It’s the basis for countless children’s stories filled with adventure and excitement. It’s also how many kids think cyberspace works. But the Internet is no magician’s illusion. A technical understanding of their digital lives is a crucial life lesson for our youngest generation.
The next time your child experiences the magic of downloading a website, here are a few Q&A’s to get the conversation started.
∗ How did that website get into your device? Everything in cyberspace travels by packets. Whether it’s the website you’re downloading or an email that I might read, everything needs data packets containing little bits of information in order to work
∗ What’s a packet? Packets carry bits of information though the Internet. When all the packets arrive in your device they organize themselves into things like the website you want to see or a game you want to play.
∗ Where do you think the packets come from? Your device asks servers all over the world to send the packets you need to see a website. Servers are special computers designed to share information by responding to requests like yours by sending packets.
∗ How do packets get to us? The server sends packets to the IP address assigned to your device. Just like our home has an address so people know where to find us, your devices have IP addresses so packets know where they are going. Packets of ten travel different paths across cyberspace.
Just like there are different streets we can drive to school, packets take different paths so they can avoid traffic jams in cyberspace!
“Because learning is my magic and the key to my success.” —Code of The Cynja