Teaching kids about how a document is requested on the internet

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Teaching kids about how a document is requested on the internet
2/26/2014 4:09:18 AM

I am teaching some of my kids how to write html and dabble in css.  This has been quite a bit of fun.  More than I thought it would be actually.  In fact, as soon as I was done giving my older boy his first lesson, one of my girls immediately wanted lessons (they are very competitive).  Now I have two learning how to write html.  I love this.


During the first lesson I ask them to follow a simple wire frame which shows how to add a header, an image, some wrapped text, a table, and some simple formatting.  This meant that we had to go find a picture.  In doing so the kids had a chance to see a long ugly Facebook url. 

“What’s that!??”

Of course anyone not in the know would see that and say YUCK!  In explaining loosely what it is and how it works I came up with this scenario:

The http part is how you call me from down the hall and say "hey dad”.  The other part of the long string is the rest of the message “can you give me my green shirt?"  to which I toss you your green shirt.

Where as the “s” in https is a more secure way to do the same thing. Only in this case you call down the hall and say "hey dad can you give me my green shirt...the one with my bank account # written on the front"...but before I toss the shirt to you I take the shirt apart and instead toss you a ball of thread with instructions on how to put it back together again.

This way your attackers have a harder time figuring out the important information – the bank account number. And as with anything where I want to make it harder for someone else to read...it takes a little bit longer for me to read it too.

I didn’t cover the various scenario’s where the kid screams down the hall asking me for his green shirt to which I reply

  • “I can’t find it” – 404
  • “Your door is locked” – 401
  • When there is more than one green shirt – 300
  • When the requested shirt is dirty and in the laundry - 307
  • I am busy practicing making another kid with your mother – 408
  • When the daughter asks for her short shorts and tight top – 403 or 406
  • Or in the near future when you kid thankfully no longer lives with you – 301

More of these analogies can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_HTTP_status_codes


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