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Introduction to the Web

by Evelyn Sander

What is the Web?

The Web consists of documents which look like pages of a book with multiple media such as color illustrations, sounds, and software. The pages have lots of cross references, indicated by underlining and highlighting; if you see an interesting reference, you can click on it with your mouse to see a different page. To carry the analogy of a book page further, each computer system which is on the Web can create their own book for everyone else in the world to see. The result is a world-wide library which is yours to browse.

Here is a more precise description by people at the Geometry Forum:

"The World Wide Web (WWW, W3, or the Web) is a body of information transmitted over the network of cables and computers that is the Internet.The Web was originally developed at the Swiss research center CERN as a way for physicists there to share information. The Web now uses the Internet to make information available to computer users internationally."

"Nobody owns the Web. People are responsible for the documents they create and put on the Web from their homes, schools, and workplaces."

Hypertext and Hypermedia

"Hypertext is text formatted with connections to other documents. These links appear either in color, or as underlined words on a black and white monitor. When you use your mouse to click on words marked as links, your Web reader will take you to the document to which they refer."

"Hypermedia is hypertext with links to sounds, images, and/or movies, combining hypertext and multimedia. You will find diagrams, photographs, and even problems illustrated using The Geometer's Sketchpad. You can view most files just using the Web reader, but for some images, movies, and sounds, you need additional software."

This Lab

There are three parts to this introduction to the Web. In parts 1 and 2, your group will browse through a variety of documents concentrating on geometry and K-12 education. This will give you an idea of available internet resources. It will also allow you to become familiar with hypertext and the Web. Hypertext and the Web are often overwhelming, as there are many different references worth checking. Therefore try to keep thinking about how the documents you find could help you as a teacher.

In part 3, your group will create a hypertext page with links and perhaps images. This will give you a chance to become familiar with writing hypertext. As you create your hypertext page, again try to think about how writing in hypertext could help you to teach.

Finally, part 4 is the assignment for your final project. Your group will create a hypertext assignment which could actually be used in a geometry class. You should already begin thinking of possible ideas for your project.

This assignment is written in hypertext. Therefore, to get started, you will need to start a Web browser. You will use the browser Netscape in this introduction. Open your copy of Netscape. (using the Geometry Center's Macintoshes: Under the apple menu, under Network apps, choose Netscape.) Once inside Netscape, pull down the File menu, and select the option Open Location. When asked for a location, type:
The document that you are reading now will appear in Netscape. Now click your mouse only once on the first line of underlined text below:

Part 1: Browsing the web
Part 2: A List of Web Pages to Browse
Part 3: Creating your own Web page
Part 4: Creating an assignment using the Web

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Author: Evelyn Sander
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Created: Jun 09 1996 --- Last modified: Jul 31 1996