“Abilities to access, adapt, and generate knowledge by way of evolving ICT are indispensable to social inclusion in modern society” (Warschauer, p. 9). Borrowing from European discourse, “social inclusion” refers to “the extent that individuals, families and communities are able to fully participate in society and control their own destinies” (p. 8). He seeks to answer three central questions in pursuit of one overarching goal. The questions are (1) how and why is access to information technology critical to social inclusion?
(2) What does it mean to have genuine access? And (3) how can access for meaningful social inclusion best be promoted in a wide variety of circumstances? The overarching goal in addressing these three questions is to “reorient the discussion of the digital divide from one that focuses on gaps to be overcome by provisioning of equipment to one that focuses on social development issues to be addressed through effective integration of computer and information technologies into communities, institutions, and societies” (p. 9).
Consider the ‘online complaint service’ which is regarded by Warschauer as ‘an especially valuable component of the Gyandoot project, and one that has had an important impact on villagers’ lives’ (Warschauer 2003:179-80). Complaints range from problems about drinking
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Basically, Consumers and interest groups have created strategic alliances and now capable to coordinate their activities as well as exchange ideas and thoughts through a number of database and network systems. For instance, owners of personal computers can subscribe to a computer network and without difficulty retrieve information on the products and corporations on line. Such information can also without problems be transmitted to other users. This huge use of computer and information technologies by both consumers and companies affects, but the way business is run today.
These consumer strategic alliances know no geographical limitations; oftentimes, they are global in nature, particularly among the industrialized nations. As companies can get in enormous profits from the better coordination, greater product elasticity, improved quality, leaner production, and more time-based competitiveness that computer and information technologies offers, they also facades the threat that can come from these consumers’ strategic alliances. For instance, corporations can no longer ignore consumer demands for constant product quality, reliability and respect for the environment, or timely delivery of services.
As we move toward more and more advanced technologies, the labor force must be retrained. This training must not only expose workers to the technical matters adjoining the new process but also to the new focus of the organization. They have to be made responsive of the importance of advanced technology in improving work methods and in remaining competitive. Employee compulsion to the new process is imperative. In numerous ways in which computer and information technologies applications could guide to better learning and teaching outcomes.
Most booming computer-aided instruction and computer-based training applications boast of cost reductions, but a few also claims gains in the excellence of employee learning. Several of these applications rely on markedly cutting-edge technology, making lavish use of multimedia, and engaging trainees in very interactive discussions. Though, other ideas are astoundingly simple. For instance, The Teaching Company (TTC) thinks that the videotapes and audiotapes it offers can aid trainees improve grades in everything.
Of course, these tapes lack the interactivity of a good tutoring session, but TTC is betting that the quality of its tapes will more than compensate: The lectures are carried by elite, “superstar” faculty in each field, not by merely experienced professors. The use of computer and information technologies has the prospective to be an enterprise-wide decision-support system that facilitates achieving both strategic and operational objectives. Fully integrated systems can aid the more seamless operation of a company across functions and departments.
For example, Berry (1994) cites the case of a large manufacturing company where the departure of an employee needed the services of several specialists (EEO, COBRA, payroll, pensions, outplacement, etc. ). Through the adoption of a graphical user interface (GUI) a single user was then competent to access all related systems and support tools resultant in all activities being accomplished in one session and updated automatically. GUI in addition can be used to do “what if” benefits plan modeling and can work as an executive information database.