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INFO2 - 9 - The Consequences of the Use of ICT

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Quarrydale Computing

on 12 June 2014

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Transcript of INFO2 - 9 - The Consequences of the Use of ICT

AS - INFO2 - 9 - The Consequences of the Use of ICT
A Metcalfe
The Key concepts for the consequences of the use of ICT for:
• Individuals
• Society
Life for individuals has changed considerably in recent years as the use of ICT has entered the social and work environment.

In this section the main benefits and limitations of the consequences for ICT are outlined.
Teleworking is where the employee works from home using ICT and is remotely connected to the company computer network.
In some cases teleworkers have to attend work at the office on occasions, which is normally termed core time, so that some face-to-face meetings and briefings can take place.

Normally the company will provide the worker with the necessary ICT & Communication equipment needed to perform the role.
This new employment initiative has many benefits as it offers the chance for people with disabilities or daytime family commitments the chance to get back to work.

Teleworking has been useful for the employer as they can solve problems with the skills shortage by using workers outside of their region and also tap the skilled working mother and disabled workforce.
To some extent their costs are reduced by less office space being required and the reduction in overheads.
The advantages to staff of teleworking are:
• Can work at convenient times to fit in with family and social commitments
• Avoids the stress, frustration and time lost by commuting to work
• Avoids the cost of commuting to work
• Useful to disabled people who have mobility problems
• Useful to single parents who can’t get to work during normal hours due to childcare commitments
• No need to move house or relocate when you get a new job.
The disadvantages to staff of teleworking are:
• It may be difficult to concentrate and work at certain times due to general noise by other family members
• Need to ensure that the employer provides and maintains the ICT & Communication equipment required
• Need to ensure that the employer makes some allowance for the cost of heating and lighting a home office
• Employee has no one to ask if they have a work related problem without making contact with the company
• There is a general lack of social interaction for the teleworker, which may make them feel isolated and unhappy
• Research indicated that many teleworkers work too hard at home and do not take regular breaks
• The work / life balance is confused by not working regular hours and not leaving the home.
Changing employment opportunities have many benefits for the modern workforce as the more mundane and repetitive tasks are automated by computers.

Secretarial work is more interesting now as
the use of templates and mail merge concepts increase the skills needed and so boost the satisfaction obtained from these clerical tasks.
Changing employment opportunities
A whole host of new specialist ICT employment opportunities have arisen in recent years, including:

• Systems Administrator
• Web Designer
• Network Maintenance & Installation
• Technical Instructors
• CAD / CAM designers
• Help desk staff
• Computer Programmers
• Hardware & Software Engineers
Changing employment opportunities
One area in which there is a particular skills shortage in is Games Programming – these are the people that write the code that forms the building blocks of the game, governing the complex interactions between characters and environments.

Games programming is mathematical, requires a keen problem solving mentality and is a rewarding, well paid and challenging career.
Changing employment opportunities
Information is widely available to individuals nowadays by using ICT from home.

When planning travel the Internet is far more use than getting a brochure sent to you as it is likely to be up to date.

For example if planning a rail journey at the weekend, the Internet can be used to find out ticket prices, arrival and departure times, number of stops and any changes due to engineering works.
Information & Education
The information on the Internet is not simply limited to travel arrangements; the information is varied
and detailed as you have access to the following:
• Maps and Car Journey Routes from sites like the AA and MultiMap
• Shop and Store Locator – where you enter your postcode into the stores’ site and they will return
you the list of stores nearby, with maps and opening hours
• Government and local authority publications - so you can read online the information regarding
income tax, customs duty free allowance, etc.
• General knowledge – the Internet is like an encyclopaedia and has a vast array of information as
paper-based encyclopaedias begin to be superseded by the internet. View www.HowStuffWorks.com to see animations of how technical devices operate, such as a DVD Player.
Information on the internet
Education has also been affected by the use of ICT systems and one of the main area of development has been the introduction of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in schools and colleges.

There is some confusion about the definition of Virtual Learning Environments, but they are generally a combination of some or all of the following features, dependent upon the school requirements:
• Communication Tools – such as internal email, bulletin boards and chat rooms; in some cases there may be communication links set up with schools in other countries for project work.
• Collaboration Tools – such as online forums, intranets, electronic diaries and calendars.
• Resource Creation Tools – used to create online content and courses, such as worksheets and coursework advice
• Integration with School Management Information Systems – for teachers to view student progress, attendance and the option to create mail merge letters to send to selected parents for school trip planning purposes.
• Online Assessment & Marking – used to reduce the paper trail and give feedback to students; results would normally be uploaded to the school information system.
• Controlled Access to Curriculum Resources – to ensure students have access to resources needed for their course and not any surplus information.
• Extranet – allows student access to content and communications beyond the school day and allow other school stakeholders (Parents, Governors, etc.) access to relevant school data.
The VLE system has been introduced at a time when there are many interactive whiteboards in schools.

There are advantages to the teacher as this allows them to get the most from the electronic resources purchased or created for the VLE. Interactive whiteboards allow the teachers to do a hands-on demonstration of software concepts or functions, to brainstorm a problem by writing on the board and converting the handwriting to text, as well as displaying student work for the whole group to view where the positive features of the work can be highlighted.

The presentation of students work is obviously improved by using ICT especially where several applications are linked to allow graphs to be inserted into word processed documents, for example. ICT also helps students with revision sites and group working by using email or social networking.

