Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy 30th Birthday World Wide Web!

This NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee
at CERN and became the world's first web server.
Image credit: By Coolcaesar at the English language
Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,
So - 30 years ago today in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web - I was just starting my first proper job (in a company called CBT Systems, which later became SmartForce). Like almost everyone, I was oblivious as to what was going on - and certainly not aware of the impact this moment would have on our lives 30 years later. According to Wikipedia, the definition of what the World Wide Web is:

The World Wide Web, commonly known as the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators, which may be interlinked by hypertext, and are accessible via the Internet.

Of course - very few people used the web in 1989. We didn't even have email (I got my first email address at the end of 1994). There was no wasting time looking up the latest news, or checking Facebook, or watching YouTube. I recall wasting time actually chatting with colleagues in the office!

In 1989, Computer Based Training (CBT) was in its infancy - all our courses were delivered on 5 1/2 inch floppy diskettes. Within 10 years we were delivering courses on the World Wide Web via the Internet. WWW made innovation possible on a scale none of us thought possible - but look at us now! Education has thrived with learners able to study at long distances learning almost any topic they want. One of the four modules I teach (R Programming) is on-line, with students from all over Ireland connecting with me as I sit in my office - a long way from a 5 1/2 inch floppy diskette!

A screen-shot from one of my on-line classes.

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