The Internet: How it Works and how it affects the World many people do not understand what the Internet is the power that it has over the world. The Internet is an extraordinary learning and entertainment tool that, when used properly, can significantly enhance a user’s ability to gather information.
History of the Internet the Internet as we know today was not a concept that was quickly enacted when it was first thought up. It was a revolutionary process that was the result of visionary people who painstakingly brought forth the World Wide Web. These individuals saw a promising potential in allowing computers to share information on research and development in scientific and military fields. This is all started in 1962 when the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a research program. They selected J.C.R. Licklider of MIT to head the work and develop it. Later Leonard Kleinrock of UCLA who developed the theory of packet switching, which was used to create the basis of Internet connections. His thesis was titled Communications Networks: Stochastic Flow and Delay. This thesis examined what packet-switching networking could look like. Lawrence Roberts of NIT confirmed Kleinrocks’ theory by connecting a Massachusetts computer with a California computer over dial up telephone lines. This proved that it could be done and when he later joined DARPA in 1966 he developed his plan for ARPANET. ARPANET, also known as the Internet “was brought online in 1965 under a contract let by the renamed Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)” (Howe 2). It originally connected UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah. Soon after several other universities connected to ARPANET. In order for ARPANET to communicate via the telephone lines a series of protocols were developed Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) came first then TCP/IP developed from these.
New research released by the National School Boards Association reveals data showing we all might need to reevaluate our assumptions: It turns out teenagers are actually using the Internet for educational purposes. In fact, according to the study, “Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social–and Educational–Networking,” the percentage of Students specifically discussing schoolwork online outpaces the percentage that spend time downloading music.
For the survey, the NSBA teamed up with Grunewald Associates to poll 1,277 9- to 17-year-olds, 1,039 parents, and 250 University district leaders who “make decisions on Internet policy.” It found that a full 50 percent of students who are online spend time discussing Education work, and 59 percent spend time talking about education-related topics, “including college or college planning; learning outside of university; news; careers or jobs; politics, ideas, religion, or morals; and schoolwork.”
Further, these students are spending almost as much time on the Internet visiting websites and social networking services (nine hours per week for teens) as they spend watching television (10 hours).
A full 96 percent of students surveyed responded that they use the Internet for social networking purposes, including Facebook, MySpace, Webkins, and Nick.com chat. Seventy-one percent said they use these services at least on a weekly basis.
“Yet,” the study asserts, “the vast majority of schools and Universities have stringent rules against nearly all forms of social networking during the lectures–even though students and parents report few problem behaviors online. Indeed, both district leaders and parents believe that social networking could play a positive role in students’ lives and they recognize opportunities for using it in education–at a time when teachers now routinely assign homework that requires Internet use to complete. In light of the study findings, school districts may want to consider reexamining their policies and practices and explore ways in which they could use social networking for educational purposes.”
The vast majority of universities prohibit online chatting and instant messaging; and most prohibit sending or receiving e-mail during lectures, posting on bulletin boards or blogs, or using social networking sites. Almost all use software to block certain sites and require parents or students to sign an Internet use policy. The graph below breaks down these policies by the numbers.
Pornography is the second disadvantage of the Internet. This is a very serious issue, especially when it comes to children and teenagers. Nowadays there are thousands of pornographic sites on the Internet that can be easily found. These sites are very harmful to the kids, and may incite them to act out sexually against other ones. According to the study of researcher Dr. Jennings Bryant about 600 American males and females of junior high school age and above, 31 percent of the males and 18 percent of the females admitted actually doing some of the things they have seen in the pornography. Moreover, a recent study has shown that frequent exposure to pornography may cause the children to involve in sexual illness, sexual addiction and unplanned pregnancies, which have bad influences on the children’s mental life.
The problems associated with plagiarism and the Internet are well documented, and it seems that these problems are becoming worse. According to a 2003 study by Donald McCabe, a management professor at Rutgers University, thirty-eight percent of the undergraduate students surveyed admitted to committing “cut-and-paste” plagiarism in the past year. Professor McCabe had conducted a similar study three years earlier in which only ten percent of the students admitted to such conduct. Of even more concern, nearly half of the students in the newer study viewed such conduct as being trivial or, even worse, felt that it did not constitute cheating or plagiarism. Studies similar to the one conducted by Professor McCabe indicate the breadth of the problem, and also the attitude of the students.
Virtually every college or university in the country requires at least one class in English composition, a class in which the students are expected to hone their writing skills and also to improve their research abilities. In addition, many instructors assign term papers or research papers for their students in a number of other classes. It is common for these students to use the Internet for the research portion of these assignments, and such usage is perfectly appropriate. Many, if not most, of these students will then use the research materials and information they obtained in drafting their papers. However, as indicated by Professor McCabe, a distressingly large number of these students misuse the materials and information they find on the Internet. These students will use the Internet to find a paper for submission rather than using it to find the information needed to begin generating a paper of their own. There are a multitude of web sites that provide papers to anyone who wishes to purchase one on any of numerous topics. In addition, an enterprising student who does not wish to purchase a paper can download one or more papers or articles on a topic, and then “cut and paste” the material into an “original” paper the student can then submit. As Professor McCabe has pointed out, many students commit such “cut-and-paste” plagiarism, and nearly half of the students surveyed either consider such conduct to be trivial, or they do not recognize that this is a form of plagiarism.
In conclusion, the Internet can have some bad effects like unsafe personal information, plagiarism, pornography’s influences on children’s mental life, and virus threat. However, it doesn’t mean that Students shouldn’t use the internet any more as a research tool. It’s hard to imagine our life without the Internet. What you should do is just need to be more careful every time when you use the Internet.