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Making I.T. Obvious

An examination of the effects of 'globalizing' the CINS 102 - Information Systems Fundamentals Spring 2013 course.

Bill Worden

on 20 May 2013

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Transcript of Making I.T. Obvious

Making I.T. Obvious The Goal: To give students in CINS 102 - Information System Fundamentals - a more globally aware perspective using the existing material CINS 102 - Information Systems Fundamentals Course Description: Introduces information processing and programming with emphasis on hands-on computer experience. Examines the role of information processing in an organization including: information processing applications, computer hardware and software, internal data representation, stored program concepts, systems and programming design, flowcharting, and data communications. Review the history of computers, related computer careers, the social impact of computers, and computer security. The Text Chapter 1 - Computers and Digital Basics Chapter one allowed the introduction of the international nature of the Internet, and how it revolutionized global communications.
All digital information, regardless of its originating language, is coded into binary data. This allows the hardware and software of computers to be created and disseminated more easily than any other information medium or technology, regardless of the underlying complexity in their initial design.
Computers are fundamentally global, as much of their development required international conflict as well as the resulting economic development to realize their potential. World War II decimated the European Continent, but also saw the development of computers for code breaking. The Internet is an American Invention, but a global phenomenon The students' text states: "Globalization can be defined as the worldwide economic interdependence of countries that occurs as cross-border commerce increases and as money flows more freely among countries" The text notes that Nokia is responsible for about 25% of Finland's exports The text also notes that in technologically underdeveloped countries such as
women make a living selling cell phone time to their neighbors. Nearly a half century later, the Internet would make a significant leap forward with the invention of the World Wide Web at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Chapter 2 presented hardware, and a significant amount of lecture and discussion involved the involvement of east asian continent in producing the majority of computer hardware we consume in our information economy. Topic: - Computer Hardware - Binary to ASCII to .... Students were asked to decode the following binary code into ASCII text, and print the result: 0100000101010011010000110100100101001001001000000110010001101111011001010111001101101110001001110111010000100000011101110110111101110010011010110010000001100110011011110111001000100000011100100110010101110000011100100110010101110011011001010110111001110100011010010110111001100111001000000100001101101000011010010110111001100101011100110110010100100000011101000110010101111000011101000010000001101001011011100010000001100010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100101110001000000101011101101000011000010111010000100000011010010111001100100000011101000110100001100101001000000110110001101001011011010110100101110100011000010111010001101001011011110110111000100000011000010110001001101111011101010111010000100000010000010101001101000011010010010100100100100000011101000110100001100001011101000010000001101101011000010110101101100101011100110010000001101001011101000010000001101001011011100110000101110000011100000111001001101111011100000111001001101001011000010111010001100101001000000110011001101111011100100010000001110010011001010111000001110010011001010111001101100101011011100111010001101001011011100110011100100000011100110110111101101101011001010010000001101100011000010110111001100111011101010110000101100111011001010111001100111111001000000110100001110100011101000111000000111010001011110010111101110111011101110111011100101110011001010111011001100101011011100111010001110010011001010111000001101111011100100111010001100101011100100010111001100011011011110110110100101111011000110110111101101101011011010110111101101110001011110110010101101110001011110110000101110010011101000110100101100011011011000110010101110011001011110111011101101000011110010010110101110101011011100110100101100011011011110110010001100101001011100111000001101000011100000010000001110000011100100110010101110011011001010110111001110100011100110010000001100001011011100010000001100001011011100111001101110111011001010111001000101110 The 'decoded' answer was as follows:
