March 14, 2008

Let's play the game

Learning by playing is a pretty good teaching method. It makes the student's learning more enjoyable and it's especially powerful when you teach younger people. While teaching some networking courses (CCNA, etc.) you can utilize this method very easily. For example you can create a topology with a central core router which will use a routing protocol unknown to the students. They will have to find out if there is RIP or OSPF or EIGRP or something else, and the first who finds the answer will put an ACL to prohibit access for other students :-) This challenging contest will make your class more entertaining :-)

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One another good example comes directly from Cisco. It's a flash based game aimed at kids. Kids can learn thought the game about different cultures, people in need, and also about data networks. It's a very good combination :) The game that I am talking about is the Peter Packet game.

Peter Packet is a game where the main hero called "Peter Packet" saves (again) the World. Peter is a data network packet and he always carries some important piece of data (email, etc.). He has to survive in a dangerous world of data networks where viruses and hackers are trying to steal and destroy the important information that he is carrying. Players will learn about packets, routers, wifi, ...

You can find Peter Packet as well as other games at http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/edu/packetville/pr.html

And the last but definitely not least, the Warriors of the Net movie. The movie of a network which shows the functionality of network devices, Internet, firewalls, etc and the network journey from a source application to a destination server.