Understanding about “the Internet”
The Internet stands for Interconnection of Computer Networks. It is a massive, heterogeneous combination of millions of computers, network devices and smart phone devices, all connected by wires and wireless signals. There are different definitions for Internet but the meaning is the same as shown below
Def 1: The series of interconnected network allowing communication of data surrounded by millions of computers worldwide.
Def 2: A global communication network that allows computers worldwide to connect and exchange information.
Def 3: A worldwide system of computer network, a network of networks in which users at any one computer can get information from any other computer
The word “Internet” exactly means “network of networks”. The Internet consists of thousands of smaller regional networks spread throughout the world. The Internet is referred as a physical part of the global network. It is a giant collection of cables and computers. Although it started in the 1960's as a military experiment in communication, the Internet evolved into a public free broadcast forum in the 70's and 80's. No single authority owns or controls the Internet. No one “owns” the Internet, though there are companies that help out to manage different parts of the networks that tie everything together, there is no single governing body that controls what happens on the Internet.
How Is the 'Internet' Different from the 'Web'?
In 1989, a large subset of the Internet was launched as the World Wide Web (www). The 'Web' is a massive collection of HTML pages that transmits through the Internet's hardware. You will hear the expressions 'Web 1.0', 'Web 2.0', and 'the Invisible Web' to describe these billions of web pages. The World Wide Web is some part of Internet as Internet is having a variety of data other than web pages.
The web is one of software application or services that run on the Internet. It is a collection of documents and resources in the form of web pages. It provides easy access to a huge range of information that is stored on computers around the world. The expressions 'Web' and 'Internet' are used interchangeably by the layperson. This is technically incorrect, as the Web is contained by the Internet.
What Is 'Web 1.0', 'Web 2.0', and 'the Invisible Web'?
Web 1.0: When the World Wide Web was launched in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, it was comprised of just text and simple graphics as a collection of electronic brochures. The Web was organized as a simple broadcast-receive format. We call this simple static format as 'Web 1.0'. Today, millions of web pages are still quite static, and the term Web 1.0 still applies.
Web 2.0:In the late 1990's, the Web started to go beyond static content, and began offering interactive services. Instead of just web pages as brochures, the Web began to offer online software where people could perform tasks and receive consumer-type services. Online banking, video gaming, dating services, stocks tracking, financial planning, graphics editing, home videos, webmail services like Gmail, yahoo mail etc... all of these became regular online Web offerings around 2000. These online services are now referred to as 'Web 2.0'. Names like Facebook, Flickr, eBay, and Gmail helped to make Web 2.0 a part of our daily lives.
The Invisible Web is a third part of World Wide Web.
Technically a subset of Web 2.0, the Invisible Web describes those billions of web pages that are purposely hidden from regular search engines. These invisible web pages are private-confidential pages (e.g. personal email, personal banking statements), and web pages generated by specialized databases (e.g. job postings in Delhi or Mumbai). Invisible Web pages are either hidden completely from your casual eyes, or require special search engines to locate.
What is a web site?
Web site contains one to millions of inter connected pages, has hyperlinks to connect and help to find your way around the web site. You can find different kinds of information on the web- like games, health matters, holiday destination, train timetables, weather forecast and many more. There are millions of web sites available on the Internet, and you can find anything that interests you.
A Web Address
Each Web site has its own unique address, which is called a Uniform Resource Locator or URL. To visit a site, you need to type its address in the address bar of your web browser.
Usage of Internet
The Internet is used mainly for communication, to gather information, education, entertainment, current affairs, online learning, commerce, publishing, etc.
In the usage of Internet, publishing is not just used for organization or businesses, anyone can create their own web sites and publish their information or files on the Worldwide Web.
Through the Internet, thousands of people around the world are able to access information from their homes, schools, Internet cafes and workplaces.
The Internet is a global collection of computer network, that help in exchanging data using a common software standard. Internet users can share information in a variety of forms.
- The user can connect easily through ordinary personal computers and share the knowledge, thoughts by making the use of an Internet.
- We can send electronic mail (e-Mail) to family members and friends with accounts on the Internet, which is similar to sending letters by post. The E-mail can be sent within minutes no matter where they are without postal stamps etc.
- We can post information that can be accessed by others and can update it frequently.
- We can access multimedia information that includes video, audio, and images.
- We can learn through Web-Based Training and Distance Learning on the Internet.
Features of Internet
i) Geographic sharing
The geographic sharing of the Internet continues to spread, around the world and even beyond. A main feature of the Internet is that once you have connected to any part of it, you can communicate with all of it.
The architecture of Internet is most ever communication network designed. The failure of individual computers or networks will not affect its overall reliability. The information will not change or destroyed over time or while transferring in between sites.
iii) Universal Access
It is easy to access and make the information like text, audio, video and also accessible to a worldwide people at a very low price. Access to Internet is same to everyone no matter where they are.One can connect to any computer in the world, and you can go to many excited places without leaving your chairs.
Benefits of Internet
There are many advantages of Internet:
- The Internet is loaded with data and information in a range of formats.
- The Search engines that are available online are, fast and powerful.
- The Internet is easy to use.
- Students can become researchers due to easy access to data.
- Students are motivated to share their work online with the world.
- The Internet appeals to different learning styles.
- Unlike paper the web can present dynamic data sources which change over time.
