Information Technology and Enviroment - DOC by acz46833


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                                 CHAP TER 1
                        WHY COMPUTERS MATTER TO YOU:
                         BECOMING COMPUTER LITERATE

Buzz Words/Word Bank

affective computing
computer forensics
computer literate
data mining
digital divide
digital home
information technology (IT)
patient simulator
personal digital assistant (PDA)
Personal Shopper System (PSS)
public domain
radio frequency identification tags (RFID tags)

Instructions: Fill in the blanks using the words from the Word Bank above.

Because of the integration of computers into business and society, many fields of study are available now that
were unheard of a few years ago. (1) Nanotechnology, the study of very small computing devices built at the
molecular level, will provide major advances in the miniaturization of computing. (2) Computer forensics is
already taking criminologists beyond what they could accomplish with conventional investigation techniques.
And as the science of (3) affective computing advances, computers will perform more and more like human
beings in emotion and social cueing.

There are many reasons to know more about computing, or to become (4) computer literate. It can help you in
eliminating unwanted emails or (5) spam. You will know how to upgrade your system to the latest standards, like
the wireless communication technology (6) Bluetooth. More and more aspects of how our homes are run are
being coordinated through computers, giving rise to the term (7) digital home. You may even find you enjoy
computers so much you want to explore careers in (8) information technology (IT).

Those who fail to keep up with the knowledge of how to use and maintain computer systems will fall to one side
of the gap known as the (9) digital divide. As an entire country begins to lose computer expertise, jobs leave and
are relocated in other, more tech-savvy countries. This shift of work is known as (10) offshoring.


Instructions: Answer the multiple choice and true/false questions below for more practice with key terms and
concepts from this chapter.

 1. Which of the following is NOT a use of computers in the legal environment?
     a. Creating animations that simulate the crime for use in the courtroom
     b. Tracking criminal behavior patterns
     c. Predicting criminal behavior patterns
     d. Conducting interviews with suspects


 2. Art interfaces with technology by
      a. using a computer to generate images that respond to the environment.
      b. having computers suggest appropriate color choices.
      c. using software that completes the plot of a story.
      d. having Web sites that search for prospective clients for artists.


 3. Nanotechnology is science of things on the order of
      a. inches.
      b. milometers.
      c. nanometers.
      d. nanobytes.


 4. Computer systems can NOT be trained to understand
      a. the U.S. tax code.
      b. human emotion.
      c. a good joke.
      d. the perfect golf swing.


 5. The most wired country in the world is
      a. Germany.
      b. Japan.
      c. the U.S.
      d. South Korea.


 6. A device that tracks movement is a(n)
      a. PSS.
      b. RFID tag.
      c. PDA.
      d. patient simulator.


 7. Which of the following is NOT a good reason to learn more about computers?
     a. To keep your home system secure
     b. To increase your career options
     c. To learn how to hack into the school’s main computer
     d. To make better informed purchasing decisions


 8. Infrared scanners cannot
       a. scan packages and detect unusual objects.
       b. be worn on the wrist.
       c. translate a bar code into a computer data file.
       d. be used by shipping companies to track packages.


 9. Computer forensics
      a. uses computer technology to gather potential legal evidence.
      b. helps identify the remains of bodies.
      c. investigates a suspect’s home computer for evidence.
      d. All of the above


10. Robotic surgery devices help physicians because
      a. they make more accurate incisions.
      b. the doctor does not have to be involved in the actual surgery.
      c. they monitor and make suggestions to the surgeon during the procedure.
      d. if the operation runs into complications, they can suggest creative alternatives.


False 1. Computer simulations are used for gaming purposes, but they are not yet accurate enough for criminal

True 2. Affective computing is the science that attempts to produce machines that understand and respond to
human emotions.

False 3. Artists use computers for the business side of their work—for example, advertising or record
keeping—but they are not useful artistic tools.

True    4. Ranchers tag their cattle and use computer systems to track and record their movements.

True 5. In many hospitals, infants are “chipped,” or injected with a small, computerized tracking device, so that
nurses can monitor their location and keep them safe.

Critical Thinking Questions

1. Rating Your Computer Fluency
This chapter lists a number of ways in which knowing about computers (or becoming computer literate) will help
you. How much do you know about computers? What else would you like to know? How do you think learning
more about computers will help you in the future?

It might be interesting at this stage of the course to create a survey to find out what the students’ skill sets and
interests are. Their skills and interests will likely vary widely, and it is beneficial to know that in advance. Use
this information to lead a discussion that addresses how the course will fit in with their existing knowledge, and
proceed to build on that.

2. Data Mining
This chapter briefly discusses data mining, a technique companies use to study sales data and gather information
from it. Have you heard of data mining before? How might a company like Wal-Mart or Target use data mining to
better run their business? Can you think of any privacy risks data mining might pose?

Some students may have heard the term mentioned in the media or on the Web. One possibility is that companies
may gather information about your shopping habits, preferences, and so on, and sell it without your consent to
others along with your personal information. This could generate many unwanted solicitations.

3. Nanotechnology
As you learned in the chapter, nanotechnology is the science revolving around the use of nanostructures to build
devices on an extremely small scale. What applications of tiny computers can you think of? How might
nanotechnology impact your life?

