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Course Description:

The impact of technology and networks on our lives, culture, and society continues to increase. The very fact that you can take this course from anywhere in the world requires a technological infrastructure that was designed, engineered, and built over the past sixty years. To function in an information-centric world, we need to understand the workings of network technology. This course will open up the Internet and show you how it was created, who created it and how it works. Along the way we will meet many of the innovators who developed the Internet and Web technologies that we use today.

What You Will Learn

After this course you will not take the Internet and Web for granted. You will be better informed about important technological issues currently facing society. You will realize that the Internet and Web are spaces for innovation and you will get a better understanding of how you might fit into that innovation. If you get excited about the material in this course, it is a great lead-in to taking a course in Web design, Web development, programming, or even network administration. At a minimum, you will be a much wiser network citizen.

Course Details:
  • Instructors: Charles Severance
  • School: University of Michigan
  • Subject: Computers & Technology
  • Publisher: Coursera
  • Price:FREE
  • Certificate:Included Free
  • Take the Course: Start Now »
  • Starts: 2 June, 2014
  • Ends: 22 August, 2014
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Course Reviews (3)
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Christina Belisle

September 9, 2013

I took this class while taking a full course load, so I didn't always put as much effort into this class as I could have (as not studying for a free MOOC doesn't penalize me at all). I was still able to learn a ton of information. The tech details (TCP/IP, link layers, etc) didn't stick with me as well as the history of the Internet did. The professor was very passionate about the subject matter and you could tell he was quite proud of how the University of Michigan played such a crucial role in creating the Internet as we know it. The first half was mostly history, and the lectures came off more as storytelling than rote memorization of facts and dates, which made the information easier to learn. It's an excellent introduction to MOOCs and the lectures are interesting if you just want something to do on a lazy day off. You're not going to learn enough technical knowledge to fix home networking issues, but you will appreciate the fact that you can read this review that's stored in a database somewhere far away and how you can access it near instantly.

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Cristiana Reis

June 11, 2013

This course is perfect for anyone who's interested in technology and the Internet in particular. It's packed with interesting facts and doesn't require any special technical knowledge – I know nothing about Web development or programming, etc. and I had no difficulties at all. You’ll learn how it all came to be, who did what when and where, how it all works (definitely the most exciting part for me!) and how safe and secure it is. The lectures are quite relaxed. It almost feels like the professor, Dr Chuck, is telling you a story. He will often use simple analogies to explain the most complex technical bits and, being a major online learning enthusiast, makes good use of the available technology to produce his lecture videos. You’ll also get to watch plenty of interviews with some of the people who helped/help shape the Web. Dr Chuck also seems to be keen on interacting with students from all over the world. The Office Hours videos (and the actual sessions I'm sure, if you're lucky to attend one of them) are always good fun. And it is not rare to find him taking part in the discussion forums every now and then. You’ll probably even get to see his geeky tattoo at some point! As far as the course assessment is concerned, the March 2013 edition included nine weekly quizzes (that you could take as many times as you liked until you were happy with your score) and a final exam, along with a couple optional extra credit peer-graded essays. The deadlines and grading were extremely reasonable. And depending on your final grade, you could get a Statement of Accomplishment or a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction.

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