I used to teach an intro to technology course for freshmen and part of the class was trying to get students to learn about what the internet is. Now although we all think we "know" what the internet is, it is difficult to really define since its both a physical and a conceptual thing. You may be thinking to yourself, "well I KNOW what the Internet is"... if so can correctly answer this question:
"what is the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web"?
Because... most people can not. Its not as easy as you think.
If you can't here is a quick read about the difference, which has my favorite analogy, "the Net is the restaurant, and the Web is the most popular dish on the menu"
And for a fantastic look back for both you and your students, check out this incredible, and yes REAL, video from the 90's teaching kids about the Internet. My favorite line I think is: "it looks just like in our history books, just more real"
As I was watching this, that quote though got me thinking as I am writing this blog post:
Here we are almost 20 years later; are we farther than we thought we would be with making classroom experiences more real?
for me... I don't really know
Its kind of YES and NO
NO) I grew up watching the Jetsons with the mindset that one day our world would have flying cars and would be radically different. So why are we still having kids sitting in rows, reading textbooks and assigning worksheets? The Internet of the 90's talked about what massive shifts and changes but has it changed really that besides better graphics and more folks sharing on social media?
YES) Just think about how slow human progress has been over the past several thousand years, and here we are now with my daughter (as you can see below) having a completely immersive learning experience using Virtual Reality (btw, that is Brian Briggs and his HTC Vive. Got questions? reach out to him about this incredible tool). These tools are changing the way we learn and interact and we are only the cusp more innovation. People also are connecting with others outside their normal circles more than ever before and education is shifting from having schools be places where knowledge is GIVEN to where teachers and the facilities are there to guide children in their learning.
And now back to what is the Internet...
Check out this modern clip from Code.org which is a great intro for anyone to understand this most revolutionary invention which changed the world.