The World Wide Web (often referred to as simply "the web")
has been in existence since 1989/90, a relatively short time,
but it is the most flexible and widely used information system
on the Internet today. Even without the web, the Internet is
useful for educators and students who can use e-mail and are
able to transfer computer files from one place to another. However,
with the rapid development of the web, the use of computer technology
in everyday life has grown immensely, especially in the classroom.
During the initial development and growth of the Internet,
access was limited for most students participating in K-12 education.
Today, through extensive community support and the federal Education-rate
(E-rate) discount program, Internet access is found in nearly
every education community in the nation, including rural, urban,
and suburban schools.
Teachers and students want the benefits the Internet offers.
E-mail has made communication among teachers and students easier
to accomplish. Information from libraries and government agencies
is widely available over the Internet, and easy to access through
the web. As availability becomes pervasive, more people are
accessing the Internet. For many community members, it is the
main source for information about their schools and local school
Throughout the United States, state education agencies, school
districts, and even schools are creating web sites to reap the
benefits of information dissemination and exchange. If an educational
organization does not have a web site today, parents, boards
of education, and even legislators are likely creating pressures
to produce one.
With the growth of the web, the capability now exists for
a real change in the way the curriculum is delivered to students.
The web has already changed the way information is disseminated
within education agencies and the way parents, students, and
the public interact with schools.
The purpose of this guidebook is to assist education agencies
and organizations (which include state education agencies or
state departments of education, school districts, and schools)
in the development, maintenance, and standardization of effective
web sites. Also included is a detailed examination of the procedures
necessary to provide adequate security for the Internet
node (or connection point) and the network that sends information
from computer to computer in the education agency.