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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 4770

information age

Free essay example:


In this report I will be describing how technologies support different methods of communication. I will be describing in detail of different types of communication and also I will be showing you how there are different ways of communicating with others and lastly I will be telling you the different types of technologies which people use everyday.

Firstly I am going to describe the different types of communication and the advantages and disadvantages for using that method. For every bullet point I talk about I will be giving you an example of that method or form.

Different types of communication

The first thing that I am going to talk about is the different types of communication, there are many methods of communicating around the world. Here are some sub-headings which I’m going to talk about:

  • Written
  • Multimedia
  • Graphical
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Web-base

Written-Written communication takes on many different forms. It includes general correspondence, reports of different types, project proposals, procedures, record keeping, operating instructions, spreadsheet data, announcements, documentation, and presentation. Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system). It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and the recording of language via a non-textual medium such as magnetic tape audio.

For example if you wanted to write a business letter a written method would be the best way of communicating if it was a business relation.

Another reason why you can use written communication is that you can use it for memos and notes. For example if you want to give some one a important message but you cant get hole of them, then you can write a little memo a remind or a little message which is quick and easy, the disadvantage about this is that you wont get the message instantly, its depending on when the person notices the memo.

The advantage of using a written communication, is that the written message don't have to be delivered on time, instead they can be edited and can be saved several times. Also when sending the message you can save the message permanently so you can keep reviewing it and having appropriate feedback. For this reason its better if business have there communication in written due to the fact that they have important facts and figures.

The disadvantage of having a communication as written is that you won’t get a quick reply, also people may not always read them, another disadvantage is they people might find it impersonal and may read the written work in the wrong way.

The second type of communication is the multimedia communication:

Multimedia- is a communication using a computer and various other equipment,  for example a Powerpoint presentation is a multi media communication this is due to the fact that by showing the presentation its written and vocal also you are presenting it with technology which involves media.  Multi media is a bit of everything it involves text audio video and graphics, animations as well. The term can be used as a noun (a medium with multiple content forms) or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which only utilize traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material. For example many big companies use multimedia for conferences to look professional and put there ideas forward.

The advantage of having a multimedia is that you can gain and hold attention, due to the fact that it’s attractive and looks very effective. Another advantage is that the audience is more enhanced with audio presentation than just text due to effectiveness. It’s also educational when presenting the information and when creating the presentation you can learn a lot of things from.

The disadvantage of having multimedia is that you have to have all the equipment, the equipment for a multimedia communication is really expensive. Another disadvantage is that you can’t attract a high number of populations.

Also it would be bit complicated for people who don't know how to use the computer, and create power point presentation.

The next thing that I will be talking about is a communication using graphics for example drawings and pictures and animated pictures.

Graphics- are visual presentations on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, computer screen, paper, or stone to brand, inform, illustrate, or entertain. Examples are photographs, drawings, Line Art, graphs, diagrams, typography, numbers, symbols, geometric designs, maps, engineering drawings, or other images. Graphics often combine text, illustration, and colour. Graphic design may consist of the deliberate selection, creation, or arrangement of typography alone, as in a brochure, flier, poster, web site, or book without any other element. Clarity or effective communication may be the objective, association with other cultural elements may be sought, or merely, the creation of a distinctive style.

You can use graphics in various things for example you can have graphics in magazines, advertisements and finally you can also have graphics for documents.  

With graphic communication there are many ways to produce a piece of document for example you can use a sketch pencil to draw something up for a picture, you can also use a digital camera to take a photograph of something spectacular to make the document look effective or represent them. Another way is by producing a drawing,  on the computer using the technology.      

The advantage of using a graphical communication is that it looks very attractive and effective and would stand out very clearly. Another advantage is that some pictures or graphics have a lot of meaning in the picture which is trying to say something, the good thing about this is that it looks very attractive and you don't have look at the writing all the time.  

The disadvantage for this kind of communication is that people will get the wrong kind of image, the audience will also have different views on what the image or graphic is trying to say.  

Video- this is another way of communicating, that people use or to entertain people.

For example video conference (also known as a video teleconference) is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of group ware. It differs from videophone in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals.

The advantage of having a video conference, especially for business organisation is that when you have short notice for a meeting which is in another country a video conference is a good way of communicating, due to the fact that you know the person that you are talking to, so you can trust them with what you are saying.

The disadvantage of having a video conference is that you need a lot of technology equipment and if it breaks down it would be very expensive to fix it.

A music video is a communication to entertain people, most celebrity produce music video, for the song that they record for there album. For example: flo rida, Alesha Dixon. There are various ways that you can listen to music video e.g. you tube; you can also watch music video on music channels for example: MTV, Kiss.

