A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Parents Guide to the Internet - November 1997

Navigating the Journey

On any trip, you need a map with guideposts to navigate well. This section offers some basics to help you begin to explore the World Wide Web and communicate with others on the Internet.

Surfing the Net or Cruising the Superhighway

When you go on the Internet, you may have a specific destination in mind, or you may wish to browse through the Web, the way you would browse through a library or a catalog, looking for topics or things that interest you. This browsing is often called surfing the Net or cruising the Superhighway. There are several ways to get around on the Web.

Using the Internet To Do a School Project

Assignment: Write a 2-3 page essay on the life of Jackie Robinson. Include facts about his life, his greatest accomplishments, and why you believe he deserves a place in history.

Here's how you can find the information to do this project:

  • Sign onto the Internet; once connected, click the mouse on the search key.

  • From the menu, select a search engine based on your topic. (Here we have selected AltaVista).

  • At the subject box, type in Jackie Robinson and click on the search key.

  • Review search results: "Found 1 category and 19 site matches for Jackie Robinson."

  • Select one or all site matches (all sites are underlined). Each site has additional sites for more information.

  • Print or download all the information you need for the essay.

  • Use this information to write your report.

Examples of search engines include:




Yahooligans (for children)

You can find these search engines and many more at the All-in-One site http://www.albany.net/allinone/ or your web browser's home page. If a search on one doesn't produce good results, try another.

Saving Information from the Internet

In your travels on the Internet, you'll probably come across information you want to keep. You can either make a paper or "hard" copy directly from the Web, or you can download a copy of the information onto your own computer.

Electronic Communication

The most popular online activity is communicating with individuals and groups through
e-mail, listserv, and Usenet newsgroups.

Important: It's a good safety precaution to make up names and never use your real name in order to make it difficult for strangers to contact you and other family members by phone or in person.

Caution: Most newsgroups are not moderated; no one keeps the discussion focused on the topic or exercises control over inappropriate behavior. Some topics are not suitable for children.

Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs can often benefit from the use of assistive technology to support communication, self-expression and positive social interaction. Parents and teachers tell stories of children who overcome obstacles and achieve success online--the child with a writing disability who wins second place in a nationwide writing contest or the teenager with a learning disability who becomes an electronic pen pal with a scientist across the country who shares his fascination with fossils

Technology is available to help people with special needs. If your child has a mobility or sensory impairment, for example, you may decide to replace the mouse with another device for giving the computer commands. A joystick, for instance, can be controlled with the entire hand. Other devices require only a single finger for control. Magnifying the screen can help individuals with low vision, while voice synthesis technology can read screen information to those who are blind.

The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education operated by the Council for Exceptional Children offers information about disabilities and accommodations. Call 1-800-328-0272 or TTY 703-264-9449, send e-mail to ericec@ericec.org, or visit the Web site http://ericec.org .

Other Web sites are also helpful. For example, Winners on Wheels is a team-oriented youth program that uses learning and fun to promote self-esteem and independence in children with disabilities http://www.wowusa.com/. Visit http://www.isc.rit.edu/~easi/ which provides information on adaptive computer technology for individuals with disabilities. Starbright, another site, applies the latest advancement in technology to positively affect the lives of disabled children http://www.starbright.org.


This page last updated December 15, 1998 (gkp)

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