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The Internet and Society
Thanks to Amy Melnicsak for contributing this entire unit!


Learning objectives for students




This unit focuses on the relationship between the Internet and society. By using or adapting the core lessons and activities, your students will:

  • Consider various communication technologies and examine how they are used
  • Understand basic Internet components and navigation
  • Practice using the Internet
  • Understand how the Internet can be used by various groups--individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations
  • Think about ways in which the Internet can be used as a tool for education and social change

We encourage teachers to share their ideas for improving or adapting these lessons and activities. We also encourage teachers to suggest activities of their own. Click here to see what's working for other teachers.


Essential questions for students


  • How are communication technologies used, and who uses them?
  • How is the Internet used by individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations?
  • How can the Internet be used as a tool for education and social change?


Lessons and activities for students



I. How are communication technologies used, and who uses them?

Activities: Communication Technologies

Introduction: These are some general ideas for activities you may want to develop where your students learn about different communications technologies and how they have influencd society. The idea is for them to get some context for thinking about the Internet. Students consider who uses these technologies and for what reason. Students also consider the relationship between these technologies and society.

Materials: None

Objective:

  • Develop a sense of context for understanding the Internet
  • Compare the Internet to other forms of communication between people


Lesson: The History of the Internet

Introduction: This is a very brief history of the Internet that is best used to quickly deliver some information and maybe open up a discussion around the topic of innovation and changes in communication.

Materials: None

Objective:

  • Learn about the origins of the Internet

Discussion question:

  • Who used the "Internet" in the beginning? Who uses it now?
  • How did the invention of the Mosaic browser help change the Internet's audience?
  • Think about how many chagnes your great grandparents have seen in their lives with the growth of telephones, TV, and now the Internet. What kinds of changes might happen in the students' lifetime?

 

II. How is the Internet used by individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations?

 

Lesson: Internet Basics

Introduction: For those students who hae ever used the Internet, this stuff is all pretty basic. But if you have some students who have never used the Internet, you can take them all to the computers to use this introduction webpage, and those who know how to do these things will delight in showing the others what it's about (and maybe flaunting a little too..)

This lesson discusses basic Internet components and navigation.

Materials: An internet connection and a browser. Students should be referred to the "Internet Basics" webpage (http://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/teachers/basics.html)
Students can work separately or in groups.

Objectives:

  • Become familiar with the tools needed to use the Internet
  • Gain basic Internet proficiency

 

Activity: Internet Treasure Hunt

Introduction: The Web can be useful if you want to get information. This FUN activity allows students to gather information by visiting a variety of on-line businesses, schools, and databases.

Materials: An internet connection and a browser. Students can work separately or in groups. You may either copy the questions for students from the "Internet Treasure Hunt" page and have them find sites that answer the questions, or give them the "Internet Treasure Hunt" web address http://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/teachers/treasure.html) so they can click through to the sites listed at the bottom and figure out which can be used for what.

Objectives:

  • Learn about the variety of sites available over the Internet
  • Practice using the Internet to gather information

Discussion question:

  • How might the Internet be useful to you? How might organizations, businesses, and schools use the Internet?
  • What was your favorite website?
  • What was the most boring website?

 

III. How can the Internet be used as a tool for education and social change?

 

Activity: Distributing and Getting Information

Introduction: This activity allows students to consider how the Internet can be used to distribute and get information for the purpose of education and social change. NOTE: You should preview this site and decide if it is appropriate for your students. The stories are of survivors of the massacres in Cambodia.

Materials: An internet connection and a browser. Students can work separately or in groups.

Objectives:

  • Consider how the Internet can give a voice to individuals
  • Consider who the Internet allows to be heard

Discussion questions:

  • How might the Internet help people communicate with other people?
  • Are there any challenges involved in using the Internet to communicate with people?




Lessons: Mexico Lessons - Guatemala Lessons - Peru Lessons
Zimbabwe Lessons - Mali Lessons - Egypt Lessons
Internet and Society Lessons - Youth and Society Lessons
Indigenous People Lessons

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