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Flashcards in Option: Social impact of technology Deck (13):
1

Defining Technology

TECHNOLOGY
Study, development and application of devices,machines and techniques to manufacturing and productive processes

TECH AS HARDWARE (E.g. Appliances, gadgets, toys)
Toys: Primitive: Glass marbles→ Complex: Lego robot
Appliances: Primitive: Stone axe→ Complex: Vacuum cleaner
Gadgets: Primitive: Spear→ Complex: iPhone

TECH AS SOFTWARE (E.g. Applications, databases, websites)
Applications: Primitive: Abacus→ Complex: Photoshop
Databases: Primitive: Filing cabinet→ Complex: iCloud
Websites: Primitive: Encyclopedia→ Complex: Google

TECH AS ORGANISATION OF KNOWLEDGE (E.g. Communications, media, Internet, home entertainment)
Media: Primitive: Blackboard→ Complex: Google Cloud
Internet: Primitive: Morse code→ Complex: Online services
Communications: Primitive: Morse code→ Complex: Satellite
Home entertainment: Primitive: Playing cards→ Complex: Smart TV

2

Describe both primitive and complex technologies

PRIMITIVE
Simplistic application of devices and techniques
May be outdated in today’s society

COMPLEX
Sophisticated machinery or application of devices relevant to contemporary times
Without primitive; advancement to complex would be impossible

3

Historical perspectives
- The Digital Revolution
- The Information Age

The Digital Revolution
Began in 1980’s (still ongoing)
Movement towards digital technology and away from mechanical and electronic (power cords, electrical circuits)
2000’s→ Internet, phones, digital TV common (previously expensive tech, large computers)

The Information Age
Ability to transfer info freely and to access knowledge instantly (previously impossible)
Allows rapid global communications and networks→ shapes modern society
From this age; Price of computer dropped,increase in internet, job losses

4

Outline how the nature and use of information and communication technology has evolved

1980’s→ Mobile phones (today almost as many phone subscriptions as people in world)
Mobile internet, data→ becomes important; social media trends
Cyber criminality→ poses threat to individuals and society

5

Examine data from the ABS to compare trends in household use of information and communication technology over time

94% of Australians use the internet at ;least once a week
18-24→ Highest internet usage
64% of population bought goods online
2009→ 6 million households in Aus had access to internet

6

REASONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY (ST RICE)
- Social betterment
- The global community,
- Response to social problems
- Improve upon existing technology,
- Consumer demand and human needs,
- Economic benefit,

SOCIAL BETTERMENT
Communication
Phone status symbol→ heightened self esteem to those in possession of latest tech

Transport
Society strives to maintain quality of life through preserving environment
Hybrid cars help maintain healthier air→ reduce reliance on fossil fuels

Consumer Services
Consumer support popular→Continued focus; Improves support for consumers and businesses

THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
Communication
Ability to contact family/friends/business clients by voice, text, video→ Makes geographically distant places seem close and accessible

Transport
Hybrid vehicles cut down carbon dioxide emissions by half and reduce polluting air by 90%

Consumer Services
Online support accessed anywhere, 24/7

RESPONSE TO SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Communication
Mobile phone is sometimes used in response to increased alarm→ users know support is just a call away

Transport
Hybrid cars operate silently; been cause of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists→ social problem needs further development
Several makers developed electric vehicle warning sounds designed to alert pedestrians to presence

Consumer Services
Online counselling services address social problems that exist within communities. E,g, Kids helpline, emergency helpline designed in response to social problems

IMPROVE UPON EXISTING TECH
Communication
Push buttons mean that disabled people can more easily use phones
Cordless designs offer increased flexibility in terms of where calls can be taken

Transport
Low emission engines support a greener lifestyle
Rechargeable energy storage systems supplement fossil fuel

Consumer Services
Previously→ consumers read hard copy manuals and waited long time for face to face support
Improvements in tech allow for online help, voice/ key activation to select info needed.

