The Internet is a collection of networks that connect millions of computers all over the world to share vast amounts of information ranging from simple text to complex sound and video images. The World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast series of electronic documents called Web pages or Web documents that are linked together over the Internet. Web browsers are computer programs that enable you to use the WWW to find, load and view Web pages. Mosst educators use a version of Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, America Online, or Safari. Features and appearance are similar between the programs. Differences between versions of each have the effect of making each version vary from a set of specific steps for using a browser. Therefore, you are encouraged to locate and use the Help file that accompanies your program.
To find a specific Web page, users start with an address, or Uniform Resource Locator (URL). URL addresses begin with the letters http, which stand for Hyper Text Transport Protocol. The format for a WWW address is very specific and must by typed correctly. Each Web page may contain hypertext links that are highlighted in a special color, underlined, or may appear as an outlined box or picture. To select a link in a Web page, simply click it. The browser will then attempt to locate and load (open) the page using its URL address. Once you have selected a link, it changes color to indicate that you have been to that location.
Browsers provide a convenient list that lets you collect Web pages of interest and easily revisit them any time you are on the Internet at that computer. These lists are called Bookmarks or Favorites. Just click the appropriate command to add the URL to this list when you have found a site that you will want to come back to without having to enter the URL again.
These sites provide basic information for the novice older user.
- Collective Tutorial at http://www.state.vt.us/srs/fcwc/FrameSet2.html
- Written for early childhood teachers with sections about e-mail, listserv, discussion board, chat room, downloads, and virus protection, as well as navigating and searching the Web. In the Practice step under searching for resources, information about specific search engines is the current, but the overall exercise is valid.
- Learning the Web at http://www.teachersfirst.com/tutorial/webintro.htm
- A good, quick, easy tutorial for the very beginner.
- Rabbitbrush Internet Tutorial at http://www.scs.nevada.edu/support/tutorials/nettutor/
- Start with the basics of scrolling and links; then a menu of 20 tutorials covering browser, navigation, security and more; plus five tutorials about email.
- World Wide Web Workbook at http://sln.fi.edu/primer/primer.html
- A collection of brief exercises that take you step-by-step to learn the basic operating skills you need to find your way around the Web.
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