Building a network from a zephyr ...

Working on my research methodology at the moment, apart from the harmony I create tapping my head against the wall. The occasional thud generates an occasional thought.

Thinking back to a past assignment a colleague created for our undergraduate students, he took an idea from the Cisco Academy content. Giving the students an output from a 'show ip route' command, the instruction simply asked them to reverse engineer (on paper) the network they see.

Whilst this was simple (insomuch as it was aimed at a 'early' CCNA2 cohort), it did give the students something to think about and some of the minds eye models did show interesting outputs.

Now with the notion of a simulated internet, the challenge has always been the ability of the student to create a mental construct of the system they are part of. Whilst an early step is to enable them to see the world they are joining via a smart board.

Like a real network, once they have made that connection beyond the wall (or into the multiuser cloud in this case), what is beyond is often in the minds eye as the network map may not be immediately to hand.

In some ways, this could be the proof of similarity, what if beyond the wall was a placebo?

What if, they were given a network, that would offer different ideas of its shape?

What if, there was a way to measure the number of nodes/connections made by the student in their attempt to visualize the network.


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