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What is the Internet? A request from a friend in the UK.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Someone from Napier University in Scotland asked me to define the Internet today in 100 words. I did it in 140 words. This is part of what he said:

"I’m midway through writing an eLearning awareness course for support folk here in Napier University. One of our themes is a deliberately shortened version of something complex – and we’re calling it “in 100 words”. For example, I’ve asked a number of industry people to describe ‘in 100 words’, what eLearning is, or what cable tv is. In the latter case I’ve had someone go on for over 2000 words – must have too many channels! J

Anyway, I’m wondering whether you have the time to give me 100 words on – wait for it – “what the internet is”. A challenge or pretty easy? If you have the time etc I’d appreciate it, and of course with your say so, would plant it on the site itself with your reference etc.

Let me know whether you wish to rise to the challenge!"

Laurence Patterson

Here it is (delete last 3 sentences to get to 100).

The internet is a place of adventure; where reporters, scientists, and explorers can take you to Mount Everest, the North Pole, and the Mayan ruins during their travels and experiments. A place for finding friends, both new and old. A place for reading about people you would never have encountered before. A place for learning new information and gathering it together in an index and later using that index for one’s reflective writing, school research, market analysis, document creation, and course development. The internet is a place for one to become a consumer and a vendor. A place for offering products no one else has thought of and for acquiring personal items that you might have never been able to access before. It is a place to learn and to teach, to grow and to support others in their growth.

What do you think?

I am all ears today.

By the way, what do you think of my new blog?
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 9:21 AM  
  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Mossy Stone said…

    Curt: Glad to see a blog presence from you. I hope you'll keep it going. With your OK, I'll add you to my own e-learning blog links.

    Cheers, and thanks again for your sessions in Vancouver.

    My e-learning blog

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    I am trying. I will try to keep it updated more frequently that I have been.

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Scott Leslie said…

    Hi Curt, welcome to the blogosphere.

    On the one hand, I like your definition for not being too literal and trying to outline some of the possibilities the internet enables. But funnily enough, it is this outlining that I specifically don't like as well, for as broad as it is, it already limits thinking about what the net will enable. We are just now (35 years or so into the experiment, and 10 or so years into the mass experiement of the web) starting to see examples of phenomenom enabled by the net that aren't just replicating 'real world' models but instead are only possible because of the existance of this massively open protocol interconnection of computers, applications and people. For my part, I actually find any of these definitions both accurate and helpful; I guess part of the issue in coming up with this definition is who you are trying to define it for. Cheers, Scott Leslie

  • At 1:02 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Thanks for the list of definitions Scott.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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