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I tried submitting this question to Network Engineering StackExchange, but they said it wasn't in their scope. So can see what happens here in Computer Science Educators StackExchange.

On Coursera I'm taking Technical Support Fundamentals which is the first course in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and I'm currently on module 4 which is on networking.

This is training/education designed for a general audience where there isn't any particular prerequisite to have prior IT or computing experience.

So there's a basic introduction to networking, and then a specific example where the IP address 172.217.6.46 is given, and the viewer is asked to put that IP address into a web browser.

I tried this and there wasn't any response, and then I tried pinging 172.217.6.46 and got no response as well.

But in the video it shows the Google home page showing up.

The idea was to show the students that one can type in an IP address instead of a domain name and that a well-known website will then pop up.

With all of the infrastructure in place perhaps it's not really so easy to have a single static IP for an example like that in a MOOC that is going to work in multiple different locations across different countries to bring up say Google or another well-known website. I suppose a network engineer could more precisely speak to this question.

Anyway, the course in the English language, but there's people all over the world who speak English, and my understanding is that the course is open to people from all different countries.

Maybe another way to do the example would be for the teacher to use either a website or the command line to do a DNS lookup, and then to put the IP address returned into a web browser, and show that the website comes up.

The students could then do that as well, and as long as the DNS lookup method works, and the other parts work, the website should also come up on the student's machine.

This is actually what I just kind of automatically did right after the example didn't work right away.

In the post on Network Engineering I also added some more stuff, but perhaps I'll just keep this one shorter.

My impression so far is that there isn't infrastructure to rapidly fix bugs/errors in the course materials. But maybe eventually they do go through the errata and fix bugs.

As I said in the first version posted on the Network Engineering StackExchange they could add a pop-up to that video so that it lets people know that the example will not work. Just like what they did for the one on Installing Windows 10, where after the speaker said that Windows 10 is the latest version of Windows they added a pop-up adding that as of October 5, 2021, Windows 11 is the latest version of Windows.

So as for the one on Network Engineering I can provide a link to the video on Coursera. There is a Coursera paywall; however, it seems that there's also three free trial videos.

Coursera -> Technical Support Fundamentals -> Module 4 -> The Web

(at about 1:47 in the video the IP address 172.217.6.46 is given which in the video goes to Google's homepage, but which didn't work for me)

So can see how it goes with this post before possibly posting to the Coursera discussion forum for the class on that matter.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to CSE SE! What exactly is your question? Can you make your question more clearer? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ If you have an issue with Coursera, why would you post it somewhere else than in their support forums at all? $\endgroup$
    – tripleee
    Commented Mar 4 at 5:10
  • $\begingroup$ Well, maybe I should just post it to Coursera forums. Maybe it's not well suited to a Q&A site like this. But, do people at least still understand what I'm saying in terms of what the issue is? Then on the Coursera forum (which might get less attention) I could post and point back here, and say that experienced people here agree that there's an issue with the example. When people try to ping or go to 172.217.6.46 (the IP address listed in the video) is there also no response? If it did somehow eventually get fixed it could perhaps help others who might get confused at that point in the course. $\endgroup$
    – Jjjjjjjjjj
    Commented Mar 4 at 7:16
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    $\begingroup$ 172.217.0.0/16 is registered to Google. The only one who can tell you what's going on with that IP address is Google. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ At the same time, perhaps what happened is that the example did work initially, even across the whole Internet. But Google's network configuration changed since the video was recorded, and there isn't really a lot of infrastructure to keep the course constantly updated. $\endgroup$
    – Jjjjjjjjjj
    Commented Mar 5 at 4:52

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There are several problems with your approach.

First there can be more than one website at an IP address. The server distinguishes them by name (the same name that is used by DNS). It is possible to separate them, but this will increase cognitive load.

Not all nodes on the internet are running ping servers.

You are reinforcing the idea that the internet is the web. These concepts have to be separated. Do not do anything to put them back together. You can look at how they relate, but continue to reinforce that they are not the same thing.

Alternatives

Acting

I get my class to act out the various roles on the network. On the second lesson of this we ask how do we know the address of the _____. And, introduce DNS. A student plays the role of the DN-Server. (I don't know how to get this to work for remote learning).

Telnet

telnet telehack.com
starwars

You could break a command like this down into a DNS lookup, then the command with an IP-address.

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