The advantage of this is that if you get bored, you can put it on a music channel and just listen to it. But the disadvantage is that it could distract you from doing work due to the fact that you can not watch TV and listen to the music at the same time.

Audio-  refers to a sound that is capable of being heard, for example you can listen to the radio and listen to the DJ Conversation, you can also listen to the CD player, depending on what kind of albums you have on and the singles that you have.  There are many ways of listening by audio for example you can use MP3 and I pod.

The advantage of listening to audio is that some have portable items and the disadvantage of listening to  audio is you won't be able to notice who's that song by, unless you see the music video.

There are many ways of communicating by audio for example you can communicate using audio by audio conference calls also you can do audio call by your phone and using instant messenger.

But the disadvantage of this is that you wont know the person whether he or she is the right person.

Web-based- finally the last type of communication is called web-based, this is because you are typing in to the search engine of what you are looking for basically its like you asking a question to the search engine. There are many search engines which you can search for the things you want to search for example Yahoo, Google, AOL, Msn. Your communicating with web-base by searching different things and if you can't find the things you want to search for you can go on to advance search where you can be more specific on what you are looking for, this is communicating with the internet to find the things you want to find, so you can basically make there life a bit easier by being more specific.

The advantage of this is that when you want to find out things its very easy to find something out, you can check whether the information is updated or not. You can find information within seconds without looking through.

The disadvantage of using a web-based communication is that you could get viruses on the computer and also the information that you might get might not always be correct to what you are looking for.

Different ways of communicating with others are:

The next thing that I will be discussing about is the different ways of communicating, there are many way of communicating with people. Here below are the some of the bullet point that I will be discussing:

  • paper-base
  • screen-base
  • SMS (short message service-telephone text messaging)
  • radio
  • television
  • telephone
  • e-mail
  • WWW (world wide web)

Paper-base- is a way of communicating by hand written paper or computers print out. Paper-base is normally used for letter and post notes/ memos. Brochures, magazine, newspaper. There are many more things which you read as a paper base communication and communicating with paper base.

The advantage for this is that you can write it down much quicker, you can put anything you want on to it.  The good thing is that you actually feel like your reading it. Also paper-base looks more creative and formal than a screen based communication.

The disadvantages is that you wont get a reply straight away, also the person you are sending it wont necessarily see it straight away. Another disadvantage is that it could be very costly due to buying paper.  Also having paper everywhere could have environmental issues. If you made a mistake on the paper you will have to rewrite it all.

Screen-based- is a way of communicating by a computer or laptop or a portable device for example a touch screen or a cash machine, PDA , smart board. Its something that you communicate using a screen.

The advantage of using screen base as communication is that you wont be able to loose things , its really easy to use, and and if you go wrong you can always undo it unlike paper base.

The disadvantage is that its very costly they worth a lot of money, take a lot of electricity and batteries. Screen base ain't that formal because your using technology.

SMS(short message service- telephoning text message)- SMS is the technology that allows text messages to be received and sent over mobile devices.

Short Message Service (SMS) is a communication service standardized in the GSM mobile communication system, using standardized communications protocols allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers sending and receiving text messages on their phones.[citation needed] The SMS technology has facilitated the development and growth of text messaging. You can only use SMS for mobile device nothing else. Its very common these day to use this kind of communication.

The advantage of this is that it don't cost that much to send a message, its quick and easy, and can be informal and formal depending on what you want to say. You can have symbols and smiley faces. You can text in a different language if you want to.  

The disadvantage is that the person reading the message can take it in the wrong way depending on what you are saying, also the person who's received the text don't always read the message until they see the icon of a message. You can get a quick reply back depending on whether you want a reply. All networks have different price range on texting so you have to have a look out on the cheapest rate.

Radio- you don't communicate with the radio the radio communicates with us by giving us some information of what's going on in our county and in the world. The radio also gives us gossips on celebrity life and the latest songs that have come out. There are many radio stations for example Leicester sound, Oak FM, Radio 1, Heart. If the audience wanted to communicate with the radio station they would phone in or text using other kinds of communication. Radio communication within itself trying to entertain the listeners.

The advantage of radio communication is that they give you facts and entertain you, you can listen to radio anywhere, for example can listen to live radio station on the computer, through your mobile, at work. They also communicate with adverts, trying to persuade people to buy that product another way the radio station communicates is to enter a competition and win some thing big.  

the disadvantage is that you can not communicate with the radio station unless you use telephone or SMS. Another disadvantage is that radio listeners are spread over many stations, to totally saturate your market you have to advertise simultaneously on many stations.  

Television- television communicates with us by putting on different programs and movies on to entertain us, instead of just listening to the audio e.g, radio stations we can watch as well.

Television communicates with us by putting on different adverts on so when we watch the advert it will try and persuade us to buy it.

