The Internet is an
international computer network made up of smaller networks.
Originally designed as a way for government and academic
researchers to share information, the net now connects
universities, schools, corporations, non-profit organizations, and
individuals. Unlike most networks, the Internet remains usable
even if one or more of its network connections should fail.
Therefore the Internet is a very robust tool both for sharing
information and, more recently, for conducting electronic
What is the
World Wide Web?
The term "World
Wide Web" refers to the Internet’s ability to display and link
files containing text, images, and a variety of other information.
For example, a person creates a web site containing a series of
pages that describes a science project. These files can also
contain links to other files located anywhere in the world. The
links are typically based on content related to the page
containing the reference. The result is an ability to continually
branch from a single starting point to any number of pages of
related content located at sites all over the world.
What is the difference between a web site and a
A web site is made up of a
A web site is similar to a file folder. A
folder contains and organizes information and documents. These
documents are similar to web pages.
For example - http://www.whatistruth.info/ is
the main page of the Jerrys Haven N tell web site. The
links from this page are separate web pages. All of these pages
together make up the web site.
Many personal web sites
consist of a single page. On the other hand, the site created by
IBM for the 1998 Winter Olympics contained over 30,000
For consistency, we will refer to information placed
on the Web as web sites since these encompass web pages as well.
What can I find
on the Web?
Content on the Web is as
diverse as the people and cultures of the world. Web content
covers an array of subjects that makes it more extensive
than even the largest bookstore. The originality of the Web has no
comparison and thousands of new web sites and information is added
to the Internet every day.
Web sites are created by
individuals and companies and contain the variety of information
one would expect from such organizations. While the Web was
originally conceived as a way to share academic information, today
it contains far more. There remains a wealth of academic content
for all levels, as well as a huge amount of corporate information
that range from sites seeking to sell or advertise everything from
computers to real estate. There are also promotional and
informational sites operated by non-profit, political, and a
variety of other organizations. In many respects, the Web is an
international library, almanac, yellow pages, and flea market all
rolled into one. Unfortunately, the Web contains a fair amount of
material which is unsuitable for children and young adults. So
while it is a powerful teaching tool, it is a tool which should be
used with deliberate caution.
An important thing to
remember is that the Internet is huge; it is unstructured, and it
is growing rapidly. Therefore, if you can not find the information
you want today, it may be available next week. Keep looking!
Why use the
The World Wide Web is an
invaluable tool in today’s teaching environment. You can find a
seemingly endless amount of information on the Web: teaching
materials, pictures, videos, sound clips, exercises, games and so
much more to enhance your instructional materials. Keeping
students motivated and interested in learning is the goal of all
teachers. TeachersFirst links can help you do
What is wrong
with all caps?
You should not use ALL CAPS
when using Internet applications. This is
important! If you use all caps you are YELLING at
someone, not emphasizing a point. Unless you really are upset and
wish to yell at someone, use normal sentence case. Internet users
can be very touchy about this. They will know you are a newbie and
if they are in a bad mood they may send you a nasty reply (flame)
or get others to spam you.
What is a
A browser is a software
program/application which allows users to view and navigate the
content of the World Wide Web. The two most popular browser
programs are Netscape’s Navigator and Communicator, and
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Basic versions of these programs
can be downloaded free from their publishers web site,.
Browsers do not have precisely the same features, but
their basic capabilities are very similar. If you are a typical
user, you’ll probably find that 80% of your time on the Web is
spent using 20% of your browser’s capabilities. These capabilities
1. Viewing and
navigating the Web. A browser
displays web sites. As you move from one site to another you have
the option to go back to the previous page as well as going
forward to a page you just viewed if you have used the back key.
These keys are very useful when viewing a web site that has not
placed links to different pages on their site.
Marking favorite pages. Browsers can store a list of sites
to which you want to return. Netscape calls these "bookmarks," and
Explorer calls them "favorite places." Remember that these are
links to web sites and are not stored copies of the files
themselves. This means that when you click on a bookmark/favorite
place, your browser will load the most recent version of that
Saving pages. Your browser has the ability to save the
contents of a page to your computer. It is important to remember
that a single web page may contain numerous pictures and graphic
files. Each of these files must be saved separately. You must also
have software applications that are capable of viewing those
images or you are saving them for nothing.
What is a URL?
