Six-Step Slam Dunk Lesson

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What type of Technology?

Woman searching through a shopping cart full of computer parts.
All images in this SDL were purchased from Broderbund's ClickArt

The Essential Question & Learning Task

When you look at all of the technology available in the world today, it is hard for the average consumer to know which choice is the best one for them. What type of computer(s) and software to buy? Is a printer required? How does it all network together? What type of security is needed?

To answer these questions, you need to be able to compare information from multiple sources (at least 2), evaluate products offered, compare the prices, and decide which solution is the best for the given situation and budget.

A computer cable

The Information Source(s)

Utilize the following computer technology websites to determine the products for your chosen client (available on the next page). You do not have to utilize all of the resources given.

Computer Systems:,2806,4,00.asp

Networking references:

The Student Activity

Client 1 - Helping a local school

Grayscale image of a girl sitting at a deskA local school has approached you for help in setting up a computer lab for their students. The room they want to set the lab up in has brick walls and concrete flooring and only 6 sets of wall outlets. They would like to have a minimum of 15 student computers and 1 instructor's computer. They also need a printer that all the students can print to, as well as a projector and screen that the teacher can utilize from the instructor's workstation. All of the equipment needs to be networked together and allow for internet access when it's needed. Students' safety is also a priority.

Maximum Budget: $20,000

Client 2 - Business needing guidance

A young business couple going over some papersA local business has approached you for help in setting up a new office location. There will be five employees permanently stationed at this office as well as two part-time employees. Each person must have access to a computer at all times. The owner wants all of the computers networked together, but does not want an internet connection available. Each full-time employee needs to be able to print high-quality print brochures and fliers whenever they are needed. The files that the employees are working on are extremely valuable, so a daily backup of the content is a high priority.

Maximum Budget: $40,000

Utilizing the following resources, fill in the grid below.

For Products (choose 2):

Downloadable worksheet: Word | PDF

Client ________________________________

# and type Source #1 Source #2
Wired Routers
Wireless Routers
Wired Network Cards
Wireless Network Cards
Firewall (hardware)
Firewall (software)
Backup (hardware)
Backup (software)
Total Cost: $ $

(Replace the title in the source columns with the name of the company you used)

Note: Not everything has to be utilized and some items may come in a bundled package (please make note if anything does).

Smiling woman with her report in handThe Assessment Activity

Prepare a final report and/or presentation for your client to review. Present your solution to your client and explain in as great deal as possible the reason for your selections. Provide your analysis of the two companies you researched for the products that you need. If you have any additional suggestions for the client, make sure to let them know, but also let them know if it is going to cost them additional money. Finally, make sure to let them know how close to the maximum budget you came or if you were above or below the budget provided.

Enrichment Activities

Three young girls around a laptop
  1. Students will graphically map out a proposed layout for their client's networked system. Note that the school client would be in one large room, whereas the business client would have a lobby/reception area, five offices, and a workroom (where supplies and such would be stored).
  2. Students will research on the internet and locate two other optional companies for purchasing from, rate the quality and prices of the products provided, and write a brief synopsis in favor or opposition of the company.
  3. Students will research one new emerging technology that might be suitable for their client, even if out of the client's budget range. Students will write a brief description of the technology and include a rationale of why their client should consider technology as a future goal.

A teacher standing in front of a bookcaseTeacher Support Materials

This lesson was designed for entry college level computer science and networking students.