So rather than a terrible exciting lecture on the structure of the Internet - translation "Here's what I think you should care about" - we started with questions.
They were asked to write their own definition of the Internet, and share at least three questions they have about it.
Really, we all use it daily, so we should all have our own working understanding of what it is. By starting with their understanding I can see where we need to add information and what the emphasis should be.
The questions help me plan our activities. By the end of the chapter I want them to understand that the Internet is a physical thing, and be able to describe how it works. I want them understanding how content is posted and to discuss the implications ethically of its content. I want them to know a little HTML and CSS and have the confidence to look up what they need.
But first, I want them thinking.
Questions they asked:
- How is it possible that the internet can be censored in some countries?
- Who owns the internet?
- Who made the internet?
- How does it actually work?
- Why was it originally created?
- When did personal computers have access to it?
- Who owns data on the internet?
- Why is internet copyright so important?
- How hard is it to break the internet?
Frankly we could start by investigating those two things and cover everything we need to know.
- Tubes by Andrew Blum
- Story of how theInternet is constructed - I summarized it here
- As We May Think by Dr. Vannevar Bush
- Originally published in 1945 this is the first description of linked text - "Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available to him." Really, read section 7 if you are short on time.
- Blown to Bits by Hal Abelson (also available free here)
- Good reading for students, especially the appendix
- Stuck in the Shallow End by Jane Margolis
- Also read this by Jane - great food for thought in this era of "tech fixes everything"
Some Lessons We'll do: