ICT and Social Work Essay

Computer is becoming increasingly relevantly to our everyday life, computer is responsible to store large amount of information, retrieve selected information easily and perform complex calculation quickly. (Holden and Munnelly 1998, p. 50) In our modern economy many of the goods we consume and services we use would not have been available if not because of computer. This essay aims to discuss my understanding of some basic concepts of some (IT) and its application social work practice.

Information Technology covers all forms of technology that are used to create, store transfer and process information in its various forms such as test, numbers, images sounds and video. As a social worker, computer is very important and useful information we can use computer to pass information to our service users quickly, A computer is also a multipurpose programmable device that can process and store information. It also makes our work more effective.

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A computer consists of two different types of elements; hardware and software in order for computer to work, hardware is the physical part of a computer system that you can touch, feel, weigh and feel. Hardware device such as the screen, keyboard, mouse, they are connected to the main system unit which are often referred to as peripherals. The items of hardware used to input data are called input device, they are units that allow data to be transmitted in to computer processor. The information that a computer produces is called output.

It is a peripheral unit that translate signals from the computer into a form suitable for re-processing by the computer at a later stage e. g. printers, speakers, and plotter. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brains of a computer. It is the CPU that most calculations take place, and the CPU speed largely determines the speed of the computer. The computer has main memories which is Random Access Memories (RAM) is a temporary storage area where the computer holds the instructions and data is currently working on.

The amount of RAM in a computer is the second factor that affects its overall speed of operation. Random Access Memory is volatile: as soon as the power is turned off, whatever data was in RAM is lost. Read Only Memory (ROM) is another kind of memory its and role is to store the computers own programs, particularly the instructions necessary to start the computer. Hard disk is the third and a permanent kind of memory; it is more fragile which means is more likely to malfunction than RAM or RAM. Hard disk is a spinning magnetic disk on which computer data can be stored. Holden and Munnelly, 2004 P, 12). Computer software programs tell the computer what to do. Software is the instructions that tell the hardware how to behave. Software will take data and process it and then store it for later use. Software consists of programs, routines and procedures together with their associated documentation, which could be run on a computer system.

They are divided into two general areas: which are system software and application software. An operating system is a series of programs that organise and control a computer. (Richard, 2004,p. ) Computer networking enables users to share messages or e-mails resources such as hardware, application and data files and to exchange electronics (Holden and Munnelly 1998 p, 37) Computer network is also a group of two or more computer system that are connected together by some means to provide their users with much services as printer, -sharing, file-sharing and e-mail. According to John Wobus (1994) Networks comes in two sizes: big and small, there are Local area network or LAN; it connects the computers in a single room, building or group of adjoining building.

A local network LAN, links together via cabling, computer on the same site e. g. within one building. WAN (wide Area network) is a network that connects computers over a wide area, typical across international boundaries. The Internet is an example of a worldwide computer network (WAN) made up of smaller networks. Wide area networks (WAN) the computers are further apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves. Data Protection Act- It sets rules for processing information about people and applies to paper records as well as those held on computers. It is intended to protect the privacy of individuals.

It regulates all kind of treatment of personal information such as storing; collecting, saving and providing personal information to a third party. Any organisation holding data about people must register with the Data Protection Register. They have to state what data is being held, the sources and purposes of the data and the types of organisations to whom the data may be disclosed. (Richard 2004,p. 36) Environmental Consideration: There are a number of measures that computer users can take to help the environment, which are we can use systems that less power while inactive.

As a social worker we can recycle printer paper. Also we can recycle printer’s toner cartridges in order to prevent harm. Backups is important for social workers because it is a process of copying files to a second medium i. e. a disk, tape or drives as a safety measure in case the first medium fails or breakdown. As a social worker backups files is essential if there is power failure, virus attacks and also because of data loss. As a social worker we should be aware of health and safety issues when working on computer. Computer can be held responsible for many health problems such as wrist injuries and back problems.

Poor seating and bad posture while sitting at a computer screen can cause back problem. Richard (2004,p. 32) suggested that the environment should be well lighted and adjusted the window to prevent direct sunlight. Computer users are also prone to eyestrain from spending long hours in front of computer screen. As a social worker it is good to cultivate the habit of having regular breaks away from the screen. Computer Viruses are generally developed with a definite intention to cause damage to computer files and annoyance to computer users. Care should be taken when downloading files from Internet.

Virus checkers need to be installed on computer system so that they can automatically check for any infected data when the computer is started up. (Richard 2004, P. 38) Copyright issues- Computer software is copyright materials that means it is protected in the UK by the copyright, the software producer owns it and it is illegal to make unauthorised copies. In conclusion this assignment have giving me opportunity to learn about basic concept of computer and also made me aware of some important security and legal issues associated with using computer and develop my skills.


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