Main Topic: Information Technology: Its Evolution, Advantages and Disadvantages Creative Topic: So You Love IT: Where Has it Been? Where is it Going? Sub-topic: A Brief Examination of the Evolution of Information Technology, and Some Uses and Misuses. Today in society, people cannot conceive of a life without technology. Surrounding us are various technologies that are helping people to live their lives with more luxury.
Technological advancements are not just limited to computers; there are many other fields in which it has made significant ground breaking developments such as from carts to cars, from constantly being pinned down by gravity to air travel and from being confined to the earth to travel among the stars. There are many significant persons throughout history that have made ground breaking discoveries such as Blaise Pascal, Charles Babbage and Herman Hollerith which in turn laid the foundation for modern IT professionals such as Bill Gate and Steve Jobs.
Information Technology (IT) involves more than just computer literacy; it also takes into account how computers work and how these computers can further be used not just for information processing but also for communications and problem solving tasks as well. Our world today has changed a great deal with the aid of Information Technology. Jobs that were once done manually have now become computerized, simply requiring a single click of a mouse to get a task completed versus years ago when everything was exceedingly more difficult.
With the aid of IT we are not only able to streamline our business processes but we are also able to get constant information in ‘real time’ that is up to the minute and up to date. The significance of IT can be seen from the fact that it has penetrated almost every aspect of our daily lives and the society, from business to leisure. Therefore in order to understand more deeply about IT it is important to inspect the evolution of technology and some of its uses and misuses. 1. The Birth of IT goes back many centuries, from the development of mathematics, to electro-mechanical machines, to the first digital computer.
A. The concept of mathematics was expressed in stone and wood cravings, a calculating machine then to an analytical engine. B. Electro-mechanical machines paved way for communication such as the telegraph, telephone and the Internet. C. Digital computer introduced computer programming, the use of transistor and integrated circuits. 2. The uses of computer have proven to be very beneficial in communication, Business and Education. D. Enhancements in communication have increased transition of data, bridged cultural gaps and brought about positive globalization. E.
Computers have created jobs in the business industry and also have improved protection of vital information and have reduced productivity time. F. The use of IT has enhanced education, the ability to learn and access to learning materials. 3. The misuses of computer have been problematic in the communication, Business and Education sectors. G. The development of communication devices as brought about issues of privacy, technological addiction and cultural domination. H. Business enterprises have also caused some problems such as job elimination, security breaches and expensive implementation. I.
The education sector is diminishing the overall learning process resulting in loss of skill, plagiarism and the poor remains poor. Today in society, people cannot conceive of a life without technology. Surrounding us are various technologies that are helping people to live their lives with more luxury. Technological advancements are not just limited to computers; there are many other fields in which it has made significant ground breaking developments such as from carts to cars, from constantly being pinned down by gravity to air travel and from being confined to the earth to travel among the stars.
There are many significant persons throughout history that have made ground breaking discoveries such as Blaise Pascal, Charles Babbage and Herman Hollerith which in turn laid the foundation for modern IT professionals such as Bill Gate and Steve Jobs. Information Technology (IT) involves more than just computer literacy; it also takes into account how computers work and how these computers can further be used not just for information processing but also for communications and problem solving tasks as well.
Our world today has changed a great deal with the aid of Information Technology. Jobs that were once done manually have now become computerized, simply requiring a single click of a mouse to get a task completed versus years ago when everything was exceedingly more difficult. With the aid of IT we are not only able to streamline our business processes but we are also able to get constant information in ‘real time’ that is up to the minute and up to date.
The significance of IT can be seen from the fact that it has penetrated almost every aspect of our daily lives and the society, from business to leisure. Therefore in order to understand more deeply about IT, it is important to inspect the evolution of technology and some of its uses and misuses. The Birth of IT goes back many centuries, from the development of mathematics, to electro-mechanical machines, to the first digital computer. These ground breaking consecutive technological innovations made it possible to develop the glorious industry we have come to know has IT.
Through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects(Insert Citation). The development of mathematics led to the development of tools to help in computation such as sticks, stones and various carvings, used in an almost futile attempt to record data and information. These objects were used because no other methods were available to efficiently follow and store a mathematical equation at the time.
