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Role of ICT ICT in Business and Manufacturing Role of Communication Systems Processing of Data Computers and the Law Computer Professionals
ICT AS Module 1
Revision Notes based on other websites are here to help you with your revision. www.fatmax.org/as1 is an alternative site
Topic 1 Role of ICT
Capabilities and Limitations of ICT
ICT has become an integral part of almost all commercial and other enterprises: • • • • • • • Very fast processing (essential in banking) Vast storage capacity Rapid search and combination of data in many ways. Instant response Accurate results Rapid communication between individuals and organisations Improves a company image.
Question 1 How does ICT improve a company’s image? ANSWER
Answer 1_1_1 How does ICT improve a company’s image? Three points you could make here from this list:
• • • • •
ICT is a productivity tool. ICT makes a company look up to date ICT will help customer service. A company can be accessible to its customers by a website. On-line ordering allows access out of normal business hours.
All of these provide organisations and individuals with rapid access to high quality information that they can use in planning and decision making. but there are mechanisms to prevent double-booking. Twenty years ago. Now it can be done in a few minutes. This is unlikely. It is booked instantly by a customer. a request for the seat comes for another customer. Then the computer can allocate our second customer a seat on the next flight. Question 2 What is meant by high quality information? ANSWER Answer 1_1_2 What is meant by high quality information? Three points that are essential: • • • Up to date Accurate Complete ICT is very effective in allowing instant feedback on levels on commodities. . Shortly after (it could be a fraction of a second later). In this example there is one seat left on the flight. a request for the seat comes for another customer.g. The diagram below shows the instant feedback available from an on-line booking system. The computer has filled the seat and the customer is told that the flight is fully booked. The diagram below shows the instant feedback available from an on-line booking system. Shortly after (it could be a fraction of a second later). • • • • Funds in bank accounts Availability of seats in aeroplanes Stock levels in a chain of supermarkets Keeping track of books borrowed from a library. There is a slight possibility that the two requests come in at exactly the same time. but there are mechanisms to prevent double-booking. e. It is booked instantly by a customer. The computer has filled the seat and the customer is told that the flight is fully booked. Then the computer can allocate our second customer a seat on the next flight. This is unlikely. There is a slight possibility that the two requests come in at exactly the same time. In this example there is one seat left on the flight. it might well take a fortnight to make an enquiry and get an answer.
so that staff can find it quickly. planning. an automatic order is sent to the supplier.records the number of items held and sold. Question 3 Explain how a supermarket might use its ICT resources to ensure that stocks are kept up. Movement of stock . ANSWER Answer 1_1_3 Explain how a supermarket might use its ICT resources to ensure that stocks are kept up.In a library. Reordering of stock . the system can provide information on: • • • • Borrowers names and addresses What books they have Which are overdue Location in other libraries of books that readers order. Save staff time by releasing them from repetitive paper based tasks. Provide better security. Recording location of stock . . Each point is backed up by an example: • • • • Stock level monitoring . The computer can also: • • • • • Issue overdue notices Provide information for borrower enquiries.at a predetermined value. Provide the necessary information for auditing.ensuring that oldest stock is sold first. and purchasing. These are possible points.
• Inadequate hardware can cause communication logjams. i. then the bank clerk would dole out the money.Remember: Point . • Faults in the software can lead to chaos. . which can bring the organisation to a halt.. This is often a problem in bespoke or specialist software written for the particular organisation by a software house. there were no “Hole-in-the wall” machines outside banks. it’s a damned waste of money! Major failures of ICT hardware and software have damaged the public image of the organisations and led to not a few scandals. ICT systems also have drawbacks: • Introduction of ICT systems can lead to a lot of extra work.and then example. especially if the system is none-too-reliable (as in the early days). and manual back up records have to be kept. To get cash.e. There were no computer games (but it could be argued that people did much more practical things). Long distance telephone calls had to be connected manually by the operator. Working with ICT The arrival of ICT on a wide scale has been a quiet revolution. Only thirty years ago. • Employees find themselves redundant • New or redesigned accommodation. you had to queue in the bank and write out a cheque. • Failure of a computer system means a catastrophic loss of investment.