There are many channels on television so it keeps us occupied when we are bored, for example there's movies, music, sport etc.  

Television (TV) is a widely used telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images, either monochromatic ("black and white") or colour, usually accompanied by sound.

The advantage of television is that you have a wide spread of channels and its in colour so that an advantage for because in the past the television use to be in black and white.  They are able to convey your message in sound image and motion. There good mass market coverage. Most of the population watches TV.

The disadvantage of television communication is that it could have a bad effect on little kids and could learn a lot of bad things from the programmes.  

Its very expensive to buy a television, and very expensive to pay for the channel monthly.

Telephone-   telecommunications device that is used to transmit and receive electronically or digitally encoded sound (most commonly speech) between two or more people conversing. It is one of the most common household appliances in the developed world today. Most telephones operate through transmission of electric signals over a complex telephone network which allows almost any phone user to communicate with almost any other user.

You can use a telephone by a portable device as well, a lot of people now a day use this kind of communication.

The advantage of this is that it is very easy to communicate to the person that you want to communicate with, you can get a quick reply and doesn't cost that much. You don't have to waste time typing while you do that on SMS.

The disadvantage is that you wont know whether its the right person that you are talking to, there are not many disadvantage on telephone communication.

E-mail- Electronic mail—often abbreviated as e-mail or email—is any method of creating, transmitting, or storing primarily text-based human communications with digital communications systems. Modern e-mail systems are based on a store-and-forward model in which e-mail computer server systems, accept, forward, or store messages on behalf of users, who only connect to the e-mail infrastructure with their personal computer or other network-enabled device for the duration of message transmission or retrieval to or from their designated server. Rarely is e-mail transmitted directly from one user's device to another's.

The advantage of  e-mailing is that they can be delivered at any time. Incoming mail can be immediately printed, saved to disk, replied to, forwarded or deleted. Outgoing messages can be carefully composed, delivered instantly, and even sent at a specific time. An E-mail message can be delivered at any time, without long distance charges.

Messages can be sent out to dozens or even thousands of people at once.

The disadvantage is that the sender could send viruses and malware through attachments if recipient doesn't scan it.  Your inbox is subject to spam and unwanted ads could cause you to delete some of your personal messages.

Emails could "bounce" between different servers all over the world before reaching you and could be stolen or modified by any hackers.  Emails could be misunderstood especially if the email is miswritten by the sender.  A long email could cause the recipient to lose interest and stop reading the email altogether. One problem with email is that you can use the email without having internet you need the internet.

WWW(world wide web) - The World Wide Web is a huge set of interlinked documents, images and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. These hyperlinks and URLs allow the web servers and other machines that store originals, and cached copies of, these resources to deliver them as required using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTP is only one of the communication protocols used on the Internet. You are communicating with the world wide web by going on to the search engines and looking for the things you want to look for and find information. There are many ways of communication with people by using Facebook and my space, twitter and bebo. There are many sites which you could communicate by getting information like the cheapest flight tickets or when the shops opened or if you want to find any job vacancy's.

The advantages of this is that its much quicker, can find information within seconds of time.  There are also software for example instant message which you can download the software off the internet for free there are many ways of communicating through world wide web.

The disadvantage of world wide web is that you you might not always get the right information that you are looking for, might not always be updated. The more memory you have on internet and quicker speed you have the more you have to pay monthly.  

Different types of technologies

lastly I will be discussing about the different types of technology that you have to communicate. The technology that I will be talking about are:

  • personal computers
  • touch screen
  • digital broadcasting
  • DVD
  • mobile phones
  • the internet
  • WAP (wireless application protocol)

personal computers- A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator.

There are different types of personal computers for example :

  1. desktop computer
  2. nettop
  3. laptop
  4. netbook
  5. tablet pc
  6. ultra mobile pc
  7. home theatre pc
  8. pocket pc

the way you can communicate with personal computers is by using Email, instant messenger, world wide web, you can also have a video conference by using your personal computer.

The advantage is that there is many features that you can use to communicate with, its much quicker than doing it in hand written. Its professional but not formal.

The disadvantage is that it uses a lot of electricity up and battery, you got to be careful whether its safe or not there could be hackers accessing your data and personal files.

Touch screen-  A touch screen is a display which can detect the presence and location of a touch within the display area. The term generally refers to touch or contact to the display of the device by a finger or hand. Touch screens can also sense other passive objects, such as a stylus. However, if the object sensed is active, as with a light pen, the term touch screen is generally not applicable. The ability to interact directly with a display typically indicates the presence of a touch screen.

 It works when you place your finger or a stylus on the screen, it changes the state that the device is monitoring. In screens that rely on sound or light waves, your finger physically blocks or reflects some of the waves.