Training is loosely linked with education and is essential with ICT systems as there are continual changes. The software producers such as Microsoft have been keen to support users by offering elearning materials online. The latest software has a range of help files for all cases and complex tasks are often accompanied with step-by-step wizards or videos to demonstrate the technique.
VLE and training
Leisure and Retirement
Problems with ICT
Consequences of the Use of ICT for Society
Police & Crime Detection
Health Service
Online shopping is a preferred method of buying goods for many users as it has the following advantages:
• You can compare prices online and get the best deal.
• Prices are often lower as the online shop does not have the same business overheads as a high street shop.
• You save money by not traveling to the shops and you save time by not having to walk around the shops.
• You can shop 24/7 as the online shop process is automated and so open all the time.
• The item you purchase is delivered to your door.
Online Banking is quite commonly used nowadays as it saves the time and cost of physically going to a bank to sort out payments and get cash.

In addition to these basic features online banking allows the user to check their bank account balance, transfer funds between accounts, pay credit card bills, apply for loans, open new accounts and modify direct debits.

The widespread introduction of ATMs or cash machines has been especially useful in avoiding having to actually go to a bank for a transaction. Cash is also widely available from supermarkets as cash-back, when paying with a debit card
There is a concern in education that there has been an increase in the detection of plagiarised work submitted by students; the use of the Internet as a research tool makes plagiarism a straightforward task as work can be copied and pasted from a web page into a student project and the words re-organised to make the work appear to be your original work.
The www.plagiarism.org site, spells out in plain English what you can and cannot do with internet researched text.
Your security is another problem that can be compromised by the use of the Internet and email.

One of the latest threats is by phishing, where, for example, a bogus company sends you an email asking you to confirm the financial and personal details related to your bank account. The email is quite plausible and normally provides a link to a website that looks similar to the bank account website.

Some people mistakenly give away their personal and security details to the bogus website, which then fraudulently uses these details to access your bank account. Another area of concern is where people are concerned about the safety of their credit card details when an online form is filled in to pay for an online purchase.

Most online shops have allayed these fears by using a secure link to upload the data in an encrypted form; the online shop normally advises you of this as you pay and they use the HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure for the upload.
Pace of change
The pace of change can be a major problem for some ICT users be they professional or home users.

A characteristic of most software packages is that they have a relatively short shelf life and new products are introduced on a regular basis. In recent years a new version of Microsoft Office has been introduced about every three years, so just when you master one version, another is introduced; the user is left to learn the new system and may work a lot slower during their training process.

ICT also extends to hardware and communication devices like mobile phones, leisure devices like iPod and MP3 players which also change regularly as new features are introduced to help promote sales; in all cases there is a learning curve for the user as they adjust to the inevitable new interface introduced.

There is no doubt that the ICT user has to be prepared for continuous change to get the best from the system..
Leisure time has increased in recent years and ICT can be very useful in making the best use of this time.

A wealth of information is available to help with leisure planning, whether you are planning a holiday or even a visit to the theatre. It is possible to get a seating plan of the theatre before buying tickets online or to find out a lot of detail about holiday accommodation as well as what to do in the local area and even the long term weather forecasts for virtually anywhere.
Leisure and Retirement
The actual home computer itself can support many hobbies and ICT related activities.

For example, digital photography can be linked with using advanced procedures in image manipulation programs
like Adobe Photoshop.

The keen user can improve the picture by making simple adjustments or going the whole hog and taking a RAW image on a digital SLR camera (the preset features of the camera are ignored) and the resultant RAW image can be adjusted in software for features like white balance or the
effects of colour balance.
Older people are not excluded from using the ICT in
their leisure time. In some cases technology is developed
specifically for this large group, as shown in the article
below where a mobile phone has features that are
tailored to the older user.

”Mobile targets the 50+ generation“


The police are always at the forefront of technology in the areas of crime detection, prevention and prosecution.

In some cases the technology does not have to be that sophisticated to make a difference in police efficiency; as shown in the news article below a relatively low technology closed circuit TV camera is a useful method for gaining evidence, particularly when equipped with a sound recording feature; the police officer is freed up to restrain and interview a criminal rather than have to take notes, which may
not guarantee a conviction.

”CCTV cameras for police unifroms“

ICT is widely used in the modern police force to help solve a variety of crimes and increasingly detectives need to have a range of digital skills as they:
1. Attempt to monitor the online activities of paedophiles to both detect and prevent crimes.
2. Search the web to try and detect any terrorist activities. In some cases they can examine the
hardware and websites of suspects to gain sufficient evidence for a prosecution.
3. Fight the ongoing war against computer misuse and associated fraudulent activity.
The health service is continually investing in new technology with a view to improving the performance of its staff.

One of the latest innovations is described in the BBC Click news article below, where strides have been made to improve the processing of x-rays by scanning the image straight into a computer.

”How technology is helping hospitals“

Speech recognition software is then used to add notes to the image. The process has the advantage of being quicker and there is no physical x-ray to file away and store.
The operating theatre in the health service is also changing as the use of keyhole surgery is used wherever possible. In some cases the surgeon will be using a computer system to operate and making movements with what seems at first sight like a games console to perform the operation.

Transplant surgery is no longer a rare event and is carried out at many major hospitals in the UK on a regular basis.

When we think of computer type crime we normally think of the major issues such as credit card fraud and hacking into systems.

”UK software piracy rate declines“

This new article from the BBC is particularly interesting as it shows that pirated business software accounts for 26% of the software installed in business systems.
This is a huge number of companies that are not legal. There don’t seem to be any figures available for home use – it would be interesting to see how legal home software is.

The main problem with using pirated software is that the developers need to be paid for their products to cover the continual cost of investment they make in developing and maintaining software programs.
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