Millions of people around the world use the Internet to search for and retrieve information on all sorts of topics in a wide variety of areas including the arts, business, government humanities, news, politics and recreation. People communicate through electronic mail (e-mail), discussion groups, chat channels and other means of informational exchange. They share information and make commercial and business transactions. All this activity is possible because tens of thousands of networks are connected to the Internet and exchange information in the same basic ways.
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a part of the Internet. But itís not a collection of networks. Rather, it is information that is connected or linked together like a web. You access this information through one interface or tool called a Web browser. The number of resources and services that are part of the World Wide Web is growing extremely fast. In 1996 there were more than 20 million users of the WWW, and more than half the information that is transferred across the Internet is accessed through the WWW. By using a computer terminal (hardware) connected to a network that is a part of the Internet, and by using a program (software) to browse or retrieve information that is a part of the World Wide Web, the people connected to the Internet and World Wide Web through the local providers have access to a variety of information. Each browser provides a graphical interface. You move from place to place, from site to site on the Web by using a mouse to click on a portion of text, icon or region of a map. These items are called hyperlinks or links. Each link you select represents a document, an image, a video clip or an audio file somewhere on the Internet. The user doesnít need to know where it is, the browser follows the link.
All sorts of things are available on the WWW. One can use Internet for recreational purposes. Many TV and radio stations broadcast live on the WWW. Essentially, if something can be put into digital format and stored in a computer, then itís available on the WWW. You can even visit museums, gardens, cities throughout the world, learn foreign languages and meet new friends. And, of course, you can play computer games through WWW, competing with partners from other countries and continents.
Just a little bit of exploring the World Wide Web will show you what a lot of use and fun it is.
Answer the questions
What is Internet used for?
Why so many activities such as e-mail and business transactions are possible through the Internet?
What is World Wide Web?
What is Web browser?
What does a user need to have an access to the WWW?
What are hyperlinks?
What resources are available on the WWW?
What are the basic recreational applications of WWW?
Are the following sentences true or false? If they are false give the right variant.
There are still not so many users of the Internet.
There is information on all sorts of topics on the Internet, including education and weather forecasts.
People can communicate through e-mail and chat programs only.
Internet is tens of thousands of networks which exchange the information in the same basic way.
You can access information available on the World Wide Web through the Web browser.
Films and pictures are not available on the Internet.
Radio and TV broadcasting is a future of Internet. They are not available yet.
Define the following using the vocabulary
World Wide Web
Questions for group discussion
Some people think that Internet is very harmful, especially for young people, because it carries a lot of information about sex, drugs, violence and terrorism. What are your ideas concerning these points?
Share your experience in using Internet. Does it help you with your studies? Which sites are especially popular among young people? What useful information can you find there? Do you use it for fun? Do your parents use Internet?