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International Resource: Using The Internet

Learning to use the Internet is a skill many people need in the modern age. The Internet lets people perform research for school projects or for their own enjoyment. It also allows them to communicate with other people quickly and easily through email and social networking. People typically access the Internet with web browsers. Several different browsers exist. The browser a person uses depends on their personal preference and what they wish to do online.

History of the Internet

The Internet dates back to the 1960s, when it was known as ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). ARPANET was connected to the US Department of Defense. Only a limited number of people could use it. The current form of the Internet began in 1983 with the development of the Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol, which allows a number of different computers to communicate with each other. TCP/IP expanded the reach of the Internet, allowing more computers on a range of networks to connect. It is still used today to send information over the Internet.

Search Engines

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo allow a person to find information online. A person types in a search term or keywords on a search engine and the engine returns a series of results. Depending on the type of search terms used, the results can be relevant or not. Search engines have become more and more sophisticated over the years and are now more likely to return useful results.

Subject Directories

Subject directories group websites by using categories. Unlike search engines, subject directories usually use a human to sort the websites into different subjects. Like a search engine, a person can sort through a subject directory using keywords. Examples of subject directories include About.com, which features a number of articles on a range of different subjects. The articles are written by experts in the subject area.

Web Browsers

One of the earliest web browsers was created by Marc Andreessen in 1990. He designed what was called Mosaic at the time. Mosaic allowed people access to the World Wide Web. Its name was later changed to Netscape. The web browser made it so that more and more people could use the Internet easily. To get to a webpage, people type in the web address, or URL, into the browser.

Netscape was initially very popular, but was soon overcome by its competitor, Internet Explorer. In 2004, another web browser, Firefox, rose in popularity. Firefox introduced tabbed browsing, which allows users to open several websites in the same browser window. Since that time, Google has also introduced a browser, Chrome. Other currently popular browsers include Safari, released by Apple, and Opera.

  1. Internet 101 - Online tutorial explaining what the Internet is.
  2. Internet Terminology - A glossary of terms used online.
  3. How Does the Internet Work? - Describes the basic function of the Internet.
  4. Understanding URLs - Explains what a URL is and how to type one into a browser.
  5. Bare Bones 101: A Tutorial for Searching the Web - A 20 lesson tutorial demonstrating how to effectively use a search engine.
  6. How to Use Search Engines - Tips and advice for getting the most out of a web search.
  7. Advanced Search Strategies - Explains the operators a person can use when performing an Internet search to get more specific results.
  8. Internet For Kids - Very simple and basic tutorial and introduction to the Internet. Shows a person how to scroll, use the mouse, and how to identify a link on a website.
  9. What is Facebook? - An introduction to Facebook from the BBC.
  10. Introduction to Social Networking - Explains how to set up a social media profile. Also explains privacy risks and concerns.
  11. What is a Browser? - Provides a definition for a web browser. Also lists a few currently available browsers.
  12. Internet Timeline - History of the Internet in timeline form, starting in the mid-20th century.
  13. Brief History of the Internet - A short history of the Internet.
  14. Subject Directories - A description of subject directories and examples.
  15. What is a Subject Directory? - Offers an explanation of the function of a subject directory.
  16. Search the World Wide Web - Allows people to search the Internet using a number of different search engines or by subject directory.
  17. Getting Started Using Email - Lesson plan for learning to use email for students.
  18. How to Choose the Best Web Browser - Article from PC Magazine comparing the major web browsers.
  19. Choosing the Best Web Browser - Guide to choosing the best browser for different Internet tasks.
  20. Learning HTML For Kids - Tutorial for kids over age ten. Teaches the basics of HTML, the markup language used to make webpages.
  21. Invisible Web - Explains what the "invisible web" is and how people can access information from it.
  22. Internet Bookmarking With Delicious - Explains the benefits of using Delicious or other bookmarking sites.