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Unformatted text preview: Module 14: Information Technology In this module we will look at some of the changes information technology has made in how we communicate with one another, and we will briefly examine some of the ways information technology can influence education. ____________________________________________________________________________ ________ Information Technology and Communication Email When computers first gained importance, they did not at first communicate with each other. Networks were developed to address this problem and to allow computers and their users to share information between themselves. While network protocols were actually developed to help keep computers in communication, it was email that became the "killer app" or application that became so popular and so important that it helped computers gain widespread acceptance outside of the technological community. The first email message was sent in 1971 between two computers in the ARPANET project (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork) funded by the United States Department of Defense (http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline ). The classic "@" symbol was selected by engineer Ray Tomlinson in 1972, since he was "at" his terminal when he sent the message. Before long, email use on the limited number of networked computers had become widespread, and to the surprise of many of its developers, was frequently used not for professional communications and project collaboration, but for casual interactions. The original intent of email was to permit users, primarily engineers, to share data quickly and easily from their workstations. But as email use increased dramatically in a very short space of time, it became clear that more informal use was the norm. Users sent messages asking where to have lunch or who had baseball tickets more frequently than professional communiqu s. Email works as a client-server system. This means that there is a mail program running on a computer, called a "server." This server is connected to the Internet all the time. The server receives and stores all email messages that arrive for users of that server. Users can then connect to the server and retrieve messages by using a second program, called a client, that retrieves the messages from the server. The client program also allows users to edit and send messages through the server to the Internet, and on to their final destination. When Internet access became widely available to the general public in the 1990s, email once again proved to be the "killer app" that made the Internet appealing to many. America Online's famous "you've got mail" notification message advised millions of Americans that they had near- instant communication with family and friends, while users outside of the U.S. enjoyed the services of international ISPs like Prodigy. Email is the single most-utilized feature of the Internet worldwide and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, especially with the proliferation of portable devices such as pocket PCs and Internet-ready cell phones that can allow users access to their email virtually anywhere. Despite its popularity, email has a few disadvantages. It is sometimes unreliable and may not Despite its popularity, email has a few disadvantages....
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2009 for the course INF 304w taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas.
- Spring '09