attaches itself to another program or code and then spreads throughout the files of a computer or the other computers connected to the same network.
2. A worm is a type of virus that digs (like a worm) into the many files of your hard drive computer, especially the files and folders where your programs are installed.
3. A trojan horse is a type of virus that pretends to be something it isn’t. For example, it might pretend to be a game or an important program, but when downloaded, it infects your entire computer and spies on the things you do (like the passwords you enter and the private information you share with others).
Topic #4 – FAKE HOT SPOTS
Hackers are smart. They know that most people will take anything free, including WiFi, and never question whether that WiFi is safe or secure. So they create Fake Hot Spots, which are also known as Evil Twin WiFis.
Here’s how they do it. A hacker walks into Starbucks, gets a cup of coffee, and sits down at a table with their laptop. No one is paying any attention to them and everyone is minding their own business. The hacker creates a personal WiFi account called “Starbucks WiFi” and waits. Eventually, someone else walks into Starbucks, buys a cup of coffee, and sits down at a nearby table. Only this person is looking for the Free Starbucks WiFi. He sees “Starbucks WiFi” and immediately logs onto it. The hacker sees him log in and now has direct access to an innocent person’s computer.
Topic #5 – A HACKER DEMO
Below is a short video that shows one of the ways a hacker can spread malware from one computer to another computer:
Topic #6 – THOSE ANNOYING FILTERS
Most of us at Milwee have clicked on a website link and then discovered the site was blocked. So why does it happen? Well, before we talk about why sites get blocked, let’s consider some of the sites that are NOT blocked. As of 2013, the four most blocked websites in the United States were Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. How many of these can we access at Milwee?
The Seminole County Public School policy suggests that your local school district actually supports technology in the classroom. In other words, SCPS is not trying to limit your access to websites that are helpful, but sometimes good websites slip through the cracks and get blocked. So let’s look at a little more history.
Topic #7 – COPPA AND CIPA
During the 1990s, the World Wide Web was becoming more and more popular with public schools. Students could go onto a computer and access any kind of helpful information they needed for a class or an assignment. But not everything on the World Wide Web was helpful information. Sometimes the information came in the form of inappropriate websites or images. And in the early days of the World Wide Web, there were no filters at all. So imagine what kinds of inappropriate material might have been seen by those really little kids in first and second grade. As you can probably imagine, teachers and principals and politicians were outraged at how easily children could see things that were inappropriate.
So many of these teachers, principals, and politicians went to work writing new laws to protect children from online dangers. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA, 1998), for example, is a federal law written to protect the privacy of any child under the age of 13. The age of students at a middle school can range from 11-14. Which means that the law targets the security of children and minors who are just like you, whether you think you need protection or not. And hopefully after all you’ve read about in this lesson, you know that the Internet and the World Wide Web isn’t as “safe” as you once thought.
But what about those filters? The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA, 2000) is a federal law that required (and still requires) any public school or library receiving government funds to use a web filter on all content that may be considered obscene, inappropriate, or harmful to minors. Middle and High School students often get frustrated by what is or is not filtered, but students must consider that their schools would not receive any money for new technology if these filters were not in place. And THAT is the reason you keep running into blocked sites.
Topic #8 – WHY THE FILTERS BLOCK GOOD SITES
A filter is just a program that reads text on a website. The program is designed to look for certain words and content. So if a certain word, a series of words, or an inappropriate piece of content shows up on a site (even a good site), the entire site can get blocked. This doesn’t mean the site will be permanently blocked, but it does mean the site is considered a problem. Remember that even if you think a website is fine, the filter isn’t human. It simply does what it was programmed to do. A teacher or an administrator can always request that a site be unblocked.
CHALLENGE: KAHOOT QUIZ REVIEW
This review is for BOTH Web Design I and Web Design II students.
This is your last review before the Quarter Quiz. Please log into Kahoot and get ready. You may use your phone and you may use a fictional name. But remember that this is a review. If you get an answer wrong, it’s more important that you find out the correct answer than it is that you earn the most points in the game.