ICT in personal communication affects many people in the community; they affect a wide range of people including the elderly, young and adults. Everyone use computers as the pin point of their lives; every day they can do: homework, watch TV on demand, listen to music and follow personal interests which may be video editing, composing music and surfing the web, even new jobs are based on ICT, so ICT is becoming a major part of everyday live.
Teenagers Using Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites have been around from the beginning of 1997, the first social networking site was known as ‘SixDegrees.com’ which lasted from 1997-2001. There are many new social networking sites and many users use them.
Social networking sites affect many teenagers life’s because many teenagers spend a lot of time updating their profile everyday. Some teenagers update their profile every 10 minutes while others just update every week.
Social networking sites have been named as problems, as fight for nothing occur within them. People believe that fights occur as people don’t like other people’s groups or if two people like the same person. So fights would break out. This would be dangerous as many people would jump to conclusion and would just encourage you to fight them even if you might get seriously hurt.
Teenagers who are active in social networking sites will go online frequently and check their page to see if they have received any comments or messages. They can then reply to the comments or just leave it like that. Then they can visit their friends’ pages and check if there is anything new which
They then might visit the sites of their best friends to see if anything new is ‘happening’ on their friend’s sites, such as new photos, blog postings, or comments posted by others.
They are likely to leave a comment on friends’ profiles as they cruise by. If they are active in any discussion groups, they also will check out any new postings in these groups. They might add some new materials to their own profile or blog.
Positives and Negatives
Apart from the social benefits, social networking sites can be used to document school research, promote artistic talents and experiment with other forms of content creation. They provide a way to interact with others who share the same interests and to get constructive feedback on ongoing projects.
Most social networking sites are open to all, especially MySpace, which means that your teen could be exposed to harassment, bullying.
Cyber-bullying and harassment are most often done by other teens and tend to happen to older girls and to teens of either gender who have a strong online presence. It may take several forms:
posting threatening messages
posting photos that will cause embarrassment
Elderly People Using Mobile Phones
A mobile is a handheld device which can be used to communicate with. It is wireless as it uses radioactive waves. This means when it receives reception, you can call anyone with it as long as you know their number. Mobile phones have been around for 60 odd years. They advanced from being bricks to very small devices. Mobile phones have many uses:
You can contact people
Use it as a Sat Nav, to see the location
Pass time by playing games on it
You can check emails while on the move.
Elderly people can use their mobile phones when they are lost and don’t know their way home, they can contact relatives and tell them where they are and they can be picked up without any trouble. Elderly people can call up their relatives or friends while they are alone and they can meet up to arrange a party or a reunion.
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For many years there has been a blank market for mobile phones for the elderly but this is changing, new phones are emerging which have been specifically built for the elderly. These phones do not have all the high-tech functions which new phones have. These phones are plain and simple. Some have an emergency button and these phones are targeted for the elderly. A good example of this type of phone is the Clarity of Live C900. This phone is big, simple and sturdy. This phone is a breakthrough for mobiles for the elderly. It is the starting point of simple phones for the elderly.
The advantages of having a mobile phone are that elderly people:
Can stay in touch effortlessly
Not feel alone in an emergency
Being able to appreciate the outdoors and still be connected or available to answer your phone
Can let others know where you are so that they are not worried or concerned about you.
Disadvantages of Mobile Phones
Symptoms caused by the radiation of mobile phones are one of the most argued problems. Many scientists believe that the radiation from the mobile phones may cause the users to have different symptoms such as headache, earaches, blurring of vision and even causing cancer. Though, these problems are still under early research, but we still have to consider this. Research says that, the effects of radiation may affect the elderly more than people in their 30’s.
The elderly person wouldn’t be able to pay for the fee of the contract, so his/her relative has to pay the bill which may be expensive or inexpensive.
Male Adult Users of the iPhone and Blackberry
The iPhone is the next level of smart phones. It is the first cell phone made by Apple and very high expectations were expected from it; but when it was delivered, the expectations were broken as the iPhone was even better than it was thought to be. The iPhone has a ‘multi-touch’ display, which means no cramped up keyboard is needed.
