Looking at the History of the World Wide Web

Fifty years ago today, the first webpage went live on the internet!

In Year 12 Applied Information Technology, we are learning about the history of the internet, something we use every day. This revolution changed how we live and work, but we often don’t think a lot about how it came to be.

We investigated the 50-year history of the internet by making timelines and debating the order in which technologies were developed – including email, YouTube, social media and artificial intelligence. We learned that Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email in 1976 and that email pre-dates the World Wide Web significantly. In groups, we defined the major time periods of the internet and made predictions as to what it might be like in the future. We also learned about the Dancing Baby – regarded as the first viral video meme!

One topic of conversation was data security and what our data is used for, and whether it is used against us in the form of advertising, reinforcing bias or influencing our decisions, even when we are unaware of it. We thought about what sort of questions we might need to ask to ensure our future is defined by our humanity, rather than our technology.

It is beneficial to have a subject in which we can discuss these issues, understand the impacts of our online decisions and take an active role in shaping our technology-rich world.

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