Different ways to communicate online

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1. Communication technology

Being able to send messages and talk to other people is an important part of modern life.

The internet has opened up lots of new ways for us to communicate.

At the touch of a button we have the ability to instantly get in touch with almost anyone, anywhere on the planet.

2. Ways to communicate using the internet

Click on the image to find out about five different ways to communicate using the internet.

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There are many different types of communication technology. They all have different strengths. It is important to think about which type of communication is best for each occasion.

3. How email works

When did you last send an email? Millions of emails are sent every minute of the day. But what happens when you click on 'Send'? Believe it or not your email makes a pretty amazing journey.

First, the email software you are using communicates with an outgoing mail server. This is a special computer that manages email. Then the outgoing server looks up the address of the inbound mail server and sends the message there over the internet. The address of the inbound server is the bit after @ on an email address.

At the inbound server the mail is sent into the person's mailbox. The inbound mail server checks the bit before @ to see whose mailbox to send it to. When that person next connects to the server their mail will be passed to them.

4. How should I behave online?

Just like in real life it's important to be polite and respectful when you are online.

5. One day on the internet

During one day, here are some ways you might communicate using technology. One of these ways does NOT involve using the internet. Can you work out which one?

Video call

During breakfast you receive a video call from your granny in Australia.

Video call

Does use the internet

Not quite. A video call DOES use the internet.


At school you publish some poems that you have been writing on the class blog.


Does use the internet

Not quite. Blogging DOES use the internet.


You send a text message to your Mum telling her you are going to your friend’s house after school.


Does NOT use the internet

Exactly! Sending text messages with your phone does not use the internet. It uses the phone network instead.


You finish your homework and send it in an email to your teacher.


Does use the internet

Not quite. Sending an email DOES use the internet.