These reading comprehension worksheets look at how the Internet does what it does.

These are a series of worksheets to help students better understand the Internet and how it has transformed life for humans. Remember the days when you had question that you couldn’t find out a an explanation for in seconds? The worksheets start with the history of the Internet, move on to how it works, and we end with where we think it will go next. As you explore our worksheets below you will read and learn about the history of all of this and where it is all heading. Students will learn about the digital infrastructure in place and how things technically work. We will also look at how this medium has changed what it means to be a publisher, artist, or even a musician by the current digital landscape. We will also look at what common vocabulary to this medium actually is. Those words you use daily, do you know what they mean?

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Print About the Internet Worksheets

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Internet History Reading Worksheet

The History of the Internet

In the early 1980s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the development of national supercomputing centers at universities. These were networked with the NSFNET in 1986.

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History Question Worksheet

History Question Worksheet

Commercial service providers began appearing in the late 1980s, and limited commercial entities had private connections to parts of the Internet by 1990.

Internet Of Things Reading Worksheet

Internet Of Things

A major concern regarding the IoT is the fact that the interconnectedness of everything makes everything vulnerable to a single hacker attack.

IOT Things Question Worksheet

IOT Things Question Worksheet

The questions that are posed here are in response to the reading passage. What are some examples of things that are included in the IOT?

The Anantomy of the Internet Worksheet

How Does the Internet Work?

It works by breaking the information you want to communicate, for example, an email, down into very small parts. These parts are called packets.

Works Question Worksheet

How it Works Question Worksheet

First, you compose an email. Then you press send. The network takes your email message and breaks it down into pieces, which are the packets. Each packet includes information about where it came from, where it is going, how many packets the email has been broken into, and the order in which they are to be put back together.

E-Commerce Reading Worksheet

E-Commerce Reading Worksheet

Today e-commerce is business as usual, but it hasn't actually been around for very long. The first online purchase was made in 1994, when a man in Philadelphia used his credit card to buy a Sting CD from a website called NetMarket.

E-Commerce Question Worksheet

E-Commerce Question Worksheet

We ask you questions about what you just read. What was significant about NetMarket's first sale in 1994?

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Self-Publishing Worksheet

As recently ago as the 1990s, few writers published their own books. Publishing typically required a large up-front financial investment.

Self-Publishing Question Worksheet

Questions About Self-Publishing

Which of the following did NOT used to be a problem with self-publishing?

Internet Safety Worksheet

Internet Safety

The Internet has brought with it risks and dangers that didn't exist 20 years ago. There seems to be a new one all the time. This reading worksheet will explore it.

Safety Question Worksheet

Safety Question Worksheet

Use strong passwords: eight to fifteen characters that include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid any word that can be found in the dictionary, or number patterns that can be easily guessed, like birthdays or anniversaries.

Web Browser Reading Worksheet

What is a Web Browser?

A web browser is a computer program used to access websites on the Internet. You use a web browser to request a particular website or a particular piece of information from a server.

Web Browser Question Worksheet

Web Browser Question Worksheet

There are many different kinds of web browsers, each with its own options for handling privacy, security, interface, shortcuts, etc.

Computer Cookies Worksheet

What Are Cookies?

Cookies are usually created when you visit a webpage for the first time, often after you have submitted data to that webpage. You can control whether or not cookies are stored on your computer.

Cookies Question Worksheet

Cookies Question Worksheet

You will answer questions such as: Can you control whether or not cookies are deposited on your computer?

Internet and Education Reading Worksheet

The Internet and Education

Many college curriculums are now available online for lifelong learners. The first college to open its virtual doors to the rest of the world was MIT in 2001, which made all of its materials and courses freely available on the World Wide Web.

Education Question Worksheet

Internet Education Question Worksheet

The Internet has also revolutionized homeschooling. Where once parents may have been limited by the materials they could acquire, and by their own knowledge and the knowledge of people they knew, homeschoolers now have virtual access to tutors, schools, online curriculum, advice and resources.

