From Telephone to ICTs: How Communication and Technology Change Society

Phones had become so integral in people’s lives that it is almost impossible to remember a time that there was none. Before the phone invention in 1876 by the Scottish-born American inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, people largely rely on snail mails and telegrams to contact their loved ones. Its invention has led to a myriad of ways people get to communicate with each other. Even today, with smartphones and tablets dominating people’s choice of medium of communication, this would not have been possible without the invention of the good old telly.

Today, it is apparent how essential telephones and cell phones are for people’s everyday lives. From businesses to different industries, even the government and the public sector rely on phone services. So much so that there are phone-answering services for businesses and even the public sectors. Phone services had become more dominant throughout the years.

The development and how phones impacted the world can be considered the blueprint for how information and communication technology (ICTs) started. As society and the world changes, different mediums also emerge. Today, information and communication technology (ICTs) continue to modernize and change. Access to information becomes even more crucial for people. It is even considered one of the things that people must have access to, like the internet.

Throughout the years, the government has recognized how crucial investing in information and communication technology is. For example, in the United States, the federal government’s investments even go way back to 1843 when Congress supported the construction of Samuel Morse’s American Telegraph System. Since then, the government has been relentless in its continued support towards information and communication technologies.

Why focus on information and communication technology development?

technology concept

The government has continued its support to ICT by funding innovative projects that can be applied in defense, education, health care, criminal law, and even agriculture.

It is understandable why the government would invest in such telecommunications and innovative projects. It is not only used for modernization purposes; the government sees the importance of these opportunities to those on society’s margins. Through ICTs and their projects, it fosters opportunities to bridge the gap for people from marginalized backgrounds.

ICTs are viable ways to scale up and enact changes that can be beneficial for a lot of those who are marginalized.

How can ICTs affect changes towards the poor and disenfranchised? ICTs can be beneficial in different fields, specifically in education, health, and agriculture. ICTs are great avenues to transmit knowledge. Education, albeit a basic human right, remains to be a privilege for most children.

Access to a universal pre-K and basic education is still not achieved despite continued demand for it. For example, in urban areas such as premier cities, laptops, computers, and other gadgets are readily available compared to children in the rural areas. Even internet connection is a challenge in these places. This divide is detrimental to providing equal opportunities for all students everywhere.

Projects to close the gap between children among rural and urban areas had been abundant. Support from the government and other stakeholders has been present. Ultimately, just as important as having access to gadgets for education, it’s also crucial for teachers and educators to be knowledgeable in integrating ICTs into their lessons. Inability to connect these technologies to educational discussions will render them useless.

Unesco’s report in 2007, the success of integrating ICTs in learning is heavily reliant on the teacher’s expertise in applying it in the lessons. With that, it cannot be denied how communication and technology have evolved and how it impactful it can be in the students’ learning process. This is, of course, owing to how communication technology continues to evolve through time.

Another way ICTs have led to a good effect among the marginalized is it was able to empower fisherfolks and farmers in developing countries. One way they experienced this is through the use of their mobile phones. They were able to update the prices of their produce thru an app using their phones.

This allowed them to sell their products without relying on intermediaries, which exploit them most of the time by buying their produce cheaply and then selling them at a higher price. This is a huge step in allowing them to have autonomy with their produce.

These are just some ways ICTs have been used to alleviate many marginalized people’s conditions. Supporting these initiatives will not only be beneficial for some but also to their respective communities.

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