The impact of communication technology
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The Impact of Communication Technology . Part 1 Political and Social . Technology Assessment. To assess something means to evaluate it. When you study the effect of a new technological device, you are doing technology assessment.

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The Impact of Communication Technology

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The impact of communication technology

The Impact of Communication Technology

Part 1

Political and Social


Technology assessment

Technology Assessment

  • To assess something means to evaluate it.

  • When you study the effect of a new technological device, you are doing technology assessment.

  • Because technological change can have a major impact on our society, the U.S. government has established the Office of Technology Assessment.


Categories of impact

Categories of Impact

  • Six categories that relate to communication technology:

    • Political

    • Social

    • Economic

    • Environmental

    • Cultural

    • Ethical


Political impact

Political Impact

  • If a technology has political effects, the effects relate to government.

  • The mass media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and books) have a real impact on our political system.

  • Politicians have “media advisors” to make them look and sound good in the media.


Political impact continued

Political Impact - continued

  • The media can influence the political process. For example, candidates in elections have dropped out overnight after reports that appeared in the media.

  • Popularity of candidates go up and down depending on their media image.


Political continued satellite communication

……Political continued (Satellite Communication)

  • Today, communication satellites allow us to send messages around the world instantly.

  • Officials in our government routinely telephone officials in other governments.These calls travel via satellite.


Political continued satellite communication1

Political continued (Satellite Communication)

  • Television signals sent by satellite bring us news from other countries even while it is happening.

  • Such rapid flow of information affects how governments relate to one another.

  • Communication satellites are also used to spy on other countries. Mapping satellites photograph areas being watched for defense purposes.


Social impact

Social Impact

  • How people live together has been deeply influenced by communication technology.

  • The effects range from the power government has over us to the way we spend leisure time.


Social impact government tracking

Social Impact – Government Tracking

  • Government computers keep track of us by our social insurance number. This number is used in connection with drivers licenses, bank accounts, income taxes and so forth.

  • When we spend money, we leave a trail that may be followed. If we use a credit card or write a cheque, the credit card company or bank keeps a computer record of how much money we spent.


Social impact government tracking1

Social Impact – Government Tracking

  • When all this information is combined, it provides an economic profile of a person. This profile is known as a credit rating.

  • When we ask to borrow money from a bank, the bank checks this credit rating to see if we are a “good risk”.


Social impact education and training

Social Impact – Education and Training

  • Microcomputers made their way into classrooms in the 1980’s.

  • Teachers use computers to help them deliver curriculum.

  • Educational video tapes have become a useful aid for many teachers.


Social impact education and training1

Social Impact – Education and Training

  • Industry has also made good use of technology when training their employees.

  • Interactive video can help train people such as pilots. They learn to fly planes by using a flight simulator.

  • Teachers will never be replaced by technology, but their time may be freed up so that they can give more individual attention to each student.


Social impact information storage and retrieval

Social Impact – Information Storage and Retrieval

  • For the past five centuries, all important information was stored in written or printed documents.

  • These documents, usually books and magazines, were kept in libraries.

  • Libraries are beginning to store information in other ways such as Optical disks.

  • Optical disks can store large amounts of data. For example, an entire encyclopedia can fit on one fifth of an optical disk.

  • Using a computer, you can instantly locate the information you want in the encyclopedia.


Social impact information storage and retrieval1

Social Impact - Information Storage and Retrieval

  • More importantly, you do not need to travel to the library to get the information.

  • Some computer data can now be sent over telephone lines and you can access it from your home using a home computer.

  • The same might be done for a catalog with items for sale. You select the item you want to buy and the system automatically withdraws the amount from your bank account and ships the purchase to you.


Information storage and retrieval what will be the effect on society

Information Storage and Retrieval What will be the effect on society?

  • Retrieving information in this way will make it easier for researchers to gather information.

  • On the other side of the coin, there will be far more information available to the average person.

  • We will have to become more selective about what we choose to read or view. Otherwise, we will suffer from “information overload”.


Social impact leisure time

Social Impact – Leisure Time

  • What did people do with their spare time before television.

  • We read books, listened to the radio, talked to families and friends, and entertained ourselves with hobbies.

  • Now, TV and computers have become the ways many people entertain themselves.

  • People do not go visiting as often as they did years ago.


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