Archive for April, 2013

E-learning

Posted: April 30, 2013 in IT In Education

IT in education

In the same way that tablets and smartphones have taken over from personal computers, IT in education or e-learning is starting to take over old paper methods and in-class chalkboard learning. In my opinion e-learning is the breakthrough South Africa needs to redress the imbalances of the past.

The courseware in e-learning is designed with a specific audience in mind and in doing this, language (course specific jargon), literacy and numeracy gaps are avoided thus more efficient learning. Work can be covered in a shorter space of time due to the options of doing assessments online after allocated “class time” and marks can be recorded timeously and accurately and reduce administrative work by 40%. The e-learning systems can also function as a management tool where information can be easily accessible and be used to make decisions in the institution.

E-learning can be seen as widening the divide because the ones who can’t afford these technologies are left to use older, less progressive technologies. Greater knowledge and expertise is therefore attained by those with access who will manage to grasp concepts taught much faster and clarify what they already know. As shown by a study; 22 out of 66 repeaters of a course are more likely to have passed had they had access to a computer outside the university where they could have reaped the full benefits of e-learning.

If e-learning were to be extended to all learning institutions the outcome would be positively tremendous and in the long run improve our economy and growth as a nation. This would accelerate workplace learning and skills development and thus induce greater ability to learn and productivity which in turn can grow our economy.

Ultimately if enough effort and consideration is put in implementing e-learning our country can grow economically and our people can grow in knowledge, skill and experience. So all in all IT in education is a great investment in our future as a nation and can aid in finally closing the digital divide in South Africa and hopefully equalize the standard of living of our people.

Author: Nomfundo Gambushe
Edited by: Siyabulela Klaas
References:
http://www.humancapitalreview.org/content/default.articleID
http://www.news24.com/technology/news/e-learning-grows-in-sa-2013010
http://www.idc-online.com/elearning/country/southafrica
http://www.sas.com/offices/africa/southafrica/servicetraining
http://www.slideshare.net

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ethics

One often wonders whether ethics are relevant in IT and whether or not individuals in the profession practice ethics. According to the 2011 Roy Image of Professions Survey IT professionals and business executives were ranked amongst the least honest professions.

Since professionals are capable of making judgements and applying skills to reach informed decisions, they have to practice professional ethics, also known as Ethical Business Practices.

Ethical Business Practices aim to improve the internal standard of individual and group conduct. They also aim to improve external factors such as sustainable economic strategies. These practices help create creditability because a business that is driven by moral values and ethics is respected in the society. Professional ethics play a major role in uniting people and leadership because it brings the decision makers and employees on a common platform. Ethics improve decision making. The decisions made are driven by values so the organisation becomes fierce in its operations and gains a competitive advantage.

Ethical Hackers are computer and network experts who find and fix computer security vulnerabilities. These people are hired to attempt to break in into computer systems by employing the same tools and techniques used by intruders to investigate the security gaps and vulnerabilities without damaging the systems. Ethical hackers should be completely trustworthy because they might come across information while they are testing which should remain secrets.

Ethical principles and theories enhance the experiences of people in IT and highlight the relevance of ethics to people in IT.

Author: Thulani Motha
Edited by: Kim Vova
References:
“General Ethical Foundation” Online. Accessed February 17, 2002.http://stedwards.edu/urswery/norm.htm
“Ethical Principles.” Online. Accessed February 17, 2002. http://peds.ufl.edu/ethics_course/Ethics,%20Ethical%20Principles.htm
Ruth Chadwick (1998). Professional Ethics. In E. Craig (Ed), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge.Retrieved October 20, 2006, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/L077

bridging_digital_divide

The digital divide is dangerous, however it can be made safe if people work together and “build a bridge” to close the gap. It stays true that the factor that leads to digital divide is the lack of access to computers and Internet. Countries which lack a firm information and communication technology   infrastructure become limited and cannot be part of the electronic commerce as it grows. The divide can be bridged by providing incentives for community organizations to offer free computer training, or opening up training centres, and teaching people how to write letters, use the web and how to participate in social networking through the use of a computer. Organizations need to implement socio-educational programmes linked to schools, hospitals and other projects that focus on improving educational and information facilities.

The digital divide can be bridged efficiently by removing the financial barriers; by doing this, low-income individuals can get access to the internet. The organizations need to promote the joy of computing, networking ideas with resources and people to accomplish the mission of safe, effective computerization for all who are willing to use. The community can encourage business growth by using computers to effectively do what they like to promote the growth of the community. Regarding the question “Can anyone learn computers?” bring to mind the image of an illiterate person who has already learned how to read the screens and push the buttons on their ATM. We are only limited by our imagination when it comes to ways of bridging the digital divide.

Author: Thokozani K. Phakathi

Edited by: Koketso Seloana

References:

  1. Bridging the Digital Divide: How Enterprise Ownership and Foreign Competition Affect Internet Access in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Online Abstract.

Author: George Clarke

Publication Date: July 1999

Date Accessed: 26 April 2013

  1. Bridging the digital divide – an Australian story.

Online Abstract

Authors: Broadbent, Robyn; Papadopoulos, Theo

Publication Date: 01-01-2013

Date Accessed: 22 April 2013

Links:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/digitaldivide/

http://173.254.28.27/~computg3/issues-2/the-real-digital-divide/

http://www.thenjournal.org/feature/335/

http://eztechsite.blogspot.com/2012/02/locus-2012-theme-bridging-digital.html

Posted: April 30, 2013 in The Digital Divide

A passionate young man from Kasambya, brings hope to the community by using Circuit boards and old wires.

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The world we live in now depends more on the internet (i.e. a lot of business ideas and transactions take place on the internet). Businesses depend on technology to update their client databases, access government services as well as giving back to the community through Corporate Social Investment (CSI). Being digitally advanced in an enterprise is important and therefore is seen as imperative.

Government initiatives are continuously being designed to create stable and supportive environments in new industries. For the mere fact that small and medium businesses are being left behind due to their location and not having high-speed in terms of being the late majority of technology adoption is has an immediate effect on small and medium enterprises.

The term e-business is used to refer to how the industry, trade and commerce, works using the computer networks that allow companies to link their processing systems and allow for easier  communication between an enterprise, supplier and the partners involved in buying and selling electronic gadgets. This will help the business expand their market and eventually sell in areas that are much more of an advantage to big businesses. Online trading also allows buyers and sellers to interact on real time and also includes commercial benefits such as: improved inventory management, reduce4d processing errors and better customer services.

It is therefore evident that adopting technological advancements in a small or medium businesses has a benefit.

Author: Koketso Seloana

Edited by : Julitha Mekgoe

Refrences:

http://www.networkforgood.org/topics/education/digitaldivide/

http://www.internetworldstats.com/links10.htm

http://answers.reference.com/wellness/mind/who_suffers_from_the_digital_divide