Tag Archives: possibilities

Education.

In the area of education, technology is yet again of great benefit to society in many ways.

The Internet is one such way. The Internet is a vast source of information that is accessible from almost anywhere on the planet. It is a seemingly never-ending resource that can be used for good especially when used for educational purposes. As we all know the Internet comes with its fair share of dangers, and a knowledge of how to use the Internet safely is a necessity in today’s world. However, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

The Internet gives people the opportunity to educate themselves, and all from the comfort of their own home if they wish. It allows us to be able to learn as much as we want about what we want. For example, if you were interested in a subject or course that your school or college does not cover, you could take it upon yourself to teach yourself through your own online research or by signing up to an online course, either for free or for a set fee. As is the helpful and cooperative nature of the majority of those who use the Internet, help is easy to find. Through the use of online forums or other websites users can post questions and get immediate responses. Another obvious benefit of the Internet is connectivity. This allows students to interact with their teachers or other educational professionals even though they may not be geographically near. All in all the Internet is making the entire education process a lot faster and more open, which is a major benefit.

Computers In Education

CC BY-SA 3.0 Sage Ross

In classrooms interactive boards and the availability of computers to students are allowing for a new way of teaching that is much more interactive than traditional methods. With the integration of tablet PCs into the classroom in recent years this adds further possibilities for interactive learning. This allows for more effective learning as the students get to engage in the learning process instead of traditionally just struggling to stay concentrated on listening to their teacher.

Personalised learning is another trend that has arisen as a result of technology in education, mainly through the use of the Internet. The basis for this is that individuals can learn at their own level of understanding and at their own pace. The aim of personalised learning is to encourage students to be more responsible for their own learning, to be more independent and to give students the opportunity to learn in ways that suit their individual learning styles.

Although technology designed for educational use is still in its relatively early stages, it is clear that it is having a major positive impact. Evidence of its positive impact is how education is beginning to rely on the Internet. This once again emphasises the power of technology and that technology will be integrated into all areas where it is of benefit. Just think of the possibilities!

CoderDojo_Logo

CC BY-SA 3.0 Spridace

CoderDojo is a non-for-profit organisation started in 2011 that has realised the importance of technology in education. They describe themselves as “a global collaboration providing free and open learning to young people, especially in programming technology”. They run free non-for-profit coding clubs and regular coding sessions across the world, all set up and ran by volunteers, with the aim to give young people the opportunity to learn how to code. It makes learning to code fun and sociable for young people, allowing them to both make new friends and to develop everything from websites and programs to games and apps. It gives young people a foothold in the programming world which enables them to continue learning and to use this knowledge to potentially go on to create their own apps or online businesses, for example. The creative problem-solving skills that these young people will learn from learning how to program will stand to them in their lives. The sudden rise in popularity and demand for CoderDojo, and programming in general, shows the importance of knowing how to code has in today’s world. Click here to check out where the nearest Dojo is to you and be sure to spread the word of this inspiring organisation.

Steve Jobs Quote

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Irish Typepad

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Healthcare.

As boring as the Wikipedia definition sounds, technology is described as “the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function.” However, this description just tries to put into words the power of technology, but does this power little justice.

To quote the English writer Anthony Burgess: “It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.” I feel that this quote emphasises that motivation for what is possible in the future can be found from looking at examples where technology has benefited society in the past. So get ready for some history!

Caduceus

CC0 1.0 Public Domain Image

When I think of areas where technology is used to do good, I immediately think of healthcare. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest areas of potential for technology to be of benefit, as here technology is used to help diagnose, treat and even prevent illnesses and injuries. The use of electronic computers in healthcare began around the 1950s in the United States in coincidence with the rise of the computer industry, where Robert Ledley, who later went on to invent the first full body CT scanner, is believed to be one of the founding fathers of U.S. informatics through his use of computers in dental projects for the U.S. Army.

Another early use for computers was to measure and observe normal human movement to help improve the designs of prosthetic limbs for patients. This was done using computers which allowed significantly larger sample size data to be analysed than had previously been practical to undertake with mechanical calculators. This resulted in getting a clear understanding of how human motion changes with age and body characteristics, which in turn greatly improved their designs which benefited patients greatly. Although this sounds like such a simple thing, it was significant as it led the way for the widespread use of computers in healthcare.

As technology advanced, and with the invention of a number of programming languages, there was a drive to try and create diagnostic systems and, in general, to make use of technology where it could be of benefit. MUMPS was one such programming language that was invented around in the late 1960s. It allowed medical databases to be created and integrated, which was a very significant milestone in the growing field of health informatics, emphasised by its use to this day, as it is still the basis for many healthcare record systems. From there, numerous systems were developed for all kinds of things, such as those that were able to help doctors to identify the type of bacteria behind numerous bacterial infections, then recommend antibiotics and dosage amounts for treatment.

Medical Imaging

CC BY-SA 3.0 Nevit Dilmen

Today it would be hard to imagine undergoing a diagnostic procedure without the use of medical imaging technology, such as CT or MRI scans. These medical imaging technologies are still as vital today as they were when they were invented in the diagnosis and treatment of patients and are undoubtedly of enormous benefit in healthcare. As well as these more complicated and advanced technologies there are still slightly more simple technologies used today, such as simple heart-rate monitors in identifying and monitoring cardiac irregularities in patients.

In the near future, I believe that achieving universal integration of Electronic Medical Records into healthcare will be one of the most significant steps in healthcare technologies. This will lead to more efficient healthcare provision and increased communication between healthcare providers, which in turn will lead to significantly improved patient care.

Although I have only picked out a number of various examples from the history of technology in healthcare, it is blatantly obvious that technology has benefited the healthcare sector and that technology has been the driving force behind most medical advances to date, and who knows, the next major advance in healthcare could be made possible all because of you!

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Motivation.

I am writing this blog with the simple aim to show how technology has endless possibilities where it can be used to benefit society and, in general, be used to do good in the world.

I am hoping to encourage or inspire those who are already in the industry, but in different areas, to focus their skills on helping others. I hope to inspire young people to consider a career in technology by showing them examples of how technology can be used to improve quality of life.

Many people have the notion that having a career in technology consists of sitting down at a computer all day in an office block, where employees go through the daily grind at their desk waiting for the day to be over. However, working in technology can be one of the most rewarding jobs around, especially when you are working on something that will benefit someone, and improve their quality of life. Also, modern technology companies try to make their offices as fun as possible to bring out the creativity in their employees and to make employees enjoy their work, which in turn brings out their potential.

If all this blog achieves is that it plants a seed in someone’s head that might grow into an idea or aspiration, or if this blog becomes somewhat of a source of motivation to consider a career in technology I will have accomplished my goal.

I will leave you with this extremely motivating and inspiring video that gives you a glimpse of the “superpower” that is coding: What most schools don’t teach

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