1it113 Information society
Module coordinator: Ewan Sutherland.
Who should take this module?
The module is intended for students of the Arts and Humanities who do not
necessarily have any significant background or experience in computing, IT
or telecommunications but who are interested in the economic, social and
personal consequences of the increasing use of those technologies and of
our growing dependence on them. In addition to students of Informatics, the
module is relevant to students of liberal arts and those intending to pursue
a career in business.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
The module is intended to give students in the Arts and Humanities an
understanding of the issues which arise from the use of information technology
at four levels: societies, economies, organisations and individuals. Students
will have the opportunity to study many different aspects of the information
society and to see how these interact. The problems presented are complex and
must to tackled in a multi-disciplinary way.
On completion of the module, students should be able to discuss and to
- the nature of the economic and social consequences of recent technological
- the effects of those changes on individuals and organisations
- the ethical, historical, literary and spatial settings of those changes
- the scenarios for future changes
- the importance of change and how it can be managed and controlled
The course sets the technological developments of information and
communications technologies and services into their historical context in
terms of the industrial revolution. It identifies the forces driving the
changes of the last fifty years and the technological advances made during
that period and tries to show how those forces will operate in the future.
The effects of the adoption of the technology are considered in terms of
economies, societies and cultures, from effects on employment to the ever
greater availability of broadcast and on-line entertainment. Patterns and
changes in employment are examined, both at the overall level of employment
and job creation rates and at the personal elvel where changes occur in the
ways in which we work. The ways in which education is affected by the use of
technology are examined. Every effort is made to relate the course to the
problems of the contemporary world.
Total of eighty hours comprising formal teaching of twenty-two lectures and
five seminars, plus private study of 21 hours for assignments and 32 hours for
private study. Students are expected to work in their own time, reading
background material and performing work related to the course.
For more information on this course.
Copyright © Ewan Sutherland, 1995.