Technology pros and cons

This diagram is a variant on a slide I have used in numerous presentations over the last few years and interestingly I think it’s still as relevant in the current “web 2.0 meme” discourse, although I might have a go at extending it to explore more explicitly some of the pros and cons specifically relevant to social networking… informality, privacy, openness are words that immediately spring to mind.

pros and cons of technology  
The pros and cons of technology
Below is a transcript of the text that normally goes along with this slide.. What’s fascinating about technology is the way in which whatever aspect of it you look at there are pros and cons… So yes the internet now means we have access to vast quantities of materials, but there are increasingly real issues about information overload and issues about assess, and about assuring the quality and authenticity of materials.  The wealth of new tools for communication offer opportunities for new forms of dialogue and collaboration but bring with them associated issues of a need for new forms of literacy skills. The internet provides the potential for new forms of community, but often learners are confused and feel isolated in these virtual environments. Some students relish the opportunity to communicate online, others don’t and prefer face to face interaction, lurking in online discussion forums. Also communication is different online, a slight joke in a face to face setting can be viewed very differently online, causing offense. The internet offers us instant access to information. Which means events unfold immediately as they happen. However this can result in a rather surface approach to what is happening as the Iraq war or September the 11th demonstrated, we watched the events unfold online but somehow they did not seem real – it’s  like watching a movie. Finally there are the potential for new forms of virtual representation, such as medical simulations, virtual worlds and the ability to adopt personal avatars. However this can result in a feeling of a lack of reality not knowing what is real and what is fake. I recently felt this very strongly when I was being shown around the Nursing school’s Virtual Interactive Practice suite [This was at Southampton University in ca. 2005] which is a mock hospital ward with interactive computer dummies where you can simulate heart attacks, etc. I was for a moment confused by which were the dummies and who were the students!  Would welcome people’s thoughts and comments on this!! 



12 Responses to “Technology pros and cons”

  1. Dan Says:

    What did they learn? I learn that I do not want to be in the hospital where these students are working.

    Although the topic is very interesting, I was wonder if you had any insight upon the PROS and CONS On how technology is being used in the world today.

  2. Steve Gillman Says:

    Information overload and a “surface approach” to things suggest the need for better information resources. Specifically, we need online sources that present not just facts and events, but a context as well. It would be difficult to do this, but - for example - a short introduction to the history of Iraq could preceded the latest news. Ideological websites provide context and so give us a theoretically deeper view, but at the expense of excluding other perspectives and information that does not conform to the ideology. Time for a new model.

  3. Steve Warwick Says:

    I agree with Steve. I am constantly disappointed with even the broadsheet newspapers in the UK and their shallow coverage of real news. There seems to be a shortage of well researched more in depth information without digging deep and doing you own research. Even then, a good university library will often reveal more than an online search.

  4. Paul | Tennis Serve Says:

    I think technology has evolved tremendously in the past 2 decades. You’re right that technology has pros and cons. But I believe that it has more positive effects on what we do now.

    I know a lot of people who do marketing online and it’s far more effective than the traditional marketing. I also know people who successfully worked from home using the internet. Technology evolution is really amazing, you just need to use it intelligently.

  5. Villa Says:

    technology is allowing people in places where information was previously restricted to get a balanced view of the world and form their own opinions on how they want to be governed. Whilst this inevitably brings instability, it has to be a good thing in the long run.

  6. Bobby S Says:

    “this can result in a feeling of a lack of reality not knowing what is real and what is fake.”

    That is the really interesting part for me. Then we start to wish we could go back to the stone age. OK, maybe just the 1950’s.

  7. Gráinne Says:

    Lol bobby not sure I could take the 50s!
    Agree with your comments about the pros and cons Villa
    Paul yes the speed of change particularly in the last five years has been amazing

  8. Bernard Says:

    “technology is allowing people in places where information was previously restricted to get a balanced view of the world and form their own opinions on how they want to be governed.”

    yeah, I’m agree with Villa. Definitely technology has plus and minus side, and one of the best advantages we could get from technology is stated by Villa here. For me, the plus or minus effect of technology is depended on the users.

  9. Chaser Cruz Says:

    Technology has been a great tool in all means of communication and most of the gadgets developed nowadays. But aside from its advantages, there are disadvantages technology brought about and because of this it serve as the root to make people compete from a specific field using technology.

  10. Gráinne Says:

    Yes I totally agree chaser

  11. Richard Jones Says:

    Couldn’t agree more… I think many people have no idea what they are giving up in order to access Facebook, Twitter, etc… not that I am against those forums, but in everything there is a choice, and they are not free from consequence. The time we spend on “virtual relationships” is time not spent in reality working on real world relationships, which is so much more important, to my way of thinking.

  12. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks for all your insightful comments - sorry for not replying sooner have been neglecting my blog recently :-(

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