Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Post 10: Technology In Your Community

For this posting, think of an example of a communication technology that has been adopted in your community. Discuss some its unintended, negative consequences for the community as a whole. Were these negative effects addressed by the diffusion agent or by the adopters? If not, come up with suggestions how these consequences could be corrected in the future.


anniken said...

A communication technology that has been adopted in my community is Internet banking (BankID). Some of the unintended, negative consequences that has come from this are (1) people are expected to be familiar with the concept, but not everyone is comfortable with transferring funds around online, (2) bank hours are not customer friendly (the bank in my hometown is only open Mon-Fri from 10am to 3pm – not suitable for those who work during the day), (3) it used to be easy to make a mistake (type in the wrong sum, account number etc.).

I don’t recall 1 or 2 being addressed by a change agent (or the adopters), but if the banks wants to save money by cutting down their hours of operation they could certainly be more customer friendly and be open only in the afternoon, for example. That way everyone could go see a bank person should they feel the need to, and not have to leave work for an hour or two.

The third problem… I actually have an example of that. There was a woman who transferred $89,000 (with today’s exchange rate, 500,000 NOK.) to the wrong bank account in 2006. She was supposed to send the money to her daughter’s account, but pushed the number 5 twice instead of just one time in her Internet bank. So, the money ended up in a strangers account. 10 days later, the stranger stared gambling with the money and it would take a month for the woman to realize that she made the mistake. Long story short, the stranger was convicted of embezzlement and has to pay the woman back, but the bank (at the time) did not acknowledge that their Internet solution could have been improved upon. Despite this lack of accountability, changes were proposed by The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway and expected to be put in place by March of 2007. Some of these changes included only allowing space for 11 numbers, a control site where the customer can see which amount is going to where and also confirm that this information is accurate by punching in his or her password/BankID, and also if the account number was not previously used and saved by the customer, or found in the KID-number database, the customer would have to confirm it again.

Melinda Heinz said...

For this example, I am going to use the Iowa State community to discuss a communication technology. Iowa State now has wi-fi all over campus. While this is great, an unintended negative consequence is that students are now able to surf the web during class by accessing the internet in virtually any Iowa State classroom. In my opinion, this is leading to increased distraction and decreased student participation and engagement in the classroom.

I don’t believe these negative consequences have been addressed by adopters (e.g., students may not see this as a problem). However, some instructors have dealt with these negative consequences by not allowing laptops in the classroom or only allowing students with laptops to sit in certain areas (e.g., the first two rows) in order to better monitor laptop activities. I think that this will be an increasing problem in the future and instructors will continue to have to deal with appropriate technology use in the classroom. I am curious if anyone knows whether or not there are certain college policies on this?

When I was an undergraduate student I went to a very small private college for a semester. Between the hours of 8 am – 5 pm the college server blocked MSN messenger and AOL chat. As a student I absolutely hated this, but it may have prevented some distraction in the classroom.

Ryan Jacobson said...

I'll go with a communication technology that has been widely adopted for quite a while now: email. Some of the unintended, negative consequences are the decrease in other forms of communication that were largely replaced by email. One example is writing letters - hardly anybody does that anymore! And it also makes people less willing and able to communicate in person or over the phone. I've noticed in my work, that people under 30 prefer to communicate primarily by email, but workers over 30 prefer to communicate primarily over the phone or face-to-face. This creates some communication barriers between co-workers, which I have experienced a number of times myself.

The negative effects really haven't been addressed, as it has just required most people to adapt to a different form of communication. I think one effort that could be made to ease that communication barrier in the workplace would be for employees to go through communication training as part of orientation, and on a periodic, ongoing basis, to help remind them where the other person is coming from, so they can become better able to use alternative means to communicate better with others.

anniken said...

That’s an interesting topic, and one that I’m sure people are scratching their heads over quite frequently. As Ryan points out, young people today are used to communicating via a keyboard, whilst I’m sure some instructors would prefer they do their note taking with a pen instead. I don’t know if there are policies restricting the use of laptops in classrooms, but can we really ban them completely? Restricting some programs, however, as your private college did, might be one solution. In fact, it might just prepare students for the real world. My former employer banned Facebook. Totally annoying, but at the same time very understandable!

Jennifer Chen said...

The communication technology I want to talk about is social networking website. Social networking websites are quite popular among youngsters. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are widely used by students from almost all levels of education.

The original purpose of social networking is to get people connected with friends, classmates and colleagues, but people sometimes can get maliciously tracked by some lawbreakers. Once one registered a social networking website, if no privacy protection is added, his/her individual information gets released and any other person on that website can see it. Those lawbreakers may use the information to defraud that person’s “friends” on the website, or directly commit a crime to that person. Additionally, some people pretend to be celebrities and build homepages to attract fans for their planned scams.

The negative effects didn’t be addressed or even foreseen by the diffusion agents until bad cases started to happen. In my opinion, those websites should force people to add as friend with and the application has to get allowed by that person, then they can see his/her individual homepage. For celebrities who are verified, the websites should add special icon, like star, to the celebrity’s official homepage, which should be only one, to demonstrate its credibility. Also, there should be a warning on website, saying “be careful when terms of money mentioned in the page”.

Bill said...

I also think computer usage in classrooms has strayed far from what its orignal intent was. I personally learn more when I don't have a computer in front of me and I think that discussion is usally better without screens to hide behind.

It would be interesting to see what would be the results of two sections of the same class in the same semester if one were taught in a room, like 205 Carver where every student had a computer and the other section were taught in a lecture hall with no computers provided. I would tend to hypothesize that the no computer section would peform better but it would be nice to see how the numbers backed this up.

I had a history professor at Iowa who based our entire participation grade on our response to two random questions. She had a master list of students and if she called on you and you weren't there you got a Zero for participation. If you answered wrong you got a 50%. Participation was 15% of our grade. We were AFRAID to miss class or readings. It worked.

Yuwei Sun said...

The technology I can think of was Green dam software in China. The software was a web filter designed to content control online pornography. It was once for a while to be mandatory to have installed for all new personal computers sold in China but later was changed to be voluntary.

The ununintended, negative consequence would be, as some people pointed out, the software blocked out those websites inappropriate for children and youth but at the same time limited the access to a large number of oversea websites. For example, the software consider the words like “gay” and “homosexual” as sensitive keywords and blocked the websites that contained these words. But what if some one was doing a research on this topic? And that people would get nothing useful from the internet. Another negative consequences or concern was the government could actually use this software to get private user’s personal data.

Since the software was developed under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and implemented by the government. The change agent (which was the government) would never be addressed the potential harm to the people. But this software implementation stirs public discussion, especially online. A lot of Chinese netizen refused to install the software and said it was another electronic censorship and surveillance from the central government.

Because the voices against the software were so strong and the software had reported some functional defects later, the ministry was not continued funding the project. Therefore, the once adopted software had dead 2010.