Web Site Reading Worksheet

What is a Web Site?

A website is one or more web pages written in code, usually HTML, that contains the layout, format, and content of each web page. Web pages are stored on web servers.

Website Question Worksheet

Website Question Worksheet

You don't have to know how to code to create a website. Most services that host websites offer website builders, which show you the effect of the code, but the code itself remains in the background.

A Brief History of the Internet

The Internet is basically a bunch of computers that can talk to one another. We may just think the Internet is a place to help us do our homework or share pictures and images, but it is much more than just that. When the Internet first fired up, it was primarily just for scientists to share information to better understand what they were working on it. Today just under half of the human world has access to and is actively using the Internet in their daily lives. As time goes on, the Internet will be as accessible as a telephone. Today, just over half of the planet is extensively using the Internet and that will only increase as time goes on. As time goes on electronics tend to drastically drop in value. In fact, most PC computers will lose half of their value each successive year. That means that a computer that is worth two thousand dollars today will be worth one hundred and twenty-five dollars five years from now.

Approximately 63 percent of the global population uses the internet, as Statista reports. And if you’re reading this, you’re included in that number. Although we use the internet multiple times a day, have you ever wondered how it came about?

We can trace the history of the internet back to the 1950s during the Cold War. At this time, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was set up in the U.S. to give the country a military advantage over the Soviet Union.

Although computers during this time couldn’t communicate with each other, the idea for the internet started to take shape. In this article, I'm going to explore the brief, yet colorful, history of the internet.

How the Internet First Came About

In 1957, during the Cold War, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite said to orbit the Earth. As the U.S. Government was surprised by this milestone in the “Space Race,” it set up the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to gather information and give it a military advantage.

This was the main center of computing research. Although it was used to gather information, the ARPA was of limited value. Particularly, its computers couldn’t communicate with each other over long distances, and they required phone connections between each computer on the network.

How Computers Were Combined Into One Network

To integrate all the computers around the country into one network, a company called Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (BBM) won a contract with ARPA to achieve this goal. In 1969, their network, entitled ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), was established.

While this encouraged the formation of other networks, the networks couldn’t communicate with each other due to how every network had its protocol or language.

The Transferring of Data Between Computers

To solve the above problem, American computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock led a research team that tested “packet switching.” This is the transferring of data between two computers, and it essentially breaks up information into smaller data packets so that they can move across different systems, as Britannica reports. It’s still how we transfer data today.

How Did Networks Start Communicating With Each Other?

Thanks to Kleinrock’s study, in 1980, American computer scientists Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn established guidelines for data transfer with packet switching. This was called TCP/IP, or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol.

This built on Kleinrock’s test by showing that the TCP/IP guidelines could form the foundation of interconnected networks.

Networks didn’t start communicating with each other until 1983 when ARPANET adopted TCP/IP. This enabled researchers to build the “network of networks,” as History reports, which became the internet.

The use of TCP/IP and the invention of DNS (Domain Name System) to support email communications on ARPANET caused the internet’s growth to explode between 1986 and 1987. People could use the internet to email each other, share files, and read the news.

What Was the First Internet Browser?

At this point, there were still some things lacking with the internet. For one, it wasn’t user-friendly. In 1989, English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee devised a new way to link information and structure it. His concept included a “web of information” that became the World Wide Web. This enabled people to access data in the form of hyperlinks and websites.

The first internet browser was the Mosaic browser, launched in 1993 by American entrepreneur Marc Andreeson and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. It was the first graphical web browser, enabling non-academics to access the web for the first time.

In 1994, Mosaic Communications, a company created by American entrepreneur James Clark (and co-founded by Marc Andreessen), launched the Netscape Navigator. It was the first widespread, global Web browser. This year was also when commercial companies such as Amazon started to operate on the internet, setting the scene for the internet we know today.

Final Thoughts

The history of the internet is a colorful, interesting one. It has its origins in the Cold War, as a result of the U.S. Government’s need to be well informed and communicate across long distances and different computer networks.