Effects of Technology: Computer Technology

Effects of Technology: Computer Technology Introduction Of the technological advancements that have been made in the areas of: automotives, telecommunications, computer technology and so forth, technological advancements in computer technology over the past decade or so certainly appear to have made the greatest impact on people’s lives in the United States. The use of computers has made it possible for U. S. citizens to evolve more quickly with the times in the areas of personal communication, business progression, and education. The U. S. Census Bureau (2007) indicates that as of 1994 only 8. % of U. S. households owned a computer. From 1984 to 1997 households with computers increased gradually to approximately 40%. Since internet access became available households with computers and internet access made a more rapid increase from 1997 to 2003. By 2003 the total numbers of households in the U. S. to have a computer were 69,936 which is 61. 8% of the total 113,126 households at that time; and of that 61. 8% 54. 7% had internet access (The U. S. Census Bureau, 2007, Table 1A). These numbers indicate that a large majority of U. S. itizens’ lifestyles have been affected by computer technology in one aspect or another. The purpose of this essay is to illustrate some positive effects of computer technology to the lives of people in the United States. The areas for discussion include: email, videoconferencing, and education. Email Computer technology has made it possible for families, friends, businesses and so forth located all around the world to stay in touch with ease and cost efficiency. Since the initiation of internet access computer technology has opened up different types of choices for people to keep in touch and exchange ideas.

People can use instant messaging or email via the computer for instant chat or to send letters back and forth to one another. Email accounts can be accessed through a multitude of service providers such as: yahoo, hotmail, AOL et cetera. These accounts afforded email users the luxury of faster and cheaper communication than the U. S. postal service. Although some providers like AOL charge for email and instant messaging services, many other providers offer these services at no cost. Free email means free postal service for everyone involved. A few of the more popular free email and instant messaging providers include yahoo, hotmail and gmail.

Anyone with an email or instant message account knows that all email accounts basically provide the same services such as: •Inbox folder: This is where all new emails are stored. •Draft folder: This is where people can work on letters or proposals and save them until they are ready to send. •Sent folder: This is where all sent mail is kept. •Bulk folder: This is where all spam mail (unwanted, usually solicitations and so forth) is kept and people have the option to either empty the folder immediately or open it to decide on what they want to read. Trash folder: This is where all deleted mail is sent. •My folders: This is where people can make their own folders to organize and store their mail. Videoconferencing Computer technology has become so advanced that people can hook up visual (camera) and audio (speaker) devices directly to the computer so that people can hear and see one another while online through videoconferencing. These devises allow families and friends to see and speak to one another over the internet even though they may live hundreds of miles apart.

This is an excellent service for business communication as well. With the use of audio and visual devices organizations can use videoconferencing to hold meetings with employees or clients from all over the U. S. and around the world. This is a great way for individuals as well as organizations to save time and cut down on costly travel. “As the cost of this technology drops in price, videoconferencing is likely to be increasingly seen as an alternative to expensive and time-consuming travel” (Robbins, S. , 2005, page 331).

Education Advancements in computer technology have opened up a whole new arena in education. Computers are in almost every classroom across the U. S. Students from grade school level all the way to college and university levels are afforded the opportunity to access computer software and the internet via school and personal computers for learning, studying, and educational research to enhance and expedite the process of completing individual as well as team tasks and assignments. Teachers and instructors using computer echnology in the classroom have the advantage of special grading hardware and software to evaluate assignments and cut down on grading time. Parent teacher conferencing can be held through emails for parents who can not make a personal appearance at the school due to hectic work schedules. “A CDW-G national survey found that most teachers believe the use of computer technology translates into higher student achievement and improved parent-teacher communication” (Starr, L. , 2003, paragraph 2).

Additionally, according to SRI International (2008) some added positive effects of computer technology for classrooms and students includes but is not limited to: •Increased motivation and self esteem: “Students gain a sense of empowerment from learning to control the computer and to use it in ways they associate with the real world. ” •Enhanced technical skills: Students from elementary to college level gain remarkable technical skills with a wide range of computer software i. e. Microsoft word, PowerPoint, Graphs and so forth as they use computer technology for a variety of tasks and assignments. More Collaboration with Peers: Collaboration is enhanced when students are paired into small groups (when computer access is limited) because it encourages peer communication as well as peer coaching in most instances. •Increased use of outside resources: Students with access to the internet via the computer are more likely find a good many more outside sources for projects and assignments than those without internet access. Conclusion From the examples provided on computer technology in the areas of email, video conferencing and education one could easily conclude that the use of computer technology has indeed made it possible for U.

S. citizens to evolve more quickly with the times in the areas of personal communication, business progression, and education. Email has transformed communication in both the civilian and business sectors to help people condensate and exchange ideas more quickly and cost effective that a decade ago. Videoconferencing has made it possible for individuals as well as businesses to bring family and coworkers together from all parts of the U. S. as well as from all over the world when necessary and it appears to be more efficient and effective than time consuming and costly travel associated with these types of events from years ago.

Computer technology used in educational environments has made it possible for students as well as teachers to reach new communication and educational heights in a shorter amount of time and with less effort than years past. From the evidence presented it stands to reason that computer technology advancements over the last decade or so have definitely had a positive effect on people in the U. S. on many different levels. References Robbins, S. (2005). Organizational behavior (11th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. SRI International. (2008). Technology and Education Reform.

U. S. Department of Education. Retrieved May 5, 2008, from http://www. ed. gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/effectsstudents. html Starr, L. (2003). How Teachers View Technology. Education World. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from http://www. education-world. com/a_tech/tech/tech180. shtml U. S. Census Bureau. (2007). Computer and Internet Use in the United States: October 2003. U. S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Education & Social Stratification Branch: Table 1A. Retrieved May 11, 2008, from http://www. census. gov/population/socdemo/computer/2003/tab01A. xls