These were used for centuries until the wonderful use of paper came into being and until the marvellous abacus was invented which made performing tedious calculations a bit easier to trace and record. The abacus was a simple wooden box with beads strung along a wooden mid-bar to perform calculation (citation). Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, not just IT but also including the natural sciences, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Blaise Pascal took advantage of fundamental mathematical principles and developed n outstanding machine. Blaise Pascal was credited with building the first calculating machine in 17th century. He invented the first digital calculator as a means of helping his father perform tedious tax accounting (citation). He called his amazing device Pascal’s calculator which had a metal wheel dial that was turned to the appropriate numbers and symbols to preform calculations; the answers appeared in boxes in the top of the calculator. This was one the first contributions to the field of IT and it has advanced to the calculators we have grown to know and love today.
Pascal continued to make improvements to his machine and built fifty Pascaline machines in total. The first Pascaline machine could only handle 5-digit numbers, but later Pascal developed 6 digit and 8 digit versions of the Pascaline. This method of advancing current inventions in order to expand their capabilities is one of the key concepts of evolution. It was an extraordinary achievement which would lead to greater heights in the field of IT such as the Analytical Engine. In the 19th century, Charles Babbage, whom is considered the father of computing, designed the first “analytical engine. (citation) It was his idea of a mechanical digital computer which could perform basic input, processing, output and storage that all computers that followed are based on in today’s modern society. This machine had a mechanical computing “mill”(the processor) and used punch cards to store the numbers and processing requirements. Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace was a great supporter of Charles Babbage and she convinced him to use binary systems in his engines. Because she wrote some programs for Babbages’ engines, she is considered the first programmer (citation).
His vision of a massive brass, steam-powered, general-purpose, mechanical computer inspired some of the great minds of the nineteenth century. Almost a century later, Charles’ ideas re-emerged with the development of electro-mechanical calculating machines such as the tabulating machine and devices used for telecommunication. Electro-mechanical machines paved way new and exciting way to communicate such as the telegraph, telephone and the internet. A telegraph is a machine which is used for transmitting messages in the form of electrical impulses which can be converted into data (citation).
A message sent via telegraph is coded in a language called Morse code but the message itself is called a telegram or cablegram. Telegraph machines had to be connected through a series of wires in order to exchange messages. The operator would key a message in the Morse alphabet, and the receiving telegraph machine on the other side would register the message in the form of clicks, different click have different meanings w the messages were decoded. By listening to the pattern of clicks, the receiving operator could hear the message and transcribe it before passing it on to the recipient.
Advancements were made to telegraphy which introduced wireless telegraphy. This enabled telegraph messages were transmitted over the radio waves which marked a drastic change in the system, allowing people to rapidly transmit messages in areas without troublesome telegraph cables. Wireless laid the groundwork for later methods of communication such as the telephone. In the 1870s, Alexander Graham Bell designed a device that could transmit speech electrically (the telephone) (citation).
The telegraph and telephone are both wire-based electrical systems, and Alexander Graham Bell’s superb success with the telephone came as a direct result of his attempts to improve the telegraph which as we can see again that innovation is possible through evolution. The telegraph was basically limited to receiving and sending one message at a time consequently Bell sought to improve on the telegraph to “fix” this problem. His aim was to be able to transmit multiple messages back and forth across the same line which of course brought us the telephone.
But advancements in communication did not stop there. Later on person’s discovered that these same telephone lines could be used to transmit and share data across devices thus the idea of an inter-connected network (the internet) was introduced. The Internet was the result various persons wanting to share information between computers. A man named Lawrence Roberts of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines and he discovered hat computer could share information through telephone lines (citation). The idea was developed further and a series on inter-connected networks created what we know today as the World Wide Web. This idea was indeed useful when the first digital computer was made. The first electronic digital computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was developed in 1946 however it was not very efficient due to poor programming and architecture thus it was necessary to improve on computer coding and develop better technology to run the software on (citation).
A man named Von Neumann, a mathematics professor, developed the idea further. He added the idea of a stored computer program. This was a set of instructions stored in the memory of the computer, which the computer obeyed to complete the programmed task (citation). From this stage, computers and computer programming evolved rapidly. The move from vacuum tubes to transistors significantly reduced the size and cost of the machines, and increased their reliability. Then came integrated circuit technology, which has reduced the size (and cost) of computers.
