Students investigate the question: “How does WiFi work?”
- In groups, students can discuss what they know about WiFi and brainstorm ideas about how WiFi works.
- Students investigate the question in pairs/groups and present their findings to the class.
- Invite a guest speaker
- School library books
- YouTube video (How does WiFi work?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=METB1o4UAT8
- YouTube video (Skyworks – How Wireless works): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo1e9C9OL9E
- Website (National Museum of Australia): https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/wi-fi
- Website (Did you know Australia invented Wi-Fi?): https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/did-you-know-australia-invented-wi-fi.aspx
- Website (Who invented WiFi?): https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/who-invented-wifi.html
Year 5: Digital systems have components with basic functions that may connect together to form networks which transmit data (ACTDIK014); Work independently, or collaboratively when required, to plan, develop and communicate ideas and information for solutions (WATPPS32)
Year 6: Digital systems have components with basic functions and interactions that may be connected together to form networks which transmit different types of data (ACTDIK014); Work independently, or collaboratively when required, considering resources, to plan, develop and communicate ideas and information for solutions (WATPPS38)
Students will be able to learn about wireless networks – how it functions and its uses. This could be the unit of inquiry for the term and integrated into other subject areas such as English, Science, Physical Education, Health and HASS. This unit is designed to be a guided inquiry process. Students benefit from inquiry-based learning as they cultivate skills for all areas of learning, it deepens their understanding of content and it promotes engagement. Students develop critical thinking and communication skills, make connections about what they learn, and through active engagement, students are part of their own learning process. Inquiry-based learning also allows for differentiated instruction (Wabisabi learning, 2019). Using technology in this inquiry is an example of augmentation and modification as technology improves the investigation process and with options to present findings using multimedia, the task is modified.
English: As a summative assessment, students can create a poster, video, animation or cartoon strip in response to the inquiry question “How does WiFi work?”
Science: As students learn about WiFi and how it is transmitted, Science lessons can focus on electrical energy and how it can be transferred. Students can explore the similarities and differences between electrical energy and radio waves (ACSSU097)
Physical Education: Students can be asked to explore how wireless signals are transmitted from Point A to Point B by physically moving. Students can be assigned different roles such as ‘Transmitter’, ‘Receiver’, ‘Message (text)’ and ‘Message (binary)’. In this way, students might get a better understanding of WiFi (ACPMP061; ACPMP065; ACPMP061; ACPMP065)
Health: On the topic of connecting wirelessly, teachers should also discuss cyber safety.
HASS: Students can investigate and discuss how wireless networks have been used in the creation of goods and services to satisfy the needs and wants of present and future generations (ACHASSK120)
- Some of the videos require teachers to explain the terminology used such as ‘analog’ and ‘binary’.
- Students not used to inquiry-based learning might need more scaffolding to ensure that they are able to gather sufficient information for their final presentation.
- There are a lot of information on the worldwide web about wireless networks – teachers must ensure that students cross-check the information gathered and check that the websites are reliable.
- As the investigation requires the use of the internet, safe and ethical use of digital technologies should be emphasised and child safety locks must be enabled on all devices that the students are using.