there was a lot of worry about thousands of people being made redundant: • • Those doing routine work such as filing in offices Assembly line workers In reality more jobs have been created by computers: • Call centres depend on extensive databases • Printing and publishing companies have burgeoned • Many people make their living in software and maintenance of computer systems. Many people work from home .use large databases.repetitive assembly now done by computerised machines. Remember: Make sure that your answer mentions how ICT helps. The nature of work has changed: • Accountants use spreadsheets • Secretaries use word processing packages that save the need to retype pages of script if text needs modification. More work in ICT related fields .computers have taken over much routine filing work. and that which is ten years old is positively antediluvian! Question 4 How has ICT altered the pattern of employment? ANSWER Answer 1_1_4 How has ICT altered the pattern of employment? These are possible points. Each point is backed up by an example: • • • • • Fewer jobs in clerical grades .When ICT was first introduced.specialists are needed to maintain equipment Call centre work has increased .connected to the office by a computer link. Less assembly line work . The rapidly evolving nature of ICT systems ensures that equipment that is two years old is past its sell by date. .
ANSWER Answer 1_1_5 Write down three ways in which the nature of work has changed due to ICT.• Engineers can produce much more accurate drawings with CAD packages rather than manual techniques. A company’s records can be accommodated in a couple of drawers rather than a room full of filing cabinets (and the data accessed in a fraction of the time). For example. . Secretarial staff use word processing to produce letters instead of typing. Question 5 Write down three ways in which the nature of work has changed due to ICT. giving an example of each one. instead of the drawing board. • Expert systems are databases of knowledge and expertise of prominent people in their field. a doctor can access the database for help in diagnosing an unusual illness. • Maintenance of records takes up less time and space. Many employees use a database to look up information instead of having to search through manual files Teachers use interactive whiteboards with presentation graphics rather than notes and diagrams off the board. There are many possible points. Engineers use CAD packages to help in their design work. Engineers use computer modelling techniques which saves on having to build a duff prototype that doesn't work. using database mail merges. Many of these can be standard. You must state what the program does. Each point is backed up by an example: • • • • • • Accountants use spreadsheets to do the accounts instead of forms. giving an example of each one. Remember: When you answer a question like this. you must NOT give trade names such as Microsoft Access (a database management system).
Workers can be open to exploitation. which hinder the mobility of labour.With the help of ICT. Teams of teleworkers can be made in different locations Recruitment can be from a much wider geographical area. Advantages: • • • • • Employees can work from home via a computer link. A smaller office is needed. Cost savings by employers. Disadvantages . • There can be a lack of a corporate identity and ethos • Employees can feel isolated and miss out on the social life of an office. This is called teleworking. and unions cannot easily operate to help an employee in trouble. They can do their work at a terminal at home. People can work outside standard office hours. There is a downside: • There can be difficulties in management of a workforce that’s not in the office. ANSWER Answer 1_1_6 Explain two advantages and two disadvantages of teleworking. Employees do not waste time commuting. giving an example of each one. There are many possible points. • Employees might not be able to get help when they need it. people do not have to work in the office at all. Greater flexibility to do work around home and family commitments. • Work can encroach on family life. Question 6 Explain two advantages and two disadvantages of teleworking. and submit their work to the office through a telephone line. or children can be a distraction. leading to lower overheads. It has advantages: • • • • • • • Easier to concentrate at home than in a noisy office (?) No commuting is needed. Recruitment can be over a wide area. Fewer recruitment problems in areas where house prices are high.
• • • • • Employees can feel isolated. Fewer employment regulations. Premises cheaper. Work can be delayed being sent in if there is a systems failure. Plentiful supply of good quality staff. Question 7 Explain the advantages that a company might gain by moving its call-centres abroad. Advantages: • • • • Wages are lower. BT are now using employees in India for directory enquiries. and could make a disastrous mistake. Management of remote employees is more difficult. Some organisations can do a lot of their routine work with employees who live abroad. Employees cannot get help when needed. ANSWER Answer 1_1_7 Explain the advantages that a company might gain by moving its call-centres abroad. and lack a sense of corporate identity. London Underground has its daily data processing done in India. Family and other domestic pressures can be a distraction Some companies have moved much of their operations from expensive offices in London to cheaper parts of the country.. The shape of businesses is changing: . There are many possible points.
