How Information Technology Has Influenced Our Organizations in This Modern World

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Human development is largely dependent on the environment. A compromise accepted by many in the seminal nature-nurture debate is that the environment determines how heredity expresses itself. Society has changed much in the last eighty years, and the degree of change within the last twenty to thirty years has been more rapid than in any other period of human history. Basic skills sets have always changed based on the availability of technology and the dynamics of social convention. The advent of the computer age has changed human occupational, social, and educational development significantly in a very short period of time. The computer is likely responsible for the single largest developmental shift across many areas of learning and performance; this is especially true of not only what children, adolescents, and young adults are expected to be able to do, but how they conceptualize problem solving and the degree to which abstract reasoning is important in concept formation. The workplace has changed significantly due to the automatization of many formerly manual jobs. Education has changed on several fronts as well; not only do the computers (and other sophisticated electronic devices) require special skills to use, they are also now part of standardized education in many areas and will only become further ingrained in education service delivery at all levels. Occupations formerly considered to be non- or low skill vocations now require at least some degree of technological sophistication. This level of knowledge is considered minimal compared with other, more technology dependent occupations, but for the unskilled person trying to learn a new job, these basic skills can pose a significant obstacle. A computerized notepad used for tracking deliveries, for example, is relatively uncomplicated compared to the tracking web of an air traffic controller, but for one who has never been exposed to this notepad or related devices, it is a completely novel skill. Because the changes in available technology have occurred so rapidly over the last three decades, the more glacial pace of social change is having difficulty keeping up. Standard developmental influences, such as modeling work behavior from a parent or a role model, acquiring training in a traditional vocational or elementary classroom, and hands-on exploration of one’s immediate surroundings will likely not be sufficient to teach fundamental skills necessary to later acquire more advanced abstract concepts and hands-on technology skills. There is a significant impetus to put computers in elementary and college classrooms, but not all classrooms have them and many do not have a sufficient number of machines for the number of students served; many learners on all levels have insufficient exposure to technology in the learning environment and hands-on time is severely restricted. The computers are present in most learning environments, but in many cases the number of machines is simply insufficient. Many students of all ages do not have computers at home and do not have access to them in their community. Government initiatives, such as Head Start, do not have the funding to provide significant numbers of computers in all areas along with instructors trained in how to maximize their utility as teaching tools. This lack of access sets the stage for learners, child and adult, who do not have access to computer and electronic technology outside of the classroom to be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those who contact advanced technology in a number of different settings. This paper examines the importance acquiring technology skills at an early age and provides suggestions for opening up resources to provide this experience to as many children and adult learners as possible. Because of the ever-increasing reliance on advanced technology in our society, technology itself is becoming less of a specialized tool for certain vocations and less of an entertainment modality...
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