Lesson 2 – Using the Internet for schoolwork

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to use the Internet effectively to help with schoolwork
  • Understand what copyright is
  • Know why it is important to credit sources correctly

Learning Outcomes

All must have a basic understanding of the differences between the Internet, world wide web and a web browser.  Complete the worksheet and found some reliable sources of information.  Know what copyright is and how to credit sources correctly.  Use this knowledge to complete the set homework. (Level 3)

Most should understand the differences between the Internet, world wide web and a web browser.  Complete the worksheet and found reliable sources of information.  Know what copyright is and how to credit sources correctly.  Use this knowledge to complete the set homework. (Level 4)

Some could understand the differences between the Internet, world wide web and a web browser.  Complete the worksheet and found reliable sources of information and be able to explain why those are good sources.  Know what copyright is and how to credit sources correctly.  Use this knowledge to complete the set homework. (Level 5)

Keywords

Words to learn: Internet, copyright, plagiarism, credit, sources

Starter

People get a bit confused as to what the differences are between the Internet, the web, browsers and search engines.

Main 1 – What’s in a name?
So the internet is basically a huge, unthinkably big collection of devices (computers, tablets, phones, tvs, consoles to name but a few), connected to each other.  This huge network of networks stretches around the world…

Here is a map of the “backbone” (busiest parts) of a small part of the internet:

Awesome!!!

So how about the World-wide-web?

In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee developed the world-wide-web, with 3 technologies –

  • HTML (a language to “code” web-pages).
  • HTTP (a system to send web-pages backwards and forwards) .
  • URL (The links you click on on web pages).

He made this free, so that many people would use it, and share scientific information.

This World-wide-web now includes all the web-pages you visit on a daily basis.  It uses the internet to store and view information.

Web browsers…

Here we have the most popular browsers.  What is a browser?  Software, or computer programs that let us view information on web-pages, and navigate between them.  Can you name these browsers?

 

Search Engines.

A search engine is a computer program which trawls the internet and collects keywords and information about webpages, which it stores, so it can later provide you with relevant webpages when you type search terms, or things you are looking for.

OK, so hopefully you now know what a search engine is – but how do they work?  Check out this video from Google which explains how Google finds the webpages you want.

Main 2 – Searching and Finding Reliable Sources

Look at this screenshot from Google:

cheetah

The video you saw earlier is about four years old.  Google has evolved over time and is now a lot “smarter”.  For example, in the video you had to pick out keywords – so you might have chosen cheetah speed running.  Google now allows you to use natural language – so I can ask Google “what’s the top speed of a cheetah?”.  Google also pulls out facts from Internet sources such as Wikipedia and highlights them.  It also shows you other similar questions that people have asked.

However, this is not foolproof – try the following search:

Who is the headteacher of Belper School?

Do you see a difference?  In the example you should find that Google isn’t smart enough to find the information by itself so it presents pages which it thinks might have the information for you to pick out.

The source of information is important – if we are using information from the Internet in a report there are three things we need to ask ourselves:

  • Who wrote the webpage (and do we trust them)?
  • When was it written (is it still correct)?
  • Where was it written (if the website is American for example, is the information correct when used in the UK?)

Some widely used resources such as Wikipedia are generally reliable (that’s why Google use that site as a source).  But there are many other potential sources of information – which ones can you trust?

Exercise:
In your book, write down 10 websites you use regularly.  Try to find out the above three pieces of information about each of them.  Rank them in order of trustworthiness…

Main 3 – Copyright and Crediting Sources

You might have heard of the word copyright or seen the symbol © – but what does it mean?  Well if you create a unique piece of written work, computer software, sound, music, film or TV programme then you automatically own the copyright to that piece of work.  This means that you decide who can put it on the Internet, view it, use it, copy it, rent it and perform it.  It is standard to put a copyright symbol, followed by the year and the name of the creator.  This website could have a copyright message of:

© 2015 Belper School and Sixth Form Centre

There are strict laws concerning copyright.  The Internet is frequently used to breach copyright – you might have downloaded music files or videos from a torrent site for example – these are generally illegal…

So how can we avoid breaching copyright?  Normally you would have to ask the copyright holder for permission.  If you use someone else’s work, you must always credit the source – otherwise you run the risk of plagiarism which is where you accidentally or deliberately pass off someone else’s work as your own.

So, let’s say I was doing a report about the school for my PSE lesson.  I want to put in how fast a sloth is.

In my report I would write:

The three-toed sloth moves along the ground at a speed of 2 metres/min..

and then either at the bottom of the page, or at the end of the report I would write:

[1] – Ivy Weinberg — 1999, https://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/IvyWeinberg.shtml, retrieved: 13th September 2017

The most important thing is that you make it clear where you found the information – if you do that you will avoid being a plagiariser!

Homework

Produce a poster explaining:

  • What copyright is
  • What the law says about copyright
  • What the punishments are if you breach copyright
  • How to stay legal when using copyrighted work