Businesses are more streamlined. ANSWER Answer 1_1_8 Discuss how business has changed under the impact of ICT. Computer literacy is important in recruitment. These are some possible points. . with employees working more in groups needing less supervision. • The use of problem-solving skills. ability to use initiative and familiarity with ICT is increasingly important in recruitment. with fewer more productive employees. Question 8 Discuss how business has changed under the impact of ICT. with employees taking more responsibilities. • Many people now use the Internet for contacting companies and doing business with them.• More people are going into business by themselves • Larger organisations are becoming less hierarchical. More business communication is by e-mail. Hierarchies are being broken down. • • • • • More people are going into business by themselves.
• Multimedia and Internet resources are used widely for research. • Students increasingly use word-processors in essay writing and projects.Social Impact of ICT ICT has become increasingly used in education: • Datalogging experiments. Question 9 List two advantages and two disadvantages of using ICT in education. . • Computer modelling • Interactive learning (what you are doing here) • Presentations using PowerPoint • Word-processing to produce student notes. There are many possible points. and worksheets with a much more professional appearance. ANSWER Answer 1_1_9 List two advantages and two disadvantages of using ICT in education. One is shown in the picture.
Many people shop on the Internet. However there are drawbacks: . Interactive worksheets (like this) can easily be set up. A good teacher knows the pupils as individuals and can direct appropriate support. Disadvantages • • • • • • Computer resources can be impersonal. • Magnetic Ink Character Recognition speeds up the clearing of cheques. Data logging can be used instead of tedious repetitive readings. Teachers can present a greater variety of material on CDROM. Pupils like working with computers. Some organisations will deliver to your door. Internet is a vast library of information Computers are very patient. • Credit cards used to make telephone and Internet purchases. Computers can be seen to be "dumbing down" skills. so pupils can work at their own pace. • Smart cards. Pupils can be off task more easily.Advantages: • • • • • • • Teachers can produce professional looking documents using word processing and presentation graphics. • Salaries and bills are paid automatically by direct debit. which a computer cannot. looking at other internet sites. Time can be wasted if there is a systems failure. Banks have always been leaders in the use of ICT: • Telephone and Internet banking • Cash-point machines • Debit cards have made cheque writing an infrequent event. You can make purchases at any time from any point in the world. Pupils can be frustrated when they cannot use the software. Remember to mention the role of the ICT equipment.
no need to go out. There are many possible points. thus saving on overheads . Although the benefits are many. Customers cannot see the goods for themselves. Question 10 List two advantages and two disadvantages of using the Internet to shop. All a customer needs to do is to select goods with a few clicks of the mouse and fill in an order form. • Orders can be lost. Many sites have security built in. Businesses do not need to have large premises with many staff. Computers and Society As a society. Goods have to be dispatched which can take some time. • You cannot inspect or ask about the goods before you buy. Customers can shop about for the best prices from home. we have become very dependent on the use of computers. there are some drawbacks: .Goods are delivered by couriers and that can take a long time. even though the money transaction has not. Ordering is easy. Credit card fraud is possible. Traders take the money but don't send the goods. Getting faulty goods back is a problem. ANSWER Answer 1_1_10 List two advantages and two disadvantages of using the Internet to shop. Advantages: • • • • • You can do it from a computer at home. Disadvantages • • • • • Possibility of fraudulent trading. • Many people are concerned about security of credit card details. It is often quicker to go to a shop and take the goods away with you. • Fraudulent trading is made easier. Businesses can have pictures of their goods.
such as extremist propaganda or pornography. • Some people spread malicious programs such as viruses. This was due to government and business foresight in tackling this problem. • The millennium bug was a very real threat. • There is a substantial proportion of the population that still do not have access to ICT. with fears of major computer failures. However in vital situations. People cannot withdraw cash. External threats include: • • • fire. blackmail. worms.viruses. Internal threats from within the organisation include: • • • unauthorised modification of data. theft from persons outside the organisation. Saturday 1st January 2000 was not accompanied by the total breakdown of all our modern systems. In the event. • People feel threatened by the burgeoning of computers • Information has been misused by a variety of individuals and groups who disseminate loathsome material on the Internet. People’s accounts can be wiped out. Software bugs can corrupt databases. they can be dangerous: . and there are worries about an information underclass. Question 11 What kinds of threats are there to computer systems from within an organisation or from outside? ANSWER Answer 1_1_11 What kinds of threats are there to computer systems from within and from outside an organisation? The most obvious threats are: • Malicious programming . or use the information for criminal activity. and worms that make a damned nuisance of themselves in people’s computers. wiping out vital files. theft of equipment and data. and Trojan horses. whether of data or hardware. Trojan Horses.• Some people become obsessed and this can damage their social relationships. Computer failures can be embarrassing and cause inconvenience. erroneous modification of data.