"ASCII doesn't work for representing Chinese text in binary. What is the limitation about ASCII that makes it inappropriate for representing some languages? http://www.eventreporter.com/common/en/articles/why-unicode.php presents an answer." As part of a discussion on Hard Drives, it was pointed out that Thailand is the world's second largest producer of them, and the 2011 flooding that ravaged that part of the world greatly reduced their availability for months, leading to price increases worldwide. A special section of the text was dedicated to e-waste and mentioned it as a global problem. The topic was presented in class with images to show the extent of the problem. Here are some in Ghana, Africa... ... and China: Chapters 3 and 4 were on computer software and operating systems and file management. As such, there was little material that could be directly put into a global context, with two exceptions. Chapter 4 also centered on the Apple Operating Systems, and a discussion of Apple Inc.'s issues with labor problems in China As stated previously, the Internet started in the United States as the ARPANet was opened to commercialization. As Chapter 5 dealt with Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Chapter 6 with the Internet itself, it was easy to connect the American involvement to a global scope. Because most students know the American origin of the Internet, a topical issue close to most of them (Internet access) was presented as an area where many countries in fact surpass the U.S. in cost and availability of Internet access, even as other countries continue to suffer a lack of connectivity. The remaining chapters covered in the class had smaller, anecdotal contributions added. For example: Chapter 7 - The Web and E-mail:
A discussion of how the sovereignty of other countries can act as a haven for spam and phishing groups or web-sites.
Chapter 8 - Digital Media:
A discussion of copyright infringement and the ability of international stars to emerge from YouTube or other outlets.
Chapter 9 - The Computer Industry:
The History, Careers, and Ethics of the computer industry were presented with global consideration such as outsourcing leading to insourcing, the emerging global economy, and cultural differences impacting business etiquette.
Chapter 10 - Information Systems Analysis and Design:
The nature of corporate security expanding to defense from other governments as well as companies, and the difficulties of protecting a global information system
Chapter 11 - Databases:
How databases, especially commercial ones, have to take multiple forms of addressing and currencies, to name a few
Chapter 12 - Computer Programming
Computer programmers are no longer restricted any part of the world, and many large companies produce their software on a 24/7 global cycle, where different parts of the world take over on their respective "9 to 5" daylight periods. The Results This year's ICAB group had an opportunity to give their students two separate iterations of the Global Perspectives Inventory (GPI), one at the beginning and another toward the end of the semester. The results were encouraging for the CINT 102 class. The demographics of the respondents were consistent Most students identified as American, performed well academically, and came from families with academic backgrounds. Note: Students identifying as "Transfer Students" were likely referring to their intention to transfer their ITCC credits to IUB NOTE: Any statements in italic are regressive, so lower average responses are indicative of a more global perspective.
In addition, any numeric score greater than .2 (regressive or progressive) is considered academically significant. January GPI April GPI -.35 -.20 N/C +.65! +.78! -.65! N/C Below Average to Above A remarkable increase of .71, over 3 times the statistically significant marker of .20 +.72 N/C +.60 +1.07! +1.08! All Faculty are concerned about what their students learn, but it is especially gratifying to see them grow.
The Intrapersonal - Identity section shows that the students have grown within as individuals as well as gaining knowledge. For the statement "I see myself as a global citizen", the number disagreeing or strongly disagreeing went from 25% to 10%
- and the number in agreement from 50% to 60% In the area of Social Responsibility, there remains some work to be done, but even here an increase put the class much closer to private BA and MA and 4 Year College norms. The greatest increases for Social Interaction were seen in preferring to work with people who have different cultural values and openness to people living different lives than the students From this, we can conclude that although increases were seen across the spectrum of Community elements there is still work to be done to increase the sense of "community" in our Community College.
For the Curricular Items area a point of pride for the Bloomington ITCC campus is its commitment to Service-learning, an area which it is above the national average. January GPI April GPI 3.72 4.01 3.96 4.11 4.13 4.00 2.05 1.30 1.10 0.72 1.22 1.42 The comparison with National Norms was adapted from the "Norms for GPI" document at gpi.central.edu and are listed in green to the right of their respective entries for the April GPI results. Interestingly, in Co-Curriculum Items there were actual decreases in some areas. One of the few times a decrease indicated a negative result.
Even so, increases were seen in some significant areas (as highlighted) and were comparable to the national averages, as listed in orange. -.32 -.05 -.43 -.67 -.3 +.18 +.48 -.12 +.48 +.80 +.32 +.20 1.66 1.43 1.70 2.03 2.08 1.46 2.48 2.24 2.27 2.34 2.30 2.71 The Final Project Students were asked to respond to questions in a "Learning Paper" Assignment, to allow for individual reflections on the course. Some examples: 1) How has your view of the global impact of the Internet changed during this course? "I always knew that the internet greatly impacted and influenced almost everything in the world. From trade and jobs to being able to communicate with family across the world. There are aspects of the internet that I did not know about. As far as how the United States isn’t highest in the ranking for best internet. Our speeds our slower and our prices are higher than other areas of the world. I think that is what surprised me the most in learning more about how the internet greatly affects globalization. It felt like the internet has always been there, when in reality, it hasn’t been around for that long."
