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Who Invented the Internet?

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11639

You're using it right now! It changed the course of history and the way we live. It's fun, frustrating, educational, and entertaining! We should thank the inventor of the Internet. But who was that?



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


We use it every day. You are probably using it right now!

The mystery, then, is:

  • Who invented the Internet?

Former Vice President Al Gore famously launched a controversy when he claimed to have "created the Internet" in a 1999 interview with CNN, Inventing the Internet by Den Adams:

Gore did have something to do with legislating and funding the development of the Internet, but he certainly didn't invent it.

The Internet is undoubtedly one of the most incredible inventions of modern times. It has enabled nearly instantaneous global communication and revolutionized so many aspects of life. We often talk about our most-beloved inventions as having a single inventor, even when scores of people were actually involved. The light bulb has an "inventor," that being Thomas Edison, and the television has one too: Philo T. Farnsworth.

  • So, surely there must be an “inventor" of the Internet?

Well, it turns out history is more complicated than that!

Read about the history of the Internet. As you read, write down information and ideas to answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper:

  • Who were the people involved in coming up with the idea for the Internet? What ideas did they contribute?
  • Who were the people involved in developing the technology for the Internet? What did they develop?
  • Approximately how much time did it take to "invent" the Internet?

Read the article, Who invented the Internet?, by Evan Andrews, courtesy of A+E Television Networks.

Share the information you found with your parent or teacher. Then, reflect on the following questions and discuss:

  • How do new things get invented?
  • What kinds of resources were likely needed to create the Internet?
  • Why can we conclude that there is no one single person who can be called the "inventor" of the Internet?

By now, you probably know there is no one person we can hail as the inventor of this great invention, the Internet. A lot of people deserve credit, each for contributing some small part of this enormous invention.

In the Got It? section, deepen your knowledge about the process of developing the Internet and find specific resources that tell that story.

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