Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Understanding the Context

Many different methods of communication are possible on the Internet; some use specific software and all involve text and/or graphics.

* Some activities take place in real-time while others allow for a delayed reply.

* Discussion areas may be public or exist for a particular group of people.

* Information can either be broadcast or targeted at a particular user.

As the technology develops, and users and providers become more proficient, the boundaries between the different Internet services are blurred. For example, email is used in chat rooms, web pages include discussion areas and newsgroups can have files attached.

Each Internet service has its own educational value, risks, and recommended ways of dealing with problems, and these are detailed in the following pages. They are not exhaustive and many apply across Internet services. Schools should consider the sum of the advice in these guidelines across all areas.

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