Resources

The centrepiece of the Open Networking Lab is the network simulator PT Anywhere. PT Anywhere can be accessed on any web-browser (you can try it here), and allows learners to design, implement and run virtual communication networks that would otherwise require expensive hardware.

PT Anywhere representation of a simple internet-connected local area network (available to try here)

In a network like the one shown above, each component must be correctly configured. A PT Anywhere network is configured just as a ‘real’ network would be. When settings are applied correctly, the simulation behaves like a properly configured network. Data sent from one device to another will be received by the correct device. During configuration, PT Anywhere gives users feedback on how the network is functioning to aid troubleshooting and problem solving.

More advanced work introduces students to network design. Large institutions, for example, typically have differently configured networks for online retail, real-time audio-visual traffic or teleworking. Each network typically requires particular properties, such as resilience, speed, remote access and security. Network-design skill is essential for the creation of networks and subnetworks for particular functions.

Free online course

The project has produced a free online course entitled “Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab”, where learners can explore how computer networks operate, discover how data is sent around the internet, as well as put their understanding into practice using the PT Anywhere network simulator to create their own simulated computer networks.

The course uses a new teaching approach based on:

  • short screencasts
  • hands-on computer networking activities
  • quizzes and other self-assessment activities

These elements are tightly integrated to provide an active, iterative learning experience aimed specifically at young people, but suitable for everyone. Upon completion of the course, learners will earn a free statement of participation issued by The Open University.

Go to the course

News

05
Nov

The Open Networking Lab launches free online course

Open Networking Lab

The Open Networking Lab project has launched a free online course entitled "Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab", where learners can explore how computer networks operate, discover how data is sent around the internet, as well as put their understanding into practice using the PT Anywhere network simulator to create their own simulated computer networks. The...

18
Apr

The Open Networking Lab visits Ireland

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Karen Kear Three members of the ONL team (Jon, Allan and Karen) recently attended the OER19 conference in Galway. This conference, which is organised by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), is about Open Educational Resources and Open Education Practice. It was therefore an ideal venue for presenting the project’s work; the ONL will be delivered as an open...

08
Feb

The Open Networking Lab joins forces with the Watford UTC

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Andrew Smith A core feature of the ONL project is our collaboration with schools, colleges and UTC’s (University Technology Colleges) who all work in the post sixteen sector. Our long term project goal is to offer this course in a format that can be used by these organisations. So, it is essential that we engage with a select group during the pilot stages. Lynne pictured centre...

11
Oct

The Open Networking Lab at the IEEE FIE 2018

Open Networking Lab

Blog post by Alexander Mikroyannidis The 48th IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference took place on October 3-6 in San Jose, California, USA. FIE is a major international conference sponsored by the IEEE Education Society and the IEEE Computer Society. It is an ideal forum for sharing ideas, learning about the latest developments and interacting with colleagues in the fields of...

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