Why learning to master the internet is important (ITQ)




Additional activities supporting learning for this page
  1. More on big numbers








You are about to start the biggest networking and communication plan of your life. Ready?

The internet is big, really big. Ok, how big? At least 3 billion individuals use the internet around the world and that number is getting bigger all the time.

You don't know what a billion is? It's a lot. A thousand million. That is 1,000,000,000. With numbers like that, it's starting to get difficult to count the zeros. There are 9 so sometimes such big numbers are written 10^9 or 109 meaning 1 with nine following zeros. Every time you add a zero the number is 10 times as big. So 107 is 10 times as big as 106 and 109 is 10 times as big as 108 and 100 times bigger than 107.

What does 1,000 million look like? Well, take a full sports stadium at a big event like the soccer world cup. This is about 100,000 people. (105)

Wembley Stadium picture from Wikipedia commons

There are about 105 people in the picture. Take 10 of these stadiums and that is 1 million people, 1,000,000 or (106). Now take 10,000 stadiums (104 stadiums), this is one stadium for every 10 people in this picture and that is a billion people. (109). There are about 7 billion people in the world.

If you were a billionaire and had one billion £1 coins, guess how tall the pile would be with one coin stacked on top of another?

The answer is 3,150 km or about 2000 miles and they would weigh about 10,000 tons! Here is a version for dollars.

If you like big numbers and brain-aching thoughts take a look here.

Back in 1989, only 50 people were on the World Wide Web. This means that the development of the internet has probably affected the lives of more people, more quickly than any human made thing in history and the change continues. So this is why what you are about to learn is going to be important to you.

Getting on the Internet

Creating a presence on the Internet is easy. Getting a safe and effective presence on the internet requires learning how to do it.  Crossing the road and getting run down is easy! Doing it safely and effectively requires a little bit of thought and learning. This is even more so with the internet because it is more complicated than roads and traffic. 

Most people get their internet presence through social networking sites like My Space, Facebook, Twitter or You Tube. We are going to show you how to do this safely and effectively using our very own social networking site built in software called Drupal. Drupal is free and open source software which means we can use it for free without breaking any laws and we can even contribute to the Drupal project ourselves if we want to help. But first we need to show we can do "basic user things". Drupal is used by the White House in the USA and many other companies and organisations.

Getting started with your own internet pages

You will need at least one computer connected to the internet and an e-mail address to take part but it is better if each member of the group has access to a computer and has their own e-mail address. In your group decide who is going to be the leader (you will change leader at different times so everyone gets a chance to lead). The leader should assign someone to make notes and everyone in the group to help with research.  At the end, the leader will decide if each member of the group is co-operative and the group will decide if the leader did a good job of leading. So think before doing anything and do your job well.

(Assessment opportunities)

First go to http://theingots.org. Your first task is to explore the front page of the INGOT site and find out where the "How tos" are located for learners. The "How tos" explain how to do everything you need to do on the site. With the help of your group see how long it takes you to find them. The first thing each member of the group needs to do is set up their account. This is explained in the How to "How do I create an account on this site?" With the help of your group set up your account. The group leader should make sure everyone is successful and that anyone that has any problems gets proper support. (There is more support here, but try and do without it if you can.)

Acceptable use and terms and conditions

Most sites have a set of terms and conditions and/or an acceptable use policy (AUP). These are presented to you when setting up your account. The site is free to use but you must be sensible and abide by the site rules or your account could be blocked. Answer these questions on the AUP. The group researchers should use the internet to find out anything they don't know or are unsure about. Be prepared to ask other people but before pestering them try and find out yourself first using the internet and searches.

Here are some questions to test your knowledge of the AUP.

  1. What does :-) mean in the first line?
  2. What is a Blog?
  3. Name one thing that a Blog should not be used to do
  4. What is a forum?
  5. Where is access to the forums found?
  6. What might cause your account to be blocked?
  7. Why should you not give out personal details such as where you live?

Another rule of the site is that all users have to share their work with one another. "I agree that all my contributions to this site are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license, and I designate The Learning Machine Ltd for attribution. " You don't need to worry too much about what this statement means other than you are happy for other people to use any work you put on the site (and of course you can use theirs) but you must always say if you are using someone else's work. You definitely should not try and pretend that it is yours!

The reason to designate attribution to The Learning Machine is so that all anyone needs do is say this work is from The Learning Machine and not try and find the identity of any individual on the site, especially when most people should choose to be anonymous.

(What does anonymous mean? If you don't know, try putting "Wiktionary anonymous" into an internet search. Wiktionary is a free on-line dictionary to tell you what words mean. If ever your are unsure, it's easy to find out!)

Once you have set up your account get your group to check each others' work and be sure everything is as it should be. It is the leader's responsibility to be sure everyone has been successful. Be patient and help anyone who is a bit slower than the rest.

Making sure you are safe

Use the site search to find the Story of Little Red Training Shoe. Read the story and answer the questions. Leaders make sure everyone has the chance to contribute and stays involved in the task.


  1. How did Little Red Training Shoe get her name?
  2. Why did the bully not take Little Red Training Shoe's mp3 player earlier?
  3. Was Little Red Training Shoe sensible to tell people in the chat room about where she would be going and why?
  4. What goods did the bully steal from Little Red Training shoe's grandmother?
  5. Why did the bully say he had big hands?

The Story of Little Red Training Shoe is of course just a story but a lot worse things have happened to people who used the internet without first learning how to be safe. Go to the link below and find out some more about e-safety.


Now try the on-line e-safety games http://nwlg.org/esafetygames/

Safety audit

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