If someone asked you to measure the time you spend online, how would you answer? If you're like one-fifth of Americans, you'd likely say "almost constantly." New research shows that 21 percent of Americans report that they're online more or less continually.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Why do you think people spend so much time online?

Do you think people in different age groups use the Internet for the same reasons? Why or why not?

Do you know anyone who is on the Internet almost constantly? How does that habit affect this person's life?

How do you think constant connectivity will impact American culture in the long term?

LESSON PLAN
Analyze Internet Usage

### PROCESS:

1. After reading the article, create a graph showing the percentage of people in each age group who report using the Internet all the time. Have students predict what the percentage might be for people in their age group. Invite volunteers to add dots to the graph to show their predictions.
2. Instruct students to record the amount of time they spend online for a week.
3. After a week, have students calculate their results. Compare those numbers to earlier predictions. Are students surprised by what they found? Why or why not?
4. Have students identify potential consequences of constant Internet usage. Encourage them to interview their parents, grandparents or other older individuals to learn how they spent their time in pre-Internet days.
5. Instruct students to use what they learned to create a cartoon that shows how constant Internet usage has changed people's lives. Tell students to compare what life was like before and after the Internet became so accessible.

### ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to present their cartoons to the class. Challenge classmates to identify each way Internet usage has impacted people's lives.

### CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Identify potential consequences of constant Internet usage as a class. Instruct each student to talk to an older adult and have students share what they learned in small groups. Tell each group to create one two-panel cartoon that clearly illustrates how constant Internet usage has changed people's lives.

Identify potential consequences of constant Internet usage as a class. Instruct each student to talk to an older adult and have students share what they learned with a partner. Tell each to pair create one two-panel cartoon that clearly illustrates how constant Internet usage has changed people's lives.

As students record the amount of time they use the Internet during the week, challenge them to identify the main reason they go online. For example, do they spend most of their time conducting research, communicating with others or playing games? As students interview an older adult, encourage them to learn how that adult accomplished this same task in pre-Internet days. Instruct students to create a two-panel cartoon focusing on that specific topic.

As students record the amount of time they use the Internet during the week, challenge them to identify the main reason they go online. For example, do they spend most of their time conducting research, communicating with others or playing games? Instruct students to interview older adults from two different generations, such as their parents and grandparents. Encourage them to learn how each of these adults accomplished this same task in pre-Internet days. Instruct students to create a three-panel cartoon focusing on that specific topic.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
These Old-School Internet Browsers Are Like Real-Life Time Machines
This Smithsonian article looks at a new tool that allows users to explore how the Interwebs used to look via 20-year-old browsers.

Art to Zoo: The Internet and You
Originally published in 1997, this issue of Art to Zoo was an attempt to dispel the mysteries that still surrounded the Internet. Students can take a look back at the beginning of the "Information Age" and learn how students may have first used the Internet.

From the Internet to Outer Space
In this lesson, students use Google Sky to explore the sky. They share their observations through sketches and figurative language. The lesson is intended to show the difficulties astronomers had sharing their observations before photography was invented and how that has changed with the invention of the Internet.

From Carbons to Computers: The Changing American Office
Lesson plans that focus on the history of the office to enrich understanding of trade, commerce, and economics, from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age.
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