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Introduction to the internet

The BBC webwise pages tell you about the internet and how it all started.

The Internet is a network of billions of computers. Imagine a supersonic postal system sending ‘data’ to computers all over the world instead of letters through the letterbox.

The internet ‘hosts’ lots of digital artefacts, such as websites.  Websites hold information, games, videos, music, photographs and much, much more. For example Lead Scotland has a website where you can find lots of information about this organisation, such as who to contact, what services are offered and so on.

Each website has a website address.  For example Lead Scotland's webstie address is and when you click on this page you will see that there are lots of pages that you can click on to find out more about Lead.  Lead Scotland has about 200 web pages within its website but, unlike a book, you have to read them on your computer, your tablet or your phone.

If we take Lead Scotland's website address as an example:

  • All websites begin with http://  or https://
  • www’ stands for world wide web
  • lead is the name of the organisation
  • means that it is an organisation based in the UK

We have to use a ‘browser’ to connect to the Internet to find any websites. A browser is a program installed on your computer.  There are lots of browsers but the most common ones that you might have on your computer are called internet explorer or google chrome.

Have a look for the Internet Explorer icon on your computer: 

Double click it with your mouse. This will get you ready for starting your search on the Internet.

The first website you see is called your home page. What is your home page called? (It might be MSN, North Lanarkshire Council, Google, Yahoo or something similar).

To be able to search on the Internet, you need to use a search engine (your home page may already be a search engine). Here are some examples of search engines:,,  there are many others.

The search engine lets you look for something when you don’t have a website address or you want some suggestions for where you could find information about your chosen subject. To be able to search for something, you have to type a word in the search box. Look for the search box on your search engine now and start exploring.

Try for yourself

Use our step by step guide on how to search the internet 

Download our using the internet worksheet and try the activities to pracitce browsing the internet and move between web pages.

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Accessible web design and VLE developed by Jim Byrne