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Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century

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This free course, Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century, provides a general overview of how digital technology has come to dominate virtually every aspect of the modern world and some guidance on how to prepare for this digital life. It also provides a more detailed explanation of the internal structure and workings of a typical computer.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the concept of a ‘digital life’
  • demonstrate an awareness of the role of information and communication technologies in a digital life
  • describe the purpose of each of the major components of a computer system, and use common terminology to describe these components.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 10 hours
  • Updated Thursday 17th March 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Computing and ICT
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Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century

Introduction

Unit image

The profound technological, economic, political and ethical changes brought about by information technology will affect every one of us. You may be wondering what digitial technology is and just what is meant by having a digital life. A fundamental idea is that digital technology is any technology based on representing data as sequences of numbers. Computers use digital technologies; so the for benefit of this unit the term digital life refers to the influence of computers, in a wide variety of forms, on the world.

In this unit you will learn a little about the historical development of computers and their role in today’s society, and you will consider examples of digital technologies in the world around you and their influence on your life. You will also gain a better understanding of what makes a computer work by exploring what’s inside a typical personal computer.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course TU100 My digital life [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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