ICT has improved and developed vastly over a long period of time. Technology made in the past was a huge success then, however now it is a thing of the past as new technology is being invented constantly. New technology is making a big hit as the number of products being produced is increasing while the prices of the products are decreasing. This decrease in prices makes technology accessible to working class people which weren’t available to them previously. The increase of working class people using ICT has forced the programmers to programs easier to use such as Windows XP. These different types of technology are used in almost every workforce, home and place, showing how successful ICT has become. ICT is used for many uses including personal, professional and social use. There are numerous examples of technological items:
Communication Technology – Mobile phones
Mobile phones have become increasingly popular over the last few years and the number of people using mobiles phones have increased too. Compared to past times where mobiles were used in cars because they needed a large battery power source, improvements in ICT and much lower cost has meant that the majority of people will now own a mobile phone, even very young people. Mobile phones are useful for personal use. Although some calls can be expensive compared to landlines, they are affordable. People can take their phones anywhere and be ready to call someone when an unexpected event happens. Mobile phones have a lot of facilities within it such as texting messages and accessing the internet through the phone. These facilities have become very popular and are almost in every new phone.
‘Short Message service’ or more commonly known as SMS has enabled digital mobile phone users to send messages to one another. Text messaging is known as using SMS up to 160 alphanumeric characters can be sent from one phone to another phone. Mobile phones also have internet facilities within them. At the moment, there are two types of ways to get to the internet, the ‘WAP’ and ‘GPRS’. Mobile phones have a lot of advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that mobile phones can be carried anywhere and used so it is really useful in emergencies. Also, being able to access the internet from anywhere is really useful. You can also access the net on the move, if you have your mobile phone connected to your laptop. I often use my mobile phone for my personal and social use and unlike a normal landline phone; I can carry it anywhere I want and keep in touch with anyone I want. I have also used a mobile phone for an emergency when our family car broke down. Sometimes I have used a mobile phone after school to call my parents to come and pick me up. I also often use texting.
This is because texting is easier and quicker than telephoning, e-mailing or writing. It also has the advantage of doing it from anywhere and without any noise so I don’t have to disturb anyone. Another facility I use in mobiles is camera and video facility. I often use this for taking pictures or videos for my courseworks. I also use the ‘MP3 Player’ in the mobile phones to listen to music while I am doing my work or going somewhere. As mobile phones are useful for talking to just certain people, I use my mobile to contact my friends if I need any help in my homework. These facilities of a mobile phone are really useful for helping in my personal, social and work-related life.
However, there are disadvantages of having a mobile phone. Firstly, only in some places can you find the right signal to talk. If there isn’t a good signal, then you cannot talk there. Also, mobile phones are quite expensive and usually, so are the bills. As a reason for mobiles being expensive, many people steal a mobile phone. So if you have a mobile phone, you are an easy target for theft. Another problem is that sometimes, the internet on the phone is slow and expensive. Even though I just use the internet to check on football scores, the bills are really expensive. There are also other disadvantages of using a mobile phone such as medical illness of over-using a mobile phone. Also, mobiles may be considered as a nuisance when used in public places.
The internet is an international information network linking computers and is accessible to the public via modern links. This international information network is known as the ‘World Wide Web’ or more commonly known as ‘WWW’. This ‘www’ is at the beginning of an internet address. The internet has a wide and huge range of information and has a lot of facilities. The internet is really useful in learning. Many courseworks and homeworks require the use of internet. The amount of information available for the students is extraordinary as they are able to access up-to-date complete research material form just a computer which makes gathering the information easy. With the use of internet, people are able to access courses via on-line. The internet can be used to check which local colleges do the courses. Participating in a course through the internet has many advantages because many colleges only run a certain number of courses and usually, the colleges cannot run a course if it does not reach the minimum number of students. However, internet courses can be accessed from anywhere and they do not have the same costs, so the number of students does not matter.
Email is probably the main facility the internet provides. Email or Electronic Mail enables you to send and receive messages which includes; pictures, reports and videos via a telephone signal. Millions of emails are sent across the world each day. Some people use a ‘webcam’ to transmit live video pictures across to their friends and families. This is really useful if family members living in a different country cannot see you, then they can through the webcam. There are a lot of advantages for using emails. They can be used to send work to and fro between a teacher and a student. This is really economic as it will cut down on teaching costs and is useful for those who live far from a school and are unable to attend the school for any reasons.
The internet has other facilities such as Encryption and Multimedia. Encryption is the procedure where normal or plain text is converted into words with no meaning (cipher text). This is to prevent anyone who is unauthorised from reading this data. This method is used to make websites safer, especially when credit card transactions are taking place. There are many types of encryption but the most common ones are ‘Data Encryption standard’ and ‘Public-Key Encryption’. Multimedia are a number of different medias. It generally refers to computers which use visuals such as videos and graphic, and sound.
The main internet connections are ‘ISDN’, ‘ADSL’ and ‘Broadband’. ISDN, also known as ‘Integrated Services Digital Network’ is an international standard for sending voice or data messages over telephone lines. ADSL, also known as ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines’ are used to deliver high-rate digital data over existing ordinary telephone lines. Broadband is becoming more common nowadays and many people are starting to use it. Broadband is a transmission medium which can support a wide range of frequencies from audio to video. It can also carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity of the medium into a number of independent band with channels. For these internet connections, a Modem is required. The modem converts the digital signal from the computer into analogue so that it can be sent down the telephone wire. It is then converted back at the other end into a digital signal. Modems were once externally attached to the computer however, nowadays most computers are bought with the modem attached to the motherboard.
As mentioned before, internet is really useful for students. Likewise, I often use the internet for research on my homeworks and courseworks where I can get vast amount of information. Being able to gather a lot of information, I am able to get good marks and grades in my schoolwork as well as my courseworks. I also use the e-mail to send my work form one place to another. Often, I send my schoolwork from school to home so I can continue with my work at home. By doing so, I can meet up with my deadlines. I also use my broadband internet which has quite a high speed to download games and films. These games and films entertain me during my free time. However, the internet does have its disadvantages. Only people with a computer can have an internet while only people with an internet can use e-mail. Another disadvantage of the internet is that it allows inappropriate content and unsuitable material to children.