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IT in everyday life
IT in everyday life

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2 Your networked life

2.1 Networked devices you use every day

The next activity aims to get you thinking a bit more about how IT systems form part of your own life and to make you more aware of how you are living in a networked world. IT systems are embedded in many everyday experiences and we have become so used to this that we hardly notice that we are using them.

Activity 3

Think about a typical day and list the different ways in which you communicate, or are communicated with, using technology. What communication devices (pieces of equipment) or networked systems can you think of that are involved?

For example, when you send an email from home the communication devices and systems would include your computer, plus your telephone or cable line, plus the internet.

Write your answers in a table format, as shown in the following example (Table 1).

Table 1
Examples of communication using technologyDevices or systems used
sending an email from homecomputer, telephone/cable line, internet


My examples

Table 2 contains some examples of the kinds of things I came up with and the sort of detail I was able to give about the devices and systems. I expect your list will be a bit different. Notice how important networks are in all of my examples. Was the same true for yours?

Table 2
Examples of communication using technologyDevices or systems used
Reading train information at a stationElectronic noticeboard to display information.
Some sort of networked information system in the station – all the noticeboards are updated at the same time.
Getting into my office buildingBar code on swipe card, card reader at the door.
Network to central computer to verify that I am authorised to enter.
Emailing a colleague from my work computerNetwork linking my computer to my colleague's computer.
Making a phone call from a landline telephoneHandset and telephone line to local exchange.
Network of telephone exchanges.
Sending a text message on my mobile phoneMobile phone.
Wireless connection into mobile phone network.
Playing a computer game with others online from my home computerPersonal computer, telephone line and modem or other network connection.
The internet that links my computer to other players' computers.
Finding out my bank balance from an ATM machineBank card and PIN, ATM machine.
Bank network linking ATMs and central computers holding customer data.
Watching TVTV set, remote control (to switch on and change channels), aerial (or antenna) or cable link to receive signals from the TV broadcasters.
Broadcasting network that transmits signals from TV station.