• Computer failures in fly-by-wire aircraft will make the machine adopt the flying qualities of a house-brick. It is worth remembering as well that all these computers work because they are looked after. The computers do not keep the patient alive. they are monitoring the . If ever there were another war in the developed world. Explain your answer. or corrupted software. Massive disruption can result from failure of computers. failure of the computer monitoring equipment could prevent doctors from seeing the deteriorating condition of the patient. • Air traffic controllers have had to go back to little bits of paper when their computers have failed. or failures in hardware. Question 12 Give two situations in which a computer failure could be dangerous. Give the point then the explanation: • In an intensive care ward. whether as a result of power failure. (NB. ANSWER Answer 1_1_12 Give two situations in which a computer failure could be dangerous. Explain your answer. and it will fall out of the sky with the pilot able to do nothing about it. • A computer failure in an intensive care ward is likely to put the life of the patient at risk. the computers would be the first targets.
which means that even if he could control the machine from his joystick. The BCS has produced a comprehensive set of standards of training and development of those working in ICT called the Industry Structure Model. or in programming. the British Computer Society whose role is to maintain standards throughout the profession. This is highly regarded by many employers (or not if it all goes pearshaped).• • • condition of the patient and will give an alarm is a deteriorating condition is detected. and people. the pilot would find the plane almost impossible to fly safely. creative and critical thinking are as important as technical knowledge. of schedules. Membership entry is by examination. ICT professionals have a professional body. • Management Skills. .) Air traffic control use computers to plot the courses of aeroplanes. It can be used to: • • • • • • • Compose customised job descriptions from standardised roles. resources.) Information and the Professional As well as technical knowledge and skills. Failure in the computer equipment supervising chemical processes could result in the plant becoming unstable. A failure could result in a mid-air collision. with each person allocated a part of the problem to work on. Establish training needs for individuals and organisations Provide training to recognised standards. • Problem Solving Ability. Failure in a fly-by-wire aircraft will make it unflyable. • Design Skills. • Many professionals work in teams. Clearly each member must pull his or her weight. the kind of personal qualities shown by an ICT professional would be summarised as: Communication Skills. taking risks or going beyond the call of duty. Assess competence Plot career development Establish staffing needs Identify skills shortages. after-sales. the ability to explain what you are doing to a range of people from the highest level to the most nontechnical • Initiative. (These planes are usually aerodynamically unstable. especially with customer support.
or in programming. An ICT administrator should have a qualification accredited by the British Computer Society.Question 13 Write a job advertisement for an ICT administrator for your company. ANSWER Answer 1_1_13 Write a job advertisement for an ICT administrator for your company. Initiative. taking risks or going beyond the call of duty. budgets and people. The last three are expensive items which can be less productive or even go wrong if badly managed. Management Skills. creative and critical thinking are as important as technical knowledge. who will not understand computer jargon. the ability to explain what you are doing to a range of people from the highest level to the most non-technical. showing skill in: • • • • • • • Compose customised job descriptions from standardised roles. Presentation: Topic 1 Role of ICT . Initiative can be shown in judging what new ICT systems to adopt for new roles. This is highly regarded by many employers (or not if it all goes pear-shaped). ICT resources. but the examiners are looking for specific points. You must relate the job description to the role as ICT administrator. especially with customer support. These are some of the points you should raise: • • • • • Communication Skills. giving an ICT-based explanation of the point. Design Skills. of schedules. These are very important when considering ICT solutions Problem Solving Ability. S/he should have a good working knowledge of the Industry Standard Model. Assess competence Plot career development Establish staffing needs Identify skills shortages. after-sales. Establish training needs for individuals and organisations Provide training to recognised standards. This kind of question seems quite waffly.
