Monday, February 25, 2008

Network vs Internet

Several teachers have asked me about finding the TILT folder on the Internet and every once in awhile, I see a teacher launch a web browser when asked to go to the TILT folder. AND...I have been asked why we can't see our server folders at home.

I thought it was time I explained the difference between a network and the Internet.

A network is a group of computers that are connected through cables or through a wireless connection. Typically these computers are in the same building or related buildings. Billings Public Schools is an example of a network. McKinley Elementary has its own network. When you use a network, you access files through your computer's operating system. You do not need to launch an application to locate files or folders that are saved on the network (saved to a server).

The Internet(a.k.a. The World Wide Web) is an information system of servers and clients that users can access data on other computers on a global scale (throughout the world). The information on the Internet is accessed by launching an application called a web browser. Examples of web browsers are Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. The Internet is navigated through graphic pages that contain hypertext (Text with links to other text).

These concepts are explained on a pretty basic level, but hopefully it clears up some confusion about the two words: Network & Internet.