Medical advancements using nanotechnology will likely be suggested here. Another possibility is portability of
high-powered computing resources. What if you could make a hand-held device behave exactly as your desktop
computer at home does?

4. Biomedical Chips
This chapter discusses various uses of biomedical chips. Many biomedical chip implants that will be developed in
the future will most likely be aimed at correcting vision loss, hearing loss, or other physical impediments. But
chips could also be developed to improve physical or mental capabilities of healthy individuals. For example,
chips could be implanted in athletes to make their muscles work better together, thereby allowing them to run
faster. Or, your memory could be enhanced by providing additional storage capacity for your brain.

    a. Should biomedical implant devices that increase athletic performance be permitted in the Olympics?
    b. What about devices that repair a problem (such as blindness in one eye) but then increase the level of
       visual acuity in the affected eye so that it is better than normal vision?
    c. Would you be willing to have a chip implanted in your brain to improve your memory?
    d. Would you be willing to have a VeriChip implanted under your skin?

These questions should spark a lively debate, and answers may vary wildly. Steroid use by athletes has been an
issue for some time now. Ask students about the similarities or differences between the use of steroids and
implanted chips in sports. Ask them if they have ever seen A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe. In one scene,
Crowe’s character is desperately trying to remove what he thinks is an implanted chip from his arm so that his
enemies cannot locate him. Discuss how this type of technology could be both a blessing and a curse.
5. Affective Computing
Affective computing is the science that attempts to produce machines that understand and can respond to
human emotions and social mores. Do you think humans will ever create a machine that cannot be
distinguished from a human being? In your opinion, what are the ethical and moral implications associated
with that development?
These questions should get the group to question the concept of equality between humans an d machines.
Ethically, they might consider the concept of paying computers for doing human labor and limiting their working

6. The World Stage
How might access to (or denial of) electronic information improve the education of a country’s citizens?
Could that affect who the world’s next technology power will be? Could it eliminate “third world” status?
This might spark a political science debate on the control and ownership of information and the consequences of
sharing or restricting its exchange.

Team Time

Promoting Future Technologies
This exercise gives students a chance to meet each other and talk informally about technology. The following
rubric may be useful for grading purposes.

Rubric            Beginning          Developing        Proficient       Exemplary        Score

                    1 point           2 points            3 points        4 points

Individual    There was very      There was       Clear learning on    A sound
Effort        little effort or    evidence of     the topic has        understanding
              understanding of    effort but it   occurred.            of the topic
              the topic shown.    lacked in                            was exhibited
                                  preparation and                      with
                                  understanding.                       enthusiasm
                                                                       and creativity.

Team Effort Team members did      Team members      The team           The team
            not function as a     had some major    members mostly     worked as a
            group when given      problems          worked well        cohesive unit.
            the opportunity.      working as a      together, with     There was
            There was only        group. There      few problems.      mature
            individual work       was little        There could have   collaboration,
            with no evidence of   collaboration     been               compromise,
            collaboration.        and teamwork      improvement in     and discussion
                                  evident.          the level of       evident at all
                                                    teamwork that      times.
                                                    was utilized.

Rubric            Beginning             Developing          Proficient          Exemplary      Score

                    1 point               2 points             3 points           4 points

Final         The final               The final          The final             The
Product       presentation had        presentation had   presentation was      presentation
              major factual,          factual,           a carefully           was developed
              grammatical,            grammatical,       developed             with care and
              spelling, and           spelling, or       product with few      creativity
              formatting errors. It   formatting         factual,              making it
              seemed rushed and       errors but was     grammatical,          interesting,
              incomplete.             complete.          spelling, or          polished, and
                                                         formatting            error-free.

Instructor    Little or no attempt    Feedback was       Feedback was          Feedback was
Feedback      was made to             received, but      received and          received and
              receive or              none of the        some                  the
              incorporate             suggestions        suggestions were      suggestions
              feedback from the       were               incorporated into     were
              instructor.             incorporated       the presentation.     incorporated
                                      into the                                 into the
                                      presentation.                            presentation.

Evaluation    0 points                 1 point                      2 points

              No assessments were One assessment was      All assessments were
              completed and       completed and handed in completed and handed
              handed in to the    to the instructor.      in to the instructor.

Multime dia

In addition to the review materials presented here, you’ll find additional materials featured with the book’s
multimedia, including the Technology in Action Student Resource CD and the Companion Web site
(, which will help reinforce student understanding of the chapter content. These
materials include the following:

Sound Bytes are dynamic multimedia tutorials that help demystify even the most complex topics. Students view
video clips and animations that illustrate computer concepts, and then apply what they’ve learned by reviewing
Sound Byte Labs, which include quizzes and activities specifically tailored to each Sound Byte.

The Sound Bytes for this chapter are listed here and can be found on the Student Resource CD and on the
Companion Web site (

•     The History of the Personal Computer
•     Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Computer

The Technology in Action Companion Web site includes a variety of additional materials to help students review
and learn more about the topics in this chapter. The resources available at

• Online Study Guide. Each chapter features an online true/false and multiple-choice quiz. Students can take
these quizzes, automatically check the results, and e-mail the results to their instructor.

• Web Research Projects. Each chapter features a number of Web research projects that ask students to search
the Web for information on computer-related careers, milestones in computer history, important people and
companies, emerging technologies, and the applications and implications of different technologies.


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