the internet: then and now

Last week, students and I listened to a 1993 podcast from NPR’s Science Friday and watched a video from a 1994 NBC Today Show. Each of these was taking a look at the Internet at the time, forming questions around “what is this thing” to “what can this do for me?”

While the Today Show clip reminded us of a time when many people didn’t know what the Internet was or how it worked, the Science Friday showed us that some of the same issues that concerned issues then still concern issues today.

Some of the topics we found pertinent:

-ignore (usually advertisements)
-amount of information
-size of information (files/streaming, etc.)
prime sources
–direct contact between creator and consumer
media of the people (democratization)
-public access
–accessibility speed (modem)
synchronous/asynchronous communication
Machines know everything about you

This was not only a great exercise in listening, but in also assessing what the real issues were and are in understanding the Internet.

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