In the 1960s, the typical computer was a transistor-based machine that cost half a million dollars, and needed a large, air-conditioned room and an on-site engineer. The same computer power now costs $2,000 and sits on a desk. As computers became smaller and cheaper, they also became faster–made possible by a single integrated circuit called a chip. The evolution of technology has proven to be very useful in various sectors of the world. IT is here to stay thus let us take advantage of it and explore it many benefits. The uses of computer have proven to be very beneficial in communication, Business and Education.
Enhancements in communication have increased transition of data, bridged cultural gaps and brought about positive globalization. Nowadays, people can get hot news from any parts of the world very quickly by using E-mail and Internet. Moreover, telephone-local or/and overseas is playing a key role for people to communicate to with each other. Our means of communication has greatly improved in the dawn of the modern technology. We now have so many hi-tech gadgets that we use for everyday to communicating with people from all over the world.
We can now communicate with anyone around the globe by simply text messaging them or sending them an email for an almost instantaneous response. The telephone is a very helpful mean tool for us to talk with people from remote places, then came out the cellular phones, which we can take with us wherever we go. Now, we are given the privilege to use computers and the internet that has such a wide variety of easy communication offers. Transmission of data has become so easy compared to back in the day. With the help of information technology, communication has also become cheaper, quicker, and more efficient.
The internet has also opened up face to face direct communication from different parts of the world thanks to the helps of video conferencing. It is one of the reasons why we should be thankful for technology. This ability to communicate with people worldwide has opened our eyes to various other cultures. Information technology has helped to bridge the cultural gap by helping people from different cultures to communicate with one another, and allow for the exchange of views and ideas, thus increasing awareness and reducing prejudice.
In a world where there is tension between different racial groups especially in a case where these groups cannot communicate so resolve their differences, it can be a BIG problem for the tourism sector and inter-racial relationship between countries. Advancements in communication have allowed us bridge cultural barriers and rectify our differences. Cultural unison is very important in developing the world and globalization can be seen a good thing. IT has not only brought the world closer together, but it has allowed the world’s economy to become a single interdependent system.
This means that we can not only share information quickly and efficiently, but we can also bring down barriers of linguistic and geographic boundaries. The world has developed into a global village due to the help of IT allowing countries like Chile and Japan who are not only separated by distance but also by language to shares ideas and information with each other. IT has not only proved beneficial in method communications but also to the business industry. Computers have created jobs in the business industry and also have improved protection of vital information and have reduced productivity time.
Probably the best advantage of information technology is the creation of new and interesting jobs. Computer programmers, Systems analyzers, Hardware and Software developers and Web designers are just some of the many new employment opportunities created with the help of IT. Job creation is just of the aspects that IT has benefited people, securing data is another. IT creates electronic storage systems to protect a company’s valuable records. According to the Graziadio Business Report, published by Pepperdine University, secure maintenance of customer and patient files is vital to business integrity.
Storage systems, such as virtual vaults, keep information safe by only allowing certain users within your company to access, withdraw, add or change the documents. According to an article in Science Daily, IT security engineering systems protect your electronic information from being hacked, or wiped out during a technological disaster. Electronic security engineering means your valuable records will remain untouchable. Production has also been increased. Now, we can create materials in just minutes with multiple copies of those productions at a time.
Before persons had to make products manually which sometime took days and weeks which cuts into the companies’ profit and often time this would result in worker’s pay getting slashed in an attempt to keep the business running. This is what the modern machines contribute to our society. The benefits IT has allow aid teachers and students in the educational sector. The use of IT has enhanced education, the ability to learn and access to learning materials. Technology has revolutionized the classroom and the learning experience as a whole.
The technology available today has made a wealth of knowledge available to students, which offers great potential for the speed and style of learning. Information is presented in so many ways that any type learner, whether gifted or disabled, can find and use the necessary material. This fact relates not only to the Internet, but to all the many technological improvements in learning, from smart boards to handheld dictionaries. Students at Northern Caribbean University are able to finish 6 months courses in 4 months which is an improvement compared to the time students normally take to learn certain concepts.