- The characters in an e-Mail don't get transposed or mixed up when they are sent over long distances.
- Student can access libraries around the world.
The Internet is a very large store room of learning material. As a result, it significantly expands the resources available to students beyond the standard print materials found in school libraries. Students can access the latest reports on government and non-government websites, including research results, scientific and artistic resources in museums and art galleries, and other organizations with information applicable to student learning. At secondary schooling levels, the Internet can be used for undertaking reasonably tricky research projects.
As Internet is a powerful resource for learning, and is an efficient means of communication, it is very useful in education and provides a number of learning benefits. It includes the development of independent learning and research skills, by improving access to specific subject learning across a wide range of learning areas, as well as in integrated or cross-curricular studies and communication and collaboration, such as the ability to use learning technologies to access resources, create resources and communicate with others.
Access to Internet
The Internet is a time-efficient tool for teachers that enlarge the possibilities for curriculum growth. Learning depends on the ability to find relevant and reliable information quickly and easily, and to select, understand and assess that information. Searching for information on the Internet can help to develop these skills. Classroom exercises and take-home assessment tasks, where students are required to compare website content, are ideal for alerting students to the requirements of writing for different audiences, the purpose of particular content, identifying and judging accuracy and reliability. Since many sites adopt particular views about issues, the Internet is a useful tool for developing the skills of distinguishing fact from opinion and exploring subjectivity and objectivity.
The Internet is a great tool for developing the communication and collaboration skills of students and children. Above all, the Internet is an effective means of building language skills. Through e-Mail, chat rooms and discussion groups, students learn the basic principles of communication in the written form. This gives teachers the opportunity to incorporate Internet-based activities into normal literacy programs and bring variety to their teaching strategies.
Collaborative projects can be intended to improve students’ literacy skills, generally through e-Mail messaging with their peers from other schools or even other countries. Collaborative projects are also useful for engaging students and providing significant learning experiences. In this way, the Internet becomes an effective means of advancing intercultural understanding. Moderated chat rooms and group projects can also provide students with opportunities for collaborative learning.
Many children are skilled navigators of the Internet. They are comfortable using computers and are fascinated by the information and images that can be explored at the click of a mouse. Recent figures show that 90% of school-age children have access to computers either at home or at school. The ability to interact and communicate with others is one of the biggest attractions of the Internet for children. We are watching about spending time with people in chat rooms and instant messaging through mobiles, playing games, entering contests and filling forms in popular online activities. Unfortunately, most parents don't really understand how such activities can put their children's privacy at risk or even threaten their safety. Surprisingly in India, most parents never know about some of the activities that their child is participating on the Internet.
In today’s Internet communications scenario, the personal data is valuable and protecting the same has become a skill that the children need to understand and learn.
The privacy of children can be compromised in certain online activities:
• Filling forms for various surveys,contests,downloading games on commercial or free web sites.
• Giving details about personal information when registering for e-mail access & Chat access.
• Providing information when registering for free game downloads.
• Providing information when registering for social networking web sites.
Some websites prompt students to complete a form revealing their name, e-Mail address, age and gender, and sometimes even their telephone number and postal address, in order to access information. Some requests are legitimate: much depends on the nature of the website requesting the information. Providing personal information online can result in a student being targeted for spam (unsolicited e-Mail), advertising materials and/or viruses. Privacy issues also apply to students developing personal websites and publishing online. Personal details, including photographs of themselves or other students, may lead to the information being captured and reused by others for illicit purposes.
Exposing your Computer to Unwanted Software
Usually, many peer-to-peer file sharing programs do not employ good security or access control. If users are not familiar with the programs or if there is improper configuration of the settings, it will be dangerous for all the contents stored in user's hard disk to be exposed to other users.
Contracting Computer Viruses
Besides, the computers of P2P software users can easily contract computer viruses especially when the file downloaded is from an unknown source. Moreover, these P2P programs may also contain viruses and worms, which prevent users’ computers from functioning properly.
Many copyright laws infringing copies of entertainment files e.g. MP3 Music files, video files etc. and software are often shared by P2P software. The act of unauthorized uploading of a copyright works for others to download may attract civil or even criminal sanctions. Unauthorized downloading of copyright works entails civil liability.
Slowing down your School Internet Speed
Last but not least, if you host a large amount of files for other people to download through P2P software via the School campus network, the network traffic thus created can slow down the entire campus network.
Peer To Peer (P2P) Networking
A peer to peer (or P2P) computer network uses diverse connectivity between participants in a network and the cumulative bandwidth of network participants rather than conventional centralized resources (client-server architecture) where a relatively low number of servers provide the core services. Sharing content such as audio, video, data or any form of digital data by connecting the nodes via largely ad hoc networks.
Risks in Peer to peer networking due to their unstructured networks and sharing with unknown computers or persons may rise to affect or infect your computers with viruses, spam.
Tips for P2P Networks
- Use filtering software, you trust to filter the data communication from your system.
- Use file sharing program controls and adjust the P2P program to run whenever required. Disable automatic starting.
- Always update Operating System, Antivirus and Anti Spyware packages.
- Do not use an administrative account. It may expose the whole system to other users in P2P networks. Create separate account for normal operations.
- Treat all download files with suspicion.
- Take back up of important files. This will help you in recovering the files.
- Delete any pirated software, files, etc. Alternatively, never download them at all.