The iPhone can make calls, play music, navigate the Web, edit photos, and play movies and text message, among many other capabilities. Although many of the iPhone’s functions can be found in other devices, the iPhone appears to be unique in that it seamlessly blends these abilities together, while also throwing a pack of originality into the mix.
The iPhone is ideal for male adult users as it has some very brilliant ideas packed into it. Some of the features the iPhone has:
The ‘multi-touch’ display knows what to do
You can surf the net on the iPhone
iPhone will offer music, streaming video, podcasts, movies, YouTube, and more
You can download music from iTunes and listen to them.
No video camera; normal camera has no flash
Battery might run out quick and is hard to replace
No java support
Sim card will only work if it is activated for the iPhone.
A BlackBerry is a handheld PDA device that is engineered from the ground up for email. If email has become a vital part of your business or personal life, then you would no doubt benefit from using a BlackBerry. Most models now come with a built-in mobile phone, making the BlackBerry an obvious choice for users with the need to access their email from somewhere besides the comfort of a desk chair.
BlackBerry smart phones allow you to stay in touch with everything that matters to you while you’re on the go: Email, phone, maps, organizer, applications, games, the Internet and more.
Advantages of BlackBerry:
Blackberry uses standardized MicroUSB connector for synchronization/charging. iPhone has a much larger proprietary 30-pin connector.
Most Blackberries have keyboards, so you can actually type fast and with no errors.
Blackberry can be synchronized to multiple computers simultaneously, if you have multiple computers.
Really neither phone is that much better than the other. The Bold is the best BlackBerry up until now, and it is great for business use. The iPhone is a consumer device, and most of the original problems have already been addressed. It all comes down to what you like and what you really want in a phone. Each phone is great in its own right.
Sky + Users
The Sky + box incorporates an internal 80Gb hard disc which enables you to pause live TV or record one programme while watching another. You can even instruct the receiver to record episodes from your favourite series, all this without the use of videotapes. The onscreen menu is very easy to use, simply highlight the channel you wish to record and press the record button. It will automatically record at the time the programme starts, plus if you have instructed it to record several other programmes at different times it will record those as well.
Straightforward to use
Able to pause, record, stop and rewind
Can be expensive
Everything you do is recorded onto your database
Privacy of information
Small children may buy something that they didn’t want to; they may have accidently bought it.
How ICT has Affected People with Special Needs
Disabled people often have great ICT skills that could be used in industry. However, people are often reluctant to employ them because of the fact that they have a disability. People often don’t realise that just because somebody has a disability, they are still fully able to work on a computer or in ICT. 20% of the British working age population are disabled so it would be wasteful not to consider their expertise in work. This expertise could be used rather than left to do nothing; even if it is working from home. .
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The Visually Impaired
Visually impaired or blind people cannot do normal tasks, such as read the paper. By being visually impaired or blind, you will not know what you are doing or where you are going. In the old days you could only trust your other senses to work and guide you around, but nowadays there is new technology that will help you.
Blind people or the visually impaired can use, something known as, Braille to communicate with other blind or visually impaired people. It was created by Louis Braille and it uses dots as the alphabet. You can also get Braille translations software on computers which will translate Braille and read it out loud and clear in your chosen language, so this makes life easier for you.
People who are visually impaired can use screen magnification. This allows you to zoom in on the page and lets you read what it says, as it is much clearer, a monitor that is larger may be helpful. Also, if the person has certain problems with colours then the contrast can be changed on new monitors to specify your needs.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can also be used to scan documents and then converted into Braille or it can be read out by your computer. This is very useful as letters received by post can be scanned and then read to you.
Also there is voice recognition programs which allow you to talk to the computer and the computer would do what you want and it will also automatically word process the speech. There is also speech output software which can ‘read’ a document from a word processor and will dictate it out. Speech output software can also be used to read websites, menus and other things related to the computer.
Technology is always improving and now there is something called the video magnifier. They allow you to place anything on them and it will be automatically magnified and show on a monitor so you can clearly see what it is and what it may say. You can zoom in onto it and read it; if it is a document or book.