Some students have become resent the learning process as a whole and the simple reason is because it is just “not their style”. Since the dawn of technological age pass method of teaching have become boring to students. Pass methods have become stale and it was just not the kind of setting that some students were able to learn in. With the introduction of new methods of teaching and with the “old” method still present students ability to learn as improve because they can be in a setting that pleases them and makes them comfortable thus learning is easier.
Most persons now have access to various learning materials, access to this information is just a click away thus education is now a wide spread privilege. The information on the Internet is there for all who have access, without discrimination. People of all social strata are able to use technological advances, which is a fairly new academic development. The advantages to IT are numerous however; modern technology doesn’t automatically bring the good things but some bad points. The misuses of computer have been problematic in the communication, Business and Education sectors.
The development of communication devices as brought about issues of privacy, technological addiction and cultural domination. Too many people can communicate with us all at the same time. It can create opportunities for fraudulent scams and dangerous spamming in a lot of ways. Though IT may have made communication quicker, easier and more convenient, it has also bought along privacy issues. From cell phone signal interceptions to email hacking, people are now worried about their once private information becoming public knowledge.
Often times persons receive emails from what seems to be their well trusted banking company which prompts them to verify their bank account number an password after which they later find out that their account was completely drained of all funds. The youth has also been very much addicted to gadgets and they spend too much time with it which results in delinquency in school work, outdoor social activities and also they start to neglect chores and personal hygiene. Try asking a child playing with a PSP to do his homework and more than likely his reply will be “just one more game”.
Try asking that child to get some fresh air and more than likely his reply will be “I prefer to stay inside use chat on Facebook”. Another disadvantage is that is causes cultural domination. While IT may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating weaker one. For example it is now argued that US influences have caused most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave like those of the US which results in personality issues because the child does not take the time to figure out what he/her is interested in.
Instead they imitate and not only adapt a culture’s “good” standing but also their bad behaviour. These disadvantages extend into the business sector as well. Business enterprises have also caused some problems such as job elimination, security breaches and expensive implementation. While information technology may have streamlined the business process it has also crated job redundancies, downsizing and outsourcing. This means that a lot of lower and middle level jobs have been done away with causing more people to become unemployed. Implementing IT into business operations can save a great deal of time during the completion of daily tasks.
Paperwork is processed immediately, and financial transactions are automatically calculated. Although businesses may view this expediency as a boon, there are untoward effects to such levels of automation. As technology improves, tasks that were formerly performed by human employees are now carried out by computer systems. For example, automated telephone answering systems have replaced live receptionists in many organizations. This leads to the elimination of jobs and, in some cases, alienation of clients. Unemployed specialists and once-loyal employees may have difficulty securing future employment.
Data security has also become an issue. The ability to store information in an electronic database facilitates quicker, more efficient communication. In the past, an individual would sift through stacks of paper records to retrieve data. With properly implemented technology, information can be recovered at the touch of a button. Although information technology systems allow business to be conducted at a faster pace, they are not without their flaws. Information technology systems are vulnerable to security breaches, particularly when they are accessible via the Internet.
If appropriate measures are not in place, unauthorized individuals may access confidential data. Information may be altered, permanently destroyed or used for unsavoury purposes. In order to keep a business “up to date” lots money has to be spent to implement new technology. Every business must consider start-up costs when implementing any type of information technology system. In addition to the cost of hardware and software, some technology vendors require businesses to purchase user licenses for each employee that will be operating the system. Businesses must examine the cost of training employees in unfamiliar technology.
Although basic information technology systems may be user friendly, advanced programs still require formal instruction by an expert consultant. In addition to the start-up expenses, information technology systems are expensive to maintain. Systems malfunction, and when they do, businesses must engage skilled technicians to troubleshoot and make the necessary repairs. These expenses present a major disadvantage of information technology in business, particularly to businesses that are entering the technology era for the first time. The education sector has also suffered at the hand of technology.
The education sector is diminishing the overall learning process resulting in loss of skill, plagiarism and the poor remains poor. With this increased access to knowledge also comes a probable loss of communication skills and interactive abilities between students and teacher, and students to peers. These skills are not as necessary in a classroom of computers, where individuality is a component of learning and is encouraged. Aside from learning, conflict resolution and socialization used to be two prominent reasons children came to school. The emphasis now has shifted away from these areas.
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