morphy_richards wrote:I may be showing my age here but didn't Cisco do something many years ago with The Flintstones enabling IP communication in the office? Started off with the basics of two machines with a crossover cable and a simple protocol to enable these two machines to talk, then built from there.
Erm, the more I think of this, the more I'm starting to wonder if I just made it all up after eating too much strong cheese at night.
Doesn't matter where it came from - this is exactly the way to make this interesting for kids.
A bit of Python that lets you type on one Pi and have your message show up on another, then reply, will interest kids. My brother did it with null-modem cables between STs and Amigas - it works. Trying to teach them HTTP protocols before you allow them to send a message will turn them right off.
Where you go from there is to hook them up with another class hundreds or thousands of miles away using exactly the same system. Then you might hold their interest long enough to explain how the internet works, and maybe demonstrate sending an email or fetch a simple web page by manually text-messaging a server to show what's going on in the background of every message they send or page they browse. Though it'd have to be a rigged server to prevent it (a) timing out and (b) dumping tonnes of CSS, image references, favicons etc. on you.
But kids will find their own things to do with communication systems. I say let them. Don't straight-jacket their thinking with protocols right from the beginning - you might as well just keep teaching them office apps.
So, if you want to teach them how to make a server, make a simple (anti 'hello-world') one that asks you for your name, replies 'Goodbye N' then disconnects you. Then let them make up their own services.
I know there are a lot of professionals on here who would like to pass on all of their knowledge, but consider your own education in maths and science - the professional aspects of coding like protocols can be left to college and university level.