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Monday Morning Ready10.26.2018
Jumpstart Your Week!

An uncountable number of letters have been sent from one person to another via the Internet in the years since 1969 - in ARPANET message boards, the now-deceased AOL Instant Messenger and currently popular Slack, to name a few platforms. It might be hard to believe, but this communication revolution started with two letters.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

What would you write if you were the first person to ever send a message over the Internet?

Grade 5-6

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?

Grade 7-8

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?

Grade 9-10

Do you think the Internet has been a blessing or a curse to society? Why? Give examples to support your opinion.

LESSON PLAN
Imagine Life Without the Internet

PROCESS:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Challenge students to compile facts and photos to show what they learned. Have students use those materials to create a timeline of Internet history.
  4. 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.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their timelines and stories with the class. After everyone has shared, have the class identify ways the Internet has shaped the world as we know it.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Brainstorm a list of things students use the Internet to accomplish as a class. Then have students complete the project in small groups. Encourage groups to include at least three Internet-related items or activities in their timelines. Have group members work together to write a story.
Grades 5-6:
Brainstorm a list of things students use the Internet to accomplish as a class. Then have students complete the project with a partner. Encourage pairs to include at least five Internet-related items or activities in their timelines. Have partners work together to write a story.
Grades 7-8:
Assign each student a partner. Instruct pairs to brainstorm a list of things they use the Internet to accomplish. Then have them conduct research on the history of the Internet and the five Internet-related items or activities that are most important to them. Have partners complete the timeline together, but have each student write his or her own story imagining what life would be like if the Internet never existed.
Grades 9-10:
Assign each student a partner. Instruct pairs to brainstorm a list of things they rely on the Internet to accomplish. Tell them to each select the five activities they most rely on the Internet to do. Then have partners conduct research to learn about the history of the Internet and each item they chose. Instruct students to use the facts and photos they collect to create an accurate, detailed timeline of Internet history. Then have partners write their own stories. Challenge them to incorporate details about how they would accomplish each of the five Internet-dependent activities they identified if the Internet didn't exist.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
The Underwater Web: Cabling the Seas
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.

A Conversation with Internet Inventors
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.

When Was the Earliest Internet Search?
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.

The Internet and You
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.

MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network
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.

AOL Instant Messenger Taught Us How to Communicate in the Modern World
Read this Smithsonian magazine to reflect on AIM’s role in preparing people for today’s digital messaging methods.

www.me.com
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.
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