Hearing impairment could affect your everyday life and the things you are able to do. You may not be able to: hear people properly. Hearing impairment affects many old people and also young.
Many deaf people can now text and e-mail even if they can’t hear. The use of text messages and e-mailing has opened up a new way for deaf people. This gives deaf people or the hearing impaired a new way of communicating with the outside. Deaf people can see so they are able to text as it only involves reading and typing only.
Interactive whiteboards can be used for teaching in schools with deaf pupils, interactive whiteboards can be used to show what the pupils have to do and also instructions can be written in as well without needing to listen to the instructions. This allows even deaf pupils to learn in special schools for the deaf.
At home new technologies allow the deaf to know when the door bell or phone is ringing. There are extra loud devices, flashing lights, or if on the person then, vibrating alerts, to ensure the deaf that someone is ringing the bell or the phone is ringing. This allows you to respond to the doorbell, without these devices you would not know if the doorbell or phone is ringing when you are at home alone.
Transmitters can be placed near to the phone to be notified about so when the transmitter picks up a sound it will activate the flashing lights or vibrating alerts. Special telephones can be used which make the incoming or outgoing speech louder or adjusts the pitch for people with hearing impairment. BT has launched videophones which allow deaf people to communicate with each other using sign language through video. These can be connected to a TV for a larger picture.
People with hearing difficulties may find it hard to hear in public places and large rooms such as classrooms. This is caused by poor room sounds. Infrared systems are used to overcome hearing difficulties in larger rooms. Infrared systems replace the sound between the source and the listener with an infrared signal which is not affected by sounds.
Computers and ICT can improve the way of life for people with disabilities, giving them independence without having to have help off other people looking after them. It also gives them employment opportunities, and a new way of life which will help them a lot.
There is a lot of help available through the internet as it allows many things to happen.
Online shopping helps people with a physical or mobility disability to do their weekly shopping and much more through the internet without even having to move out of a seat let alone their own home, the items they purchased would be delivered to their footsteps.
Home banking allows people to pay bills and look after their finances from home without having to go down to the bank in person.
Computers can be adapted for people who have a physical disability. Using ‘sticky keys’ the response time of keys pressed be adapted to ignore shaking. Predictive text can be used to predict which word is being typed which can speed up typing of a physically disabled person.
You can also get mouth sticks and head pointers for people who can only move their head and they use their head to press keys on the keyboard. You can also get infrared head pointers which can be used to move the screen curser. If somebody has difficulty using a mouse then they can use a roller ball or a joystick as an alternative or a specified keyboard which can control the pointer on the screen.
The most effective thing to use, instead of a keyboard, is a touch screen which allows physically impaired people to press buttons directly through the monitor and in some cases even type on the monitor.
People with Reading Difficulties
Many people with dyslexia find that they have problems with the mechanics of writing which can make them slow and unwilling writers. The effort required will often distract them from thinking about the content of the work and final checking will be harder if their writing is hard to read. Some people find that when using a keyboard and screen they can devote more attention to the content and spelling of their writing. They also find it much easier and less depressing to read and correct their work on the screen.
Adaptations and alterations can be made to the standard computer and software to give additional support if this is required.
Using spreadsheets, they can give visual aid to pupils with dyslexia as they can be taught visual methods of laying out their work and this means they are less likely to get lost in the process of calculation.
ICT in the Community
ICT has affected the community in many ways. It has changed our surroundings and what we see. Nowadays we can shop online, book holidays online, search where the landmarks of a country is. We can even communicate with each other within a community online. We can create a forum just for one community and discuss about topics we would like to.
