THE IMPACT OF THE COMPUTER|
The objective of this class is to study the impact of computers on the workplace from the point of view of both the effect on the work activities and on the people involved. The latter impact can be subdivided into two categories:
A major outcome of this class is the understanding of the three stages of computer insertion:
- The effect on employment (changes and redundancy), and
- Ergonomic and health effects.
- Task replacement by computer;
- Task efficiency, proficiency, and productivity improvement by computer; and
- New task insertion that would have been impossible without computerization.
Other Relevant Courses
Class Assignments (including a collection of reports on Computer Impact from earlier classes).
An excellent example of the use of the computer (Internet specifically) in a democratic society is to be found in the article "Democracy on the Net: One board member's digital newsletter" by James C. Klagge (Last accessed 99/10/04).
- "The Digital Divide and the American Society", a report by Michael Fisher, October 2000.
There has always existed an unfair distribution of access to the tools of
social mobility, but for the first time in history a technology exists that, to
a large extent, can level the playing field. When someone logs onto the
Internet, the wealth of information at that person's fingertips does not
care if he or she is rich or poor, in the majority or a minority. It simply sits
there and waits to be used by whoever can get to it. But there is a
problem. To date there has been an unfair access to the Internet that
mirrors the socioeconomic divisions in society. This unfair access is
called the Digital Divide and it has implications that reach to the very
social and economic core of our nation.
In an effort to provide policy makers and private sector leaders with some
of the insights they need to deal with the difficult issues surrounding the
Digital Divide, Gartner provides a National overview report as well as
individual state and regional report cards from an analysis of surveys with
40,000 American households.
- "Look out! Kill 'em! Shoot!" by WILLIAM SCHIFFMANN, ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9 May 1999.
- "Digging Deeper: Violent Computer Game Update", Scott R. Krol, PC Gameworld, Last accessed 99/05/14.
- "Fight or Flight?", by Erica Smith, CNET Gamecenter.com, 5/13/99.
- "SAYING NO TO VIOLENT GAMES", Jan Faull, Disney Family.com, 1997-07-01 (look at the date!)
- "Children, War Toys, and Violent Games", Guide F-114, Wendy V. Hamilton, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, New Mexico State University, November 20, 1995.
- The Luddites of the world, who believe that "Life was better before sliced bread", give food for through in their web pages.
- "Metaphors We Compute By" by John M. Lawler, University of Michigan. A good pre-class reading to set the stage of how the world views computers.
- Forester, Ch. 8
- Bowyer, Ch. 9.
- Choices and Challenges Project - exploring the social and ethical dimensions of science and technology - An Annual Forum at Virginia Tech, that in 1995 took up the question of the Quality of Life in the Electronic Village.
Last updated 2001/03/11
© J.A.N. Lee, 1995-2001.