Touch screens are mainly used in business and scientific companies, also you have touch screen in shopping mall  to find out where you are and to find information about the shopping malls. Most business use PDA which is similar to touch screen.

The advantage of this is that its quick and easy you don't have to find the cursor because you control it with your finger. Its has a lot of memory and you don't have to have a keyboards or a mouse.

The disadvantage is that it wont always do what you tell it to do, it is very expensive to buy one, you could loose it or misplace it.

Digital broadcasting- Digital broadcasting is the practice of using digital data rather than analogue waveforms to carry broadcasts over television channels or assigned radio frequency bands. It is becoming increasingly popular for television usage (especially satellite television) but is having a slower adoption rate for radio. There are different kinds of digital broadcasting for exam digital audio broadcasting aka DAB its a radio, there's digital television which has  just recently been brought forward in this country in a few years time united kingdom will all  change to digital television.

The advantage of this is that its more efficient and the speed is very quick.

DVD-  DVD, also known as "Digital Versatile Disc" or "Digital Video Disc," is a optical disc storage media format. Its main uses are video and data storage. Most DVDs are of the same dimensions as compact discs (CDs) but store more than six times as much data.

Variations of the term DVD often describe the way data is stored on the discs: DVD-ROM (Read Only Memory), has data that can only be read and not written, DVD-R and DVD+R can record data only once and then function as a DVD-ROM. DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM can both record and erase data multiple times.

DVD helps you to store movies and other things, its depending on how much memory you have on the disk.

Mobile phones- A mobile phone (also known as a handphone, wireless phone, cell phone, cellular phone, cellular telephone or cell telephone) is a long-range, electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialized base stations known as cell sites.

Mobile phones is a portable device to communicate with other people, now a day mobile phone have many more feature than just calling people for example they have games, video, camera, internet, music, SMS, bluetooth, infra red, mp3 player, radio, GPS, emailing and many more.  

The more features you have the more expansive it is depending on the brand as well and the model. The latest phones also have touch screens so it makes there life more easier than pressing the buttons all the time.

You also have a business mobile phone for example black berry, some of the biggest brand names are , Nokia Sony Ericsson, Samsung ,LG. Every year there are brand news phones that come out with new technology, this is showing that the technology is expanding and soon everything will be runned by that. Also you don t have to go on the computer to go on the internet you can just access on your phone, also you can download the instant messenger on you phone and communicate by using that. Doesn't take that long to reply back either. While your on internet you can download music and video for your phone to listen and download games and the latest ring tones as well.

The latest screen touch phone with free WI-Fi is iphone, provides you with everything even you tube.

The advantages of having a mobile phone is that you can communicate with your friends and family, if there a emergency you can call them. You can use them internationally, its portable and not that heavy as a laptop is to carry around. Mobile phone gives you more time to communicate, e.g. when you on the train you can just call. If your bored and got nothing to do you can just play games on your phone.

The disadvantage of using a mobile phone is that you could damage your ear and brain by using the phone a lot. Also your not having a face to face conversation, you can get addicted to using a mobile phone and could give you a lot on your bill depending on how much you call and text a day.

The internet- The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels. Typically, a computer that connects to the Internet can access information from a vast array of available servers and other computers by moving information from them to the computer's local memory. The same connection allows that computer to send information to servers on the network; that information is in turn accessed and potentially modified by a variety of other interconnected computers. A majority of widely accessible information on the Internet consists of inter-linked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW). Computer users typically manage sent and received information with web browsers; other software for users' interface with computer networks includes specialized programs for electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing.

The advantages of using the internet is that it provides you with different valuable information and you can download software for free to communicate with people. Also another advantage is that companies can advertise their products globally.  Its operated 24/7.

The disadvantages is that you could get viruses in to your computer which would corrupt  the computer and have spam which will fill up your memory and if you registering for something like online banking, you wouldn't know whether you could trust them due to the fact that they  could get hold of personal information.

WAP (wireless application protocol)- Wireless Application Protocol (commonly referred to as WAP) is an open international standard for application layer network communications in a wireless communication environment. Its main use is to enable access to the Internet (HTTP) from a mobile phone or PDA.

A WAP browser provides all of the basic services of a computer based web browser but simplified to operate within the restrictions of a mobile phone, such as its smaller view screen. WAP sites are websites written in, or dynamically converted to, WML (Wireless Markup Language) and accessed via the WAP browser.

The advantage for WAP  is that WAP is always available, if the user takes their WAP enabled mobile with them, but to take advantage of this the information needs to be timely, e.g. up-to-date stock market information during the day, traffic information on the way home, perhaps current movie showing times in the evening. Another advantage is that the user's location can be used to determine what to send them, because WAP is sent to a mobile, the particular active cell gives a neighbourhood.

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