What would you write if you were the first person to ever send a message over the Internet?
In the article, the writer reaches back to the 12th century and before to attach significance to the first Internet message ever sent, which was "LO." Given that the computer crashed midway through their intended message-the word "login"- do you think today's Internet meaning of "LO," which is "laugh online," might be a bit more appropriate? Why or why not?
The first Internet message was sent almost 50 years ago. Looking at the Internet now, what do you think Internet pioneers wish they'd done differently? What would you change to make the Internet a safer, more productive place to communicate?
Do you think the Internet has been a blessing or a curse to society? Why? Give examples to support your opinion.
- Instruct students to brainstorm a list of specific things they use the Internet to do each day. Encourage them to select items from that list that they are most dependent on the Internet to accomplish.
- Next, have students conduct research on the history of the Internet. In addition to major Internet milestones, encourage students to gather details about their own significant Internet-dependent activities.
- Challenge students to compile facts and photos to show what they learned. Have students use those materials to create a timeline of Internet history.
- After their timelines are complete, encourage students to think about all of the different ways the Internet impacts their lives. Then give students time to write a story imagining what life would be like if the Internet never existed.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Invite students to explore this online exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries to learn about the underwater cables that provide global communication. The site includes a history of the telegraph, optic and electric lines and the historical context of the connections.
Watch this video from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to hear Steve Crocker and Vinton Cerf, two of the Internet’s founding fathers, discuss how the Internet changed the way we communicate. Crocker established protocols necessary for the workings of the Internet, and Cerf, a computer specialist, was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system.
Years before the birth of Google, a forgotten experiment laid the groundwork for the ubiquitous search engine. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn all about it.
Take a trip back through time with this 1997 edition of Art to Zoo, courtesy of the Smithsonian Learning Lab, which was an attempt to dispel the mysteries that still surrounded the Internet. Encourage students to marvel at how the Internet has changed as they review the site, which includes a tutorial on using Adobe Acrobat Reader and an introduction to Smithsonian websites.
In these lessons from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, students can explore the universe with telescopes they control over the Internet. Students and teachers nationwide can investigate the wonders of the deep sky from their classrooms.
Read this Smithsonian magazine to reflect on AIM’s role in preparing people for today’s digital messaging methods.
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students create autobiographies that can be presented on a blog website. The lesson helps students learn how to utilize technology in order to create an attractive, eye-catching website that expresses aspects of their personality and tells their life story.