Learning about the Internet builds on student knowledge gained in the prior units, Introduction to Computers, Circuits and Switches, Digital Information, and Microprocessors. The online lessons and videos in this unit introduce students to:
The idea that the Internet is a network of networks linking computers around the world
The unique addresses (URLs) that allow one computer to send information to another computer
The way information travels in packets on the Internet and is reassembled by the recipient's computer
The reasons faster connections, offering more bandwidth, are important for better performance
The need to think critically about the quality of the information you receive on the Internet
Goals and Objectives
Students will learn:
That the Internet is a network of computer networks
Why the World Wide Web is a special part of the Internet and how it popularized the Internet
How hypertext links and URLs work
How digital information is transported on the Internet
Why fast connections improve performance
That the quality of information varies greatly on the Web
Have students complete the online activities: Throughout the unit, facilitate the development of new vocabulary introduced in this unit.
Students who are not at the computer can work on supplemental lesson ideas and group activities.
After students complete the online materials, they can:
Describe in their own words how information travels on the Internet (Key concept: information can take any number of paths to get from one computer to another)
Explain why they should not always trust the information they receive over the Internet, and why?
The following handouts can be used with this unit to enhance learning. Each handout is briefly described below. To see the actual handout, click the link "handout."
This handout shows students the path an e-mail message goes to get from one person to another.
Did You Get the Message?
This handout provides a great group activity for teaching students the importance of turning various kinds of media—such as sound or video—into an agreed-upon protocol for transmission on a network.
Put It in Your Packet
This handout provides a group activity for helping students understand how information is transmitted in packets. Students play the role of packets to learn how information can be divided into packets and reassembled by a computer in the proper order no matter how they are received. The activity also provides students with a firsthand chance to learn about bandwidth using the doorway to your classroom.
This unit defines the Internet, then explains the World Wide Web, hypertext, URLs, packets, bandwidth, connection choices, search engines, and the need to critically evaluate the quality of the information found on the Web.
This unit discusses the impact technological advances have on people's lives, with examples from the past and current day. Several readings provide insights on ways the digital age is already affecting our lives, the accelerating rate of change, and what we might expect to see in the near future.