The idea behind the Cyber Cafés is to provide a public access point where a user can indulge in some ‘surfing’ of the Internet. Customers are encouraged to stay for as long as possible . . . the longer they stay, the more food/drink they buy and most importantly the more they pay for the use of the Internet. People can go to cyber cafes and use the Internet relatively cheaply. The Internet they use is broadband, which is fast, and people can enjoy tea, coffee, other drinks and food whilst they enjoy the Internet at the same time. Cyber cafes share many of the disadvantages, as libraries such as time restrictions, lack of privacy etc. The cyber cafes are a bit more lenient when it comes to restrictions comparing cafes to the libraries. Hardware is also available in cyber cafes as it is in the libraries. Cyber cafes have their good and bad points. The bad points include the cost. Even though it’s cheap, in libraries it’s free to use ICT facilities. Cyber Cafes are a good invention and are helpful. They are a lot more popular than libraries and seem to becoming a trend. Cyber cafés are often busy places, with many people using the computers and others roaming the grounds. A total lack of privacy – becomes difficult to check E-mails, enter passwords or even look at preferred sites. Well, basically, if you need some privacy, then cyber cafés aren’t very highly recommended.
Public libraries aren’t just shelves full of books anymore. They are fast becoming the focal point of the local community. Many libraries offer, amongst other services:
Internet access for free
Again, access is restricted, but at least it doesn’t cost a single penny!
Search engines to locate books
Based on a similar technology to that of online search engines, a database of books is searched across the numerous local libraries.
Facilities to host political meetings
Due to the facilities to host political and community meetings, many MP’s are holding their surgeries at local libraries.
Members of libraries can use the ICT facilities there to access Internet and e-mail or even programs such as Microsoft office, which includes PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Access and FrontPage. Using the Internet at libraries can be a waste of time because sometimes the
computers maybe slow or busy. When using e-mail it can be frustrating because some of the domains have been blocked, this only affects children mostly. Other computer hardware is available, for example, speakers, scanners or printers. Most libraries also give free access
to their ICT equipment.
When using the libraries computers, most of the websites for children have been blocked. This is to stop misuse of the computers and noise in the library from children coming in and being noisy talking to each other while on the computer, playing games. There is also not enough privacy on what you maybe doing, for example, when logging on to certain websites someone could see you type in your password. You are also restricted to using ICT because of the times that the library is open and in most libraries time slots of 1-2 hours are given.
Libraries ICT equipment is not used to the best of its ability because some of the staff haven’t been fully trained. This could affect the way some people are put off going to the libraries.
Online discussion forums are increasingly common in the community. Such forums are usually set up by just a few people. Once the forum becomes more popular, hundreds of people are often found discussing issues of all kinds. You can ask anything you want and somehow people will find an answer and they will reply to your post. Forums can be used for revision. You can ask people what you should revise and they would tell you what you should. There are millions and millions of forum users in the world. Usually, a topic is posted by one person and then replies are posted by other people who visit the forum centre often. As a result, an online community has surfaced, where people can discuss issues with people from all around the world.
This type of technology is still new but it is becoming vastly popular. Many people nowadays research their homework and general conceptions of ideas on online forums rather than going to find record books and going to libraries, like people did in the past. Online forums have brought us more together online but separated us from the outside world. We believe in ICT far too much. Some forums may be misleading and wrong, so you have to be careful on which forums you trust and want to research on.
CCTV security cameras are a step up in technology. They are great to help companies protect their businesses and keep safety levels high in the community. CCTV security cameras are a quick and easy way to make the community safer. There are many security cameras everywhere in the community and they make the public feel safer. It also cuts crime down. But they also can cut your privacy down as would be caught on tape without knowing.
CCTV security cameras come in all shapes and sizes and picture quality, some these days are able to zoom in and out up to a few miles away. If an incident takes place, it’s easy enough to check the tapes and find information need for the police. The police then have evidence; which they can use to take action if needed and make the community a safer place to live in. The problem with having CCTV security cameras is it costs a lot of money to capture the whole community, if there are no CCTV cameras then people would take advantage of the areas that are not see able on camera. Another problem with CCTV security cameras in the community is that people think their privacy is being invaded. At the end of the day it’s only for our safety the CCTV security cameras have been installed. Positioning is crucial though because for example, there is a tree in the way of the camera; it would be pointless having the camera there. The good points about CCTV security cameras are they are great for doing their job on catching criminals and warning people there being watched and makes some people feel safer.
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