The acronym URL
stands for "uniform resource locator," a fancy term for the unique
location of a particular web file on the Internet. A typical URL
looks like this:
Why is this important?
If you know what a URL means, you can tell a lot about the source
of the pages you are viewing. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Let’s begin by
breaking the URL into its component parts.
the protocol (a set of operating rules) by which computers on the
Internet send files back and forth. The protocol for the Web
"http" is called " hypertext transfer protocol."
www.whatistruth.infois the domain name. The domain name is the unique
name for the network which contains the web site you are
/graphics/ is the pathname. A pathname is the
location within the web site where a specific web page is located.
This is similar to a subfolder or a folder within a folder. Also,
this is not always part of a URL. Pathnames can be called anything
that the web sites creator came up with. In most cases, the use of
a tilde "~" in a pathname indicates a web site reserved for a
given individual’s personal use.
a.htmlis the file name. It is the name of
a single hypertext file, web page, located on the
Internet. All Internet
addresses contain these components in varying
HTML stands for Hyptertext
Markup Language. This is the code that creates the page format
(layout, font, size, color, pictures, etc.) of a web page. HTML
was developed in order to have a standard to ease communication
across the Internet. Since all browser applications read HTML, it
eliminates the necessity to convert files or data so that all
users can read them. The HTML standard is responsible for the ease
in access and ultimately, the growth of the Internet.
Saving What You Find -
Downloading From The Web
later, you'll likely find something on the web that you want to
save on your own computer. Saving web information is not hard,
but to get the results you want, you need to remember that a web
page actually consists of several files. This means that the
usual method of saving files using the File -> Save As
command may not produce the results you want.
To Save Text
To save text
on a web page, you have two options. If you only want a portion
of the text, simply highlight that text by dragging the mouse
over it, then use the copy command from the edit menu to copy
the selected text. You can now paste the selected text into
another application, such as a word processor. If you want to
save the entire page, you can use the "Save As" command from the
file menu. This will save the entire HTML page, but it will not
save any pictures or other graphics appearing on that page.
To save an
image, place the mouse pointer over the image. If you are using
a PC, right click with the mouse. A menu will appear offering a
"save image as" option. Click on that option. A dialog box will
appear, usually with a file name already selected. You may use
that file name or select one of your own. Note (or change) the
directory into which you are saving the file. You'll need it to
find that file later! Press "save" to save the file.
sites contain files intended for downloading by visitors to that
site. These may be images, songs, data sets, or reproducible
documents such as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. A well-equipped
browser will be able to display or use many of these files
directly. If so, saving many of these files only requires the
same "right-click and save" approach described above for saving
images. Once the file is displayed, simply right-click on the
display area in the same way you would for an image. A dialog
box will appear, allowing you to save the file.
also be times when you want to save a file without viewing it
first. This is especially useful for large Acrobat files, since
the Acrobat viewer requires you to retrieve the file once for
viewing, and then again if you want to save the file. To avoid
this, right-click on the hyperlink to the file. A menu will
appear. Choose the "save link as" option. A file save dialog box
will appear. When you click "save" the browser will retrieve the
file and save it without displaying it.
If you try to
access a file which your browser doesn't know how to handle, you
will automatically be asked if you want to save that file. If
you answer yes, a file save dialog box will appear, and you can
save the file in the manner described above.
The web was
created for sharing, and most web sites exist to get information
in front of people. At the same time, most web publishers want
to retain the rights to the material they post on the web.
Publishers are usually very direct about what you can and cannot
do with their materials. For example, lesson plans stored as
downloadable PDF files are intended to be downloaded, printed
out, and used in classes. However, you may not use the material
for any commercial purpose, such as selling copies of the file
or printed lessons. While you can generally save almost anything
for personal use, putting that material on a computer
where others can access it - especially outside of the classroom
- may constitute a copyright violation. This is just as true for
images and pictures as it is for written information. Your
school likely has a clearly stated policy on copyright. You
should be aware of that policy, and it should supercede any
information presented here.
classes of information are "in the public domain," meaning that
copyright cannot be imposed on them. These include literary
works on which copyright, if any, has expired, as well as most,
but not all, publications created with federal funds. For
example, you can download and reprint the full text of Tom
Sawyer from an e-text source because that work is in the public
domain. Good Internet manners, however, dictate that you should
acknowledge the source for any public domain material used in