Have We Truly Entered The Digital Age?

Written by on May 4, 2013 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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evolved technologyToday we can connect with anyone in the world at any time of day or night.

‘Google’ is now an adjective for finding something on the internet.  If our children want to know something, the information is at their fingertips.

But, are we making the most of the technology we have at our disposal?

And are we becoming too reliant on fragile computer systems that fail with a simple loss of power?

Technology in Schools

Today’s schoolchildren don’t know what a blackboard is.  Instead, they use interactive whiteboards.  Essentially a large touch screen attached to a PC, you can draw, write, access the internet and show videos to the class.  The kids love them.

Teachers say that the whiteboard enhances the learning experience, and enables them to engage students in interesting and varied ways.  However, studies have shown, that the introduction of interactive whiteboards has not improved exam results.

Whether education exists for experience and enjoyment, or is a tool to pass exams is a discussion for another day.   Nevertheless hi-tech tools in the classroom should enhance learning, not detract from it. The modern classroom now depends on its interactive whiteboard and our children expect to be taught in a visually appealing way.


Technology in Libraries

If you haven’t been to your local library recently, you might not recognise it.  Yes there are still books.  But, now you can return books via touchscreen, borrow e-books and store your belongings in an electronic locker.

With libraries offering other services, such as toddler groups, customers need somewhere secure to store their belongings.  To use a locker you are given a unique ID which you punch into the keypad.  You then select a locker and place your items in and now that locker is yours until you take your items out by re-entering your ID.

Far more convenient than having to wrestle toddler, shopping and books all at once or, even worse, fiddling about finding bits of change to put in an old-fashioned style locker and then having to pin a key somewhere about your person.

Technology and our Health

Hospitals and doctors surgeries are now fully reliant on computer technology.  Most of the time it works seamlessly;  prescriptions are ordered online and patient appointments and the corresponding letters are sent out automatically.

But, whenever dealing with people’s health a mistake is extremely serious.  When regional hospital groups tried to implement a new computer system they hit problems. Those problems included delaying and canceling patient operations. Hospital staff spent weeks putting right the mistakes.

The health service has made excellent use of the internet.  By setting up a service where you can self-diagnose, they have freed up surgery time.

When implemented sensibly, technology enriches our lives and certainly helps with practical or repetitive tasks.  Potential problems with complex technology are that it often comes with its own ‘stuff to do’.

We need to ensure that when we do upgrade or add computer technology it’s because it’s a true benefit, not just because we can.

Written by Matt Higgins, a security expert with 20 years experience in the industrial sector.

Image courtesy of Nutdanai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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