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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome to EnglishClass101.com. I’m Becky, and this is Culture Class, Season 3, Lesson 1 - The Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Information Technology.
Eric: Hi everyone, I’m Eric. In this season we’re going to focus on business in America.
Becky: That’s right! This season is a compilation of 5 different mini-series covering 5 different areas of American Business.
Eric: Those five areas are Information Technology, Energy and Manufacturing, Entertainment, Finance, and Food and Agriculture.
Becky: We chose these areas because they are five of the most important areas of American business, and these areas are often used to evaluate the economy of the United States.
Eric: That’s right. If these areas of the American economy are not doing well, then the American economy is not doing well.
Becky: Exactly! But these sections of the US economy are not independent. They're all interconnected. In fact, American business is much more complex than many people might think.
Eric: Even people who have a Masters in Business Administration, or an MBA, don’t know everything about business in the US or the US economy. It's a large area to cover.
Becky: Yes it is, and we’ve been working on this for a long time. We’re sure you’re going to learn a lot about American business!
Eric: Well, let’s get to it!
Becky: Okay! Number 5 in our Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Information Technology is that information technology is very, very new.
Eric: That’s right. Information technology isn’t like manufacturing or finance, which have been around for centuries. The field of information technology only began about 70 years ago.
Becky: That’s right. Now, information technology means using technology, like computers or telecommunication equipment, to get information.
Eric: Since information technology is so new, new things are constantly being invented, discovered, and improved. That's why there's a new computer, new Internet connection, or new cell phone almost every day.
Becky: Which brings us to our next topic.
Eric: Number 4 on our list is that information technology changes.
Becky: Now, it can be very frustrating that technology and computers are changing so frequently. It often seems that as soon as you learn how to use one program, it changes or is completely replaced by something smaller, better, faster, and...well, different.
Eric: Which means you have to learn something new every time.
Becky: Which, as a teacher, I don’t really think is a bad thing; but it can be very time-consuming. So we have a tip for you related to this kind of change.
Eric: Our tip is that you don’t always need to learn the new program. You see, sometimes companies will release new software or new computers just to keep getting more money.
Becky: For example, imagine that you only use your computer to type letters to family. You use Microsoft Office, like most people, to write those letters. You receive an email from Microsoft saying that they have a new version of Office that’s much better than the previous version. The question is, do you need to buy the new version?
Eric: Now, every situation is unique, so you should evaluate whether the updates are significant to you. For some people they will be and they'll buy the new program, but if you rarely use the program, you might not need it.
Becky: And that’s what we wanted to get at. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean you need to buy it, or even that you need it.
Eric: Which brings us to our next topic.
Becky: Number 3 in our top five most important things to understand about information technology is that it can be addicting.
Eric: You’ve probably heard of this, and might even be experiencing this, but information technology, like almost anything, can be addictive. There are many reports and even studies about the health effects of too much computer use.
Becky: Now, where do you draw the line between an addiction and something you just have to do a lot? For example, in my work I have to sit in front of a computer at least 10 hours a day. Is that an addiction or a result of the fact that I have bills to pay?
Eric: However, a 12-year-old who doesn’t usually write reports for school and still spends 10 to 12 hours per day on the computer playing video games could be addicted.
Becky: Now, different people become addicted to different aspects of information technology in different ways, so we’re not going into how or why this happens.
Eric: It’s important to always remember that information technology is just a tool that helps you achieve something. Whether you’re playing a computer game, editing wedding photos, or taking a college entrance exam, computers are just tools that we can use to accomplish what we want.
Becky: Which is our next topic!
Eric: Number 2 in our Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Information Technology is that it’s just a tool.
Becky: That’s right. If you watch too many science fiction films, you might get the impression that information technology is more important than it really is.
Eric: In the end, computers, cell phones, the Internet, and digital cameras are just tools that we can use for a specific purpose. The ways in which information technology can be used are only limited by the ways in which we want to use it.
Becky: That’s right. You can even use information technology as a tool to help you with information technology. That’s my favorite.
Eric: That’s probably how I use it most. When I need to learn something new or need to review something quickly, I usually search for it on Google and then filter through whatever comes back.
Becky: And, for example, when I want a new cell phone, I get on YouTube and search for reviews of the best ones. I use technology as a tool for technology.
Eric: That’s what I do when new software comes out. There are many people who review software and you can watch their videos and see if a new program is something you want to spend time learning.
Becky: That’s right! Sometimes you won’t need it, but sometimes you will. Which brings us to our last section!
Eric: Number 1 in our Top 5 Most Important Things to Understand about Information Technology is that it will shape the future.
Becky: And that is for sure! Information has quickly become more important than the devices themselves. A study done by Mozy, which is an online backup company, discovered that when someone loses their cell phone, they are usually more concerned about the information on the phone than the phone itself.
Eric: That’s definitely true for me. All those phone numbers, texts, and pictures...I'd be very sad if I lost them.
Becky: Information technology is defined as technology that manipulates information. In other words, technology that can store, transmit, or present information in some digital way.
Eric: As technology improves, so will our ability to use information. As we obtain more information, the technology will have to get better to handle it all.
Becky: It’s a big circle. As each aspect gets better, the other will too. Fifteen years ago, learning English online was only a distant dream. Now you're doing it!
Eric: So who knows what you’ll be doing 15 years from now!
Becky: While we don’t know the future, we do know that information technology will be a fundamental part in creating our future.
Eric: Yes. And that’s all for this lesson.
Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Eric: See you!