The Internet is one of the 7 Big Ideas of the CS Principles curriculum. This course focuses on three key questions about the Internet:
- What is the Internet, how is it built, and how does it work?
- What aspects of the Internet design and development have enabled it to grow so large and be so influential?
- How does cybersecurity affect what we do on the Internet?
The Internet and the World Wide Web have had a tremendous influence on our world and our lives. Yet, most people do not really understand what the Internet is and how it works. This lesson provides a high-level overview of some key concepts and clarifies the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW). Lessons later in the course will go into greater detail in explaining how the Internet works.
Let's begin with a common misconception. Most people do not distinguish between the Internet and the World Wide Web, but they are two completely different things. The basic distinction is this:
- The World Wide Web (WWW) is an application that runs on the Internet. The WWW is a system of interlinked resources -- documents, images, sounds, videos, data files -- that are stored on the Internet and can be accessed through a browser. It was invented by Time Berners-Lee as a means to negotiate the Internet.
The Internet (capital "I") is the underlying global network that supports the WWW and many other applications. It consists of many different local networks that are connected together by various hardware devices. It is basically a network of networks.
The Cloud is just a popular term for the Internet and its applications used largely in marketing and advertising. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Dropbox are often referred to as cloud applications. They could also be called Internet applications. App Inventor is another example of a cloud application.
Create a page on your portfolio named The Internet and the Cloud under the Reflections category of your portfolio and put in answers for the following questions. Also, provide your own answer to the third question.
- (Discuss) In your own words, give a sentence that would explain to a friend the difference between the WWW and the Internet.
- (Discuss) As an app developer, what is your responsibility with regard to user data? Which commandments should serve as your guide on this point?
- Give an example of a violation of Computer Ethics Commandment 10 -- i.e., describe a consequence of an app that would be disrespectful of someone.