In which one of the following ICT processes is instant feedback to the user absolutely essential? 1.this can happen. Which one of the following is a drawback of ICT? 1. ? Customer service would be quicker. ? An air-traffic controller plotting the course of a number of aeroplanes 4. ? Maintenance of computer files is much more difficult and time consuming than paper records (x-this is true) 5. Which one of the following causes most concern when ICT systems are introduced? 1. ? More jobs have been created. (x –this can happen. (x-this is true) 4. (x –this is the point of ICT) 2. ? A fault in the programming can cause output errors. ? A customer depositing money in a bank account? (x – processing is done at the end of the day) 3. ? A library can trace who has borrowed a particular book.Computers in Education (prepared by one of my students) Now try the Topic Quiz 1. 1. ? Companies would waste money (x. (x – processing is done in batches of 50 orders) 2. but software houses don’t set out to produce bad work) 3. ? A bank customer is refused a cash withdrawal from a cash machine because there are insufficient funds in their bank account. Which one best describes teleworking? . (x-this is an advantage) 4. (x-this is an advantage) 3. ? It gives instant feedback (x-this is an advantage) 2. ? A clerk processing order forms for a mail-order warehouse. ? A system that is five years old may well be outdated. but the objective in using an ICT system is to be more productive) 4. Which one of the following statements is NOT true about the introduction of an ICT system. 4. ? A theatre-goer booking a theatre ticket (xprocessing may be done a few seconds later) 2. ? Software houses would produce programs that worked badly. ? Traditional jobs would be lost. 3. (x-this is true) 3. (x-this is true) 2. ? Spreadsheet programs are widely used by accountants.
? Call centres are so computerised that they cannot handle queries other than those that are in the option menus. 3. ? Call centres in low wage countries cannot give accurate information to customers. (x – this is a result of ICT) 8. 4. Business patterns are changing. ? Larger organisations are becoming less hierarchical. with employees working more in groups needing less supervision. Which one of the following statements about the social impact of ICT in education is correct? 1. (x – a computer is essential) 4. 4. ? Computers have caused a dumbing down of enducational standards. Indeed the popular press has done more to dumb things down than anyone else) 2. ? Teachers use ICT widely to produce a wide range of professional looking resources for their students. (x – the person is employed but working from home) 6. provided that the information is on a well-maintained database) 7. (x – a teachers is needed to help to explain things that are difficult. ? More companies are going backrupt due to loss of records dutring the change-over to ICT systems from paper-based systems. Which one of the following statements is true about call centre working? 1. ? Teachers are no longer needed. this is not the case.this may happen. ? Call centres depend on accurate paper records. (x – this is a result of ICT) 3. Which one of these changes is NOT due to the increased use of ICT? 1.) 1. but most do allow you to talk to a real person) 3. 2. ? An employee can work in the office and send his work home to his computer. (x . (x – despite what you read in the gutter tabloids. ? Teleworking is another way of saying that a worker is actually unemployed. but is not the point of teleworking) 3. ? Some companies have moved call centres to low wage countries like India to save costs. (x – this is a result of ICT) 2.? An employee can do his work on a computer at home and send it in to the office. ? The employee works at home and rings a secretary who copies down the work. ability to use initiative and familiarity with ICT is increasingly important in recruitment. ? Many people now use the Internet for contacting companies and doing business with them. (x – this may seem to be the case. . (xcall centers are highly computerized) 2. (x – they can. ? The use of problem-solving skills.
but less likely to cause loss of life) 2. there is no evidence to support this) 9. ? It is most likely to be there to commit fraud by taking money. ? The wiping out of customers' bank account details. but may take several days to arrive) 4. but not delivering the goods. (x – very inconvenient. the goods may be dispatched instantly. (x – vital computer system will be protected against all malicious coding. ? Customers receive their goods instantly on payment. selection of goods is done by computercontrolled robots. the vast majority are honest traders.) 4. ? They are cheaper because the warehouse employs no people. (x – there will be people working in the warehouse) 3. Which one of these statements is true about a shop that trades exclusively on the internet? 1. Many people shop on the internet. ? It is more convenient to use the internet because you can do all your purchases with your computer. ? An extremist website promoting religious hatred and terrorism (x. Which one of the following is the most likely to cause a major risk to life? 1. ? Failure of an a computer in a fly-by-wire aircraft. (x – not true. ? The spread of a computer virus. 10. However the followers of such an organization could be at a risk) 3. (x – although some sites are set up as scams. . 4.? Students have lost social skills as a result of using computers (x – other sensational articles in the gutter tabloids.) 2. but in itself not a risk.loathsome.