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Internet Literacy

Research by Natalya Sinitskaya

Computer-Mediated Communication

· Electronic mail—a computer function allowing to send an online message to another computer user.

· Computer conferencing—similar to e-mail, but the focus is on group. The most popular computer conferencing application is BBS (bulletin-board system).

· Interactive messaging—also referred to as ‘chat’, a synchronous system of exchanging messages online.

The Internet is a global network that connects millions of computers all over the world.

The Internet can be compared to a highway system (Santoro, 1994), with its tie-ups and rush-hour congestions, construction delays and closed detours.

Internet definition at Webopedia.


In 1969 the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) introduced a new kind of online telecommunication network. It was used by the scientists of the USA to carry out military-related research. This network was named Internet in1983 (Santoro, 1994).

To learn more about the history of the Internet, check Webopedia.

Development of the Internet


Internet Services (Santoro, 1994)

The terms ‘Internet’ and ‘World Wide Web’ are often used interchangeably, although they are not synonymous. To learn the difference between the Internet and the WWW, see Webopedia.


Internet versus WWW

Information Services

· Directory services—online directory of resources accessible to the network users.

Directory services at Webopedia

· Telnet—allows to establish a terminal session with any Internet-connected computer through telnet server.

Telnet at Webopedia

· FTP (file transfer protocol) - allows to transfer files from one computer to another via different Internet hosts.

FTP at Webopedia

· Gopher—one of the first system of distributed information services. A network represents a set of interconnected menus and files.

Gopher at Webopedia

· WAIS (Wide-Area Information Servers) - another information system which allows users to set search criteria and servers in form of ‘problem query’.

WAIS at Webopedia

· WWW (World Wide Web) - a hypermedia information retrieval system.

WWW at Webopedia