CONSUMER DEMAND AND HUMAN NEED
Communication
Screen/key size, weight, battery life, plans available→ result of consumer demand and human need
Addressing these areas serves needs of aged (larger screens) those on a budget (pre-paid SIM cards) travellers (extended battery life)

Transport
Soaring oil prices and rising level of consumer awareness about environmental issues→ making many car companies develop hybrid cars

Consumer Services
Web-based connection is convenient and accessible from anywhere

ECONOMIC BENEFIT
Communication
Multiple functions in one (e.g. phone, internet and camera) → reduces cost in separate items,
App purchases provide ongoing source of income for developer

Transport
Hybrid cars are more expensive than traditional cars→ but long term economic benefits significant
Hybrid cars achieve 20-35% better fuel consumption→ equates to substantial economic benefit

Consumer Services
Online help is paperless→ Saves printing cost

7

FACTORS AFFECTING ACCESS TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF TECHNOLOGY (EGG RACED)
- Education
- Gender,
- Geographical location,
- Religion
- Age,
- Culture,
- Economic status,
- Disability,

EDUCATION
Students in remote regions; access education instantly, communicate with teacher via internet
Global classroom→ regular contact with students overseas to share ideas
Those poorly educated and denied tech in education; may be resistant to adopting tech for own children
School with slow broadband→ may have negative global classroom experiences

GENDER
Gender stereotyping; people equate certain tech with gender→ limiting and don’t represent acceptance of tech
E.g. Females linked with home tech (dishwashers) and Men linked with engineering tech

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
Mobile phones/internet→ made education, communication, business easier for people in remote locations
However some regions; limited access to technicians able to repair technology or lack of Internet

RELIGION
Religion sometimes restricts access; religion plays role in forming values and attitudes
E.g. Amish don't use any mechanical devices, telephone, cars etc
Some religious groups use technology to spread gospel messages through TV, radio (Hillsong)

AGE
Many who didn’t grow up with technologies→ may reisst use
Some have access to new but prefer older ones that have served them in the past
Some older people likely to resist change, but some have embraced→ Aged use social media to keep in touch with family overseas etc

CULTURE
Some cultural groups may be isolated due to language barriers→ tech enabling own language or verbal prompts→ allows for increased increased
Some migrate from cultures where tech not widely been used; more likely to oppose it
Eg: The Amish are very traditional and oppose the use of modern forms of technology

ECONOMIC STATUS
Families from lower socioeconomic groups; may be accepting but reduced financial access
Adequate standard of living may have higher priority over expensive technology→ free public internet services attempt to address inequity
Conflict between children who want latest tech and ability of parents to provide it

DISABILITY
Benefits from improved equipment/access to online services and education to improve learning
Advancement of MRI’s, CT scans, prosthetic (hips, knees, limbs) → improved wellbeing

8

THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON LIFESTYLE
Technologies and the family (HIE)
- Household technology,
- Information and communication technology,
- Entertainment technology

HOUSEHOLD TECH
Time spent on food prep, housework, shopping→ large
Labour saving appliances, home shopping→ significant impact
E.g. Online shopping, dishwasher, microwave
Advantages
Labour and time saving→ frees time for families with multiple commitments

Disadvantages
Economic costs and low self esteem if can't afford
Decreased cooking skills

INFOMATION AND COMMUNICATON TECH
Families want immediate speed response→ wireless network, broadband etc improved communication mode
Satellite tracking, video calling; may enhance safety, but cause anxiety
Mobile phones, social networks→ altered social environment, way of maintaining contact with family
Webcams→ family contact tool or video conferencing (legal and business settings)
Interactive sites; communicate with others, buy inline items, seek info
“Help” files→ individuals becomes self-paced learners
Some may experience alienation with frustration over tech or inequity in tech distribution
Advantages
Keep families connected, share stories and store photos in iCloud

Disadvantages
Addiction to social media; rely on Internet for instant news

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
ET may be in form of online games, digital environment, theme parks, surround sound, entertainment robotics
Each technology→ ultimately impacts on individuals wellbeing
Often learn of negative effects when new tech fractures family relationships
Advantages
Relaxation from stressed life, improve connection between family members

Disadvantages
Development of auditory/visual problems
Anti social behaviour or obsession, addiction problems

9

Technologies and the community
- Education and training,
- Transport and travel,
- Health and medicine,
- Food,
- Leisure and entertainment

EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Learning more accessible, immediate→ students develop skills, remain motivated
Acquisition of knowledge more accessible and equitable for all people
Students with disability→ voice recognition, learn at own pace programs
Store huge amounts of info from internet
Medical specialists collaborate overseas; virtually operate

TRANSPORT AND TRAVEL
9/11 → introduced issues with travel and transport; tech solved
Airport security; Body scanning, luggage checking, flights tracked
Tech and traffic monitoring for smoother traffic flow and reducing harmful emissions
Commuters alerted on mobiles of bus and train delays

HEALTH AND MEDICINE
Medical tech; Physical equipment, instruments, knowledge→ provide health care
Individuals seek professionals to perform breast augmentation, face lifts, plastic surgery→ increase self esteem
Tech allows surgeries to be performed, skin grafts, life saving procedures
Reproductive tech; reshape families→ infertile, same-sex couples to have family
Genetic engineering→ lab techniques to change DNA of organisms apt changing structure of genes→ could be used to treat genetic disease

FOOD
Technologies for modified atmosphere packaging→ packaging technique that extends shelf life
Agricultural biotechnology→ examines potential of GMO crops to assist developing countries
Freeze dried foods and impact of leisure industry (camping/hiking)
Changing demographics→ new perspectives on food packaging, cater to single and two person households
Technological development in tamper evident and resealable packaging
GMO foods for developed countries with increase in population size to cater for demand for food

LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Primary aim of leisure→ enhance socioemotional and physical wellbeing
For some may be picnic in the park, for others it may be playing online game with strangers
Technology has changed the face of leisure activities→ previously personal connection with others is now sometimes a technological connection, may be with strangers
Before emergence of internet, mobile phones, emails and pagers→ people could be ‘off duty’ from work when walked out office door→ Now employers expect employees to work longer hours be available via some form of communication device
Employers, colleagues and family members all expect instant responses to voicemail and email messages→ another responsibility that impacts personal leisure time
Leisure time may not involve real social interaction; may be spent instead accessing social media and meeting others in virtual chat rooms

10

Technologies and the workplace
Safety technology

Safety tech; role in critical areas→ reduce incidence of death or injury, reduce exposure to hazards or improve infrastructure and workplace culture
Automatic shutdown systems (activate when sensors detect change in conditions, robotic bomb detonation units→ protect workers)

11

Technologies and the workplace
Information and communication technology

Job losses will continue with technology expansion;businesses becoming more reliable and efficient in investing in tech→ fewer employees competing with local suppliers
Economic affected; both parents required to work and explore change
On other hand; tech may enhance working family wellbeing; provide communication links with those who work far away from home
Also physical workload of single parent is reduced
Specialised training often required to use tech; different levels of pay→ those with greater access to tech have better chance of higher income

12

Structure of the workplace
- Health and safety
- Equipment
- Efficiency
- Flexibility
- Education and training

HEALTH AND SAFETY
Safe work Australia; launched national strategy to ensure safe working places→ research and evaluation, responsible and effective regulatory framework, healthy safe design

EQUIPMENT
All workplace electrical equipment must be tagged and tested
Tools designed with cut-off switches, emergency releases, sensors and physical guards

EFFICIENCY
Hardware to run systems and communication lines→ ensure full operation of local and international systems
Stock numbers, sales figures entered into system and analysed; graphs produced

FLEXIBILITY
Employers and employees needs to take different approach to traditional working
Tech helps in flexibility; employees now telecommunicate using tech systems allowing them to access files from home
Face time, Skype allow to communicate with clients in distant locations

EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Tech as training tool allows for collaborative and interactive learning
Can be personalised; activities done at a time and place suiting person
Lessons delivered on computer or TV or phone
Retraining is necessary; online training

13

Introduction of technology into the workplace

Practices evolve over time; resistance to tech is great→ employers encouraged to offer training to upgrade staff skills, replace inefficient workplace equipment, acknowledge staff fears
Employees encouraged to go to training, develop flexibility in tech usage, be open minded
E commerce; trade cuts out middle man; more efficient
ATMS, online stores→ heightened purchase power for consumer; now bombarded with choice
Storehouses use barcode scanners; more immediate stock control; improves customer service