Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

How does the internet work? And other questions you're embarrassed to ask

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, June 23, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: 126AB

Jen Mahone   Jennifer Sabourin   Sterlina Smith  
Computers, smart phones, email, web browsers, apps—we use them everyday, but do you know how it all works? More importantly, could you teach your students about it? Feed your curiosity, build your confidence, and come ask your basic, complicated, or “embarrassing” questions to our panel of friendly computer scientists.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Doc with participant resources including Q&A (no account required):

Slido (no account required) to collect questions from the audience.

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Digital Citizen
  • Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to provide a safe, open forum for educators to ask questions about technology, connected devices, web browsers, the cloud, sending/receiving data across the Internet, and much more. Educators and their students use technology in almost every facet of their lives. This proliferation happened ahead of formal education leaving curiosity and gaps in knowledge that can impact our ability to be responsible digital citizens. After this session, participants will leave
- feeling more confident about integrating and using technology.
- prepared to teach their students about computer science concepts helping them understand the full implications of their actions online.
- equipped with a technology FAQ generated from questions in the session.


During the first 10 minutes, we will spend time introducing the panelists, the purpose of the panel, and logistics of using Slido for audience questions and back channeling.

We will begin with some initial questions that we often hear from educators when we're in the classroom. Such questions include, "what is a server?", "where is the internet and who owns it?", and "what's the difference between the internet and the world wide web?" This time will serve to get the conversation started and to provide time for questions to build up in Slido.

The panelists will then move to questions queued up in Slido and spend the remainder of the time in direct discussion with the audience.

Following the session, we will post all questions and answers from the panel in the Google Doc provided to participants. We will spend the remaining 5 minutes explaining where to access this document and when to expect answers to be posted.

Supporting research

"We’re predicting that by 2025, CS will be taught in the majority of schools and that one-sixth of all secondary teachers will be called on to teach computer science—a fair prediction considering CS is now listed as a core academic subject. Using these numbers, we expect that the United States will need more than 30,000 secondary teachers qualified to teach CS by 2025. On the other hand, if CS training for teachers stays the same as it is now, we could expect a shortage of more than 23,000 teachers."

80% of teachers and administrators feel they need more training in order to teach computer science. (

Educators and pre-service teachers express low levels of self-efficacy for teaching computer science. (

More [+]


Jen Mahone, SAS Institute

Jen Mahone is a software developer with over twenty years of experience coding educational products. Her BS and MS degrees in Computer Science focused on Robotics and Intelligent Tutoring Systems. As a lead developer of Curriculum Pathways, she is well-versed in the technical process of delivering quality software to the EdTech community. She's spent hundreds of volunteer hours in classrooms working alongside students and teachers as a Coding Club founder, a CSEd Week presenter, an Hour of Code facilitator, and a room parent. She especially appreciates the unique challenges that a teacher faces when integrating technology into their curriculum.

Jennifer Sabourin, SAS Institute, Inc
Sterlina Smith, Curriculum Pathways

People also viewed

Flagging Down the Truth: Student Credibility Tool
Google Classroom: Thinking Outside the Box
Kicking Your Classroom Up to 11 With Educational Podcasts!