Communication - Edexcel

Mobile phones, Computer types, Features of a computer, The Internet, Internet Safety, The digital divide.

  • Created by: Tiz
  • Created on: 14-11-10 18:34

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones were originally developed to make and receive calls, but they have now developed into SMART PHONES. They can be used for taking pictures or using the Internet. A smart phone is an example of a MULTI FUNCTIONAL DEVICE.A multi functional phone is one that contains features from both fashion and business phone.

Uses - Bluetooth, MP3 player, Memory card, Alarm, USB port, Roaming, Voice recorder, predictive text, Email, Internet, Camcorder, Radio, SMS, Calculator, Memo, Personal organizer, Internal memory, Games, Video Calling, MMS, GPS.

Picture resolution refers to the quality and detail that can be shown on the screen of the mobile. The higher the resolution, the better the quality of the image displayed on screen. This is measured in pixels. Camera resolution is the amount of detail that the camera picks up on in one picture. The picture files can be very big if the resolution is big however this means that there will be better definition in the picture. Storage capacity is the amount of space the phone has in its internal memory. Memory Card is a secondary device that allows users to store, back up, copy and remove their files.

Mobile phones operate on different frequencies in different countries To be able to connect with a phone on a different frequency, the phone needs to be able to receive one or more frequencies, a phone can be Dual band, Tri bad, Quad band. Having a quad band phone allows you to use it in five different countries.

Texting too much can lead to repetitive strain injury. Scientists are unsure of the risks surrounded by mobile phones seeing as they have not been around for too long. Over use of 'Text Speak' could have an impact on the ability to spell words correctly. You people can become victims of bullying and crime.

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Computer Types

Laptop -  a portable computer designed to fit on the lap( although most people use them on a table or a desk). It carries out the same functions as a desktop computer but in a compact version that is light enough to be carried around.

Notebook - Similar to a laptop but even more compact. The name comes from its small size.

Netbook - Similar to the Notebook but designed mainly for wireless communication via email, messaging and access to the internet. A netbook is usually cheaper  and has a lower specification compared to laptops ad notebooks.

Personal digital assistant (PDA) - A portable device that is small enough to hold in the palm of the hand. It usually contains an address book, note-making features, telephone and internet facilities. It allows data to be exchanged with computers.

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The Internet

Instant messaging (IM)- This enables users to have a 'virtual' conversation. This involves 'talking' to someone in real time by typing and receiving messages. It is popular because it is quick and easy, people can work collaboratively and discuss their views, the user can decide who they want to engage in conversation with,you can use it through certain mobile phones, PDAs and other portable devices. Disadvantages include that you need internet access, overuse of IM could result in less face to face contact with people, people may misunderstand information as it lacks emotion, if you use text language regularly it could affect your writing skills, you may prefer to chat rather than type and if the internet connection is slow, this could impact on the real time feature.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)  - This is rather similar to IM however sound is sent rather than text. It is just like making a telephone call. Making calls this way is free, even international ones, but some VoIP service providers charge a membership or monthly fee. Disadvantages include that a slow internet connection could delay the sound, VoIP will only work with an internet connection. If the internet service provider is temporary unavailable then calls cannot be made.

Social Networking - If you want to communicate with vast amounts of people then social networking are an advantage. It allows people who share the same interests become friends. It enables users to connect with friends, family  and colleagues on line. They provide a range of ways for users to interact such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice, file sharing, blogging and discussion groups. However there are problems associated with this form of information sharing, children could become the victiim of cyber bullying, stalkers, pedophiles etc. 

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Internet Safety

Viruses are programs that can infect a computer without the permission or knowledge of the user. They can damage the system's settings and memory, generating error messages and cousing the computer to malfunction. Viruses can be caught be visiting certain websites, opening emails, downloading attatchments for the internet, using infected portable storage devices, connecting to an infected hard disk.

Spyware is a program which is installed without permission, sometimes through a virus or sometimes through the installation of a program. it collects information to a source and could include the websites you have been visiting or what you have been downloading. It can be used for marketing purposes or illegal purposes such as fraud.

Cookies are small files which stores information related to your internet activity and then reports back to the website server. Cookies can cause problems such as pop-ups being generated or details like passwords stored which could be used by hackers.

Spam is all unwanted email such as unsolicited commercial email, unsolicited bulk email and chain letters. Phishing involves sending a link via an email to a wbsite which looks genuine(e.g. a bank website). The recipient could be tricked into giving away passwords and important information.

Hackers are people who try to access your computer without permission in order to steal information which they could use for malicious or criminal purpose. Identity theft takes place when someone collects information about you and uses that information for malicious or criminal purpose. Social networking sites are a great way to access someones personal information and therefore identity theft is a growing problem.

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The digital divide

The digital divide is the gap between people in society who cannot or do not have effective access to digital technology and those who do. Because of the importance of technology in modern life, people who do not have access to it may be disadvantaged in many ways.

People may have lack of access in the UK if you have a low income, live in a rural area, have weak literacy skills, have a disability, are from an ethnic minority and are elderly.

The digital divide has economic, educational, social and cultural implications.


Economic - people with knowledge of technology may be able to get better paid jobs.

Educational - People who use computers at school or home may excel in learning as they will become independent learners.

Social - People can feel left out if they do not have technological good and services.

Cultural - Many cafes now offer facilities such as the internet to attract customers.

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