Brenna B. "One example that sticks out in my mind is that recently I was watching a program on CNN, the program was about Myanmar also known as Burma. The host of the show was at a street fair and there were Angry Bird stuffed animals being given away as prizes."
Amanda A. "Not far away, in the global scheme of things, we can look to South Korea for contrast [from North Korea]. One of the more technologically advanced nations on the planet is just a few miles south of the 38th parallel. The former countrymen of the North Koreans live a life of comparative luxury, and have the infrastructure that any emerging economy could, and does envy. Its people have all the benefits and freedoms that a democracy can provide. It went through the newspaper phase, followed by the television and radio age and is currently enjoying the wonderful world of instant information that the internet can provide."
Gary R. "Because of the Internet, and the fact that it’s global, countless things are possible that never could have been before. Anyone with an Internet connection can communicate with people all over the world. This can be especially useful if you have family or friends in other parts of the world. With things like Skype, you can video call and stay in touch. This makes pen pals that you would write letters to in elementary seem prehistoric. You can also design something in the U.S. and have someone else in another country make it for you because of the Internet. These are just a few examples of the many, many, impacts of the Internet being global."
Kaycie N. "The Internet not only connects us throughout the world but there are areas where the Internet is truly better than ours. As we discussed before Asia and Europe having many different ISP’s rather that the select few we are offered here in the United States. Also, the fact that those other countries have an option of a much faster connection than our own."
Alex G. 2) How do you feel that information systems or technology make it easier or harder to understand the world around you? "This instant access to information makes it easier for us to understand the world around us, especially the world beyond our borders. If the North Koreans had internet access they would be much more informed, and far less manageable to their Draconian regime."
Gary R. "Although information systems and technology makes it easier to understand the world around us, some people on the other side of the digital divide find it harder to work within a technological society. A friend of mine told me when she was filing for unemployment; you had to have an email address to fill out the form. There was a man in the unemployment office that did not have an email address, did not know how to create one, and could not work the computer at all. I assumed this man has to be elderly, but it was a man in his mid-thirties. I think it depends on a person’s knowledge of information and their ability to use the system to access that technology that makes it easier or harder to understand the world around them."
Amanda A. "This past year, I’ve taken up the hobby of sewing. I’ve never had a class. I’ve never had someone sit down and teach me in person. I never had even touched a sewing machine before I purchased one this year. However, with the help of technology and the Internet I’ve been able to find numerous YouTube videos on how to sew. I can easily find step by step tutorials to make anything I want. I can even use the Internet to design my own handbag hardware and have it shipped to me. "
Kaycie N. "The production of newer and newer technology makes it a lot easier to see and hear the world, but I don’t think you can truly understand the world until you go out and experience it for yourself. You can instruct a person on how to ride a bike or swim, but it’s not until they physically do it that they are faced with the feat it takes to perform that task."
Alex G. Teaching the Teacher What I have learned is that there is no one component to 'globalizing' or 'internationalizing' your course. It is an investment. You invest your time in broadening your scope of awareness to show your students that there is a global component to each and every thing you do. For me, this meant making it obvious to my students that the devices and information they use every day is rooted in Information Technology (I.T.) that depends on every corner of the world to succeed.
After that, the only task is to make I.T. obvious
Bill Worden, Spring 2013 The problem of intellectual property was presented as a global problem and the significance of a free exchange of ideas and computer code was presented as the reason for the existence and success of the Linux operating system. The difficulties of a culture of communal ownership producing intellectual property for capitalistic countries' consumption was presented for the former, and the benefits of communally shared but copyright respected content was shared for the latter. January GPI April GPI January GPI April GPI January GPI April GPI January GPI April GPI January GPI April GPI January GPI April GPI
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