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The History Of The Internet
Students will understand how the Internet evolved
and what it is today.
Instructions: Explain the evolution
of Internet. Points will include:
- In 1969 people in colleges and governments were just
learning how to use computers to solve problems. They used simple word
processors to write down what they learned and store it in their computers,
but there were no daily updated libraries where people could go to read
what other people had just written and add to it.
- Someone who worked for the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency came up with the idea that several computers could be linked
together by telephone wires so they could "talk" to one another.
A note that was written on one computer could immediately be sent to all
the other computers. So they wired four computers together in a group.
They called that group of computers a network. The network's name was DARPANET,
after the first letters of the name of the agency with NET (meaning network
here) added to the end.
- Soon the D was dropped and it was called ARPANET.
ARPANET grew and grew over time, adding more and more computers over phone
wires. The military research people thought they would be better off having
their own private network so they created the MILNET network.
- The idea of networks caught on, and in 1984 another
government agency, the National Science Foundation, started the NSFNET
network, which linked together five supercomputer centres and made the
information available to any school that needed it.
- Anyone who entered a network was connected to at least
one of the supercomputer centres. That supercomputer gave them access to
all the other computers on the network - even to those places that were
hooked into the network through another gateway.
- Think of gateways as doors that let you go inside
the house where a supercomputer lives. Once you are in the house, you can
pick up the supercomputer's telephone and call anyone else who has a computer
hooked up to a telephone.
- NSFNET became very popular. More computers and more
wires had to be added because everyone in schools and government wanted
to get onto the network. Instead of just adding more computers into the
first network of supercomputers, they added more networks and wired all
the networks together. They called all these interconnected networks an
- Today we call it the Internet. Because lots of people
now have their own personal computers, the Internet is even more popular.
In the last 1 0 years it has grown from about 5,000 users to more than
30 million today - with thousands of new computer users coming online every
After having reviewed the history of Internet with
your students, have them create a wall mural depicting its evolution. Have
it include the future by asking them to include the year 2020...
Students will have an understanding of the evolution
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