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Webs Of Meaning: Computer And Internet Resources For Educational Research And Instruction
Published 1998 · Sociology
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of useful Web sites, will enhance your exploration of this rich resource. (A list of educational research Web sites discussed in this article are available at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/ ~davidf/edwebresearch.) The Internet refers to a worldwide network of computers talking a language known as TCP/IP. Tens of millions of people in the United States alone work or play with computers that are connected to this network, and worldwide, the number must exceed 100 million. To most users (including other researchers and scholars), the Internet appears as e-mail and the World Wide Web (WWW). The former is probably familiar to anyone reading this article; indeed, estimates are that the number of e-mail letters sent in the United States first exceeded the number of paper postal items in 1995. The WWW, virtually unheard of in 1993, now occupies a prominent place in world popular culture; the once obscure symbol http:// is now ubiquitous. The WWW is a standardized method of transferring files (text, graphics, audio) across the Internet and can result in attractive, vivid, and engaging presentations (known as Web pages) to users connecting to the Internet via Web browsers (Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer are currently the most popular). It seems likely that e-mail, web browsing, and-as the speed of telecommunications inevitably increasesvideoconferencing will constitute the core of Internet use for researchers and scholars in the near future.' One