Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tutorial One: Information Technology and Ethical issues AND Tutorial Two: Digital Imaging

As the title states, this post is all about introducing Information Technology (IT), views on how it prevails in society and ethical issues that need to be considered.

 Help2go (2008) defines IT as a term used to refer to any form of technology used to create, transfer or store information in all its relevant forms (text, images, sound, multimedia files). The list of IT devices is endless ranging from televisions, i pods, cellphones, digital photo frames, DVD and CD players and many more. 
Information Communications Technology (ICT) primarily focuses on communication technologies. It is an umbrella term that "includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning" (SearchCIO, 2011, p.1).

Now having explained what IT is, can you truthfully say that there is not ONE technology device mentioned above that you don't rely on?? I think not!!  It has become soooo commonplace in our society that  we don't even think about it. We truly live in a 'techno' world.

I'm not a whizz when it comes to IT devices but I couldn't live without my cellphone and laptop. At times they frustrate me but for the most they help me out and give me a greater access to information I need and communication with others. When it comes to computers I would like to know more but I guess time, money and knowledge all limit me in doing so.

Technology used in assisting others is the clear link between Occupational Therapy and information technology. According to Verdnock & Ryan (2008) technology can be used to improve both functional independence and occupational performance. It is a potential therapy tool.

I think that a great understanding and use of IT WILL help us in our future practice and daily lives because so many peoples's hobbies/interests involve the use of technology. Therefore we can use this as a method of rehabilitating clients and create new tools for intervention.

Modern technologies help peeps to make their daily lives easier BUT ethical issues also need to be considered. What ethical implications arise from capturing, sharing and transferring of information via IT devices or systems? I'm going to use cell phones as an example. No matter where we go, the likely hood of seeing someone texting, videoing or calling on their mobile is inevitable. Some ethical  concerns regarding cell phones would be that there can be a violation of privacy, someone wanting to take a photo or video doesn't necessarily  NEED consent! Kind of freaky aye! Also SOME cell phone users can be loud, rude and inconsiderate which disrupts many atmospheres (classrooms, meetings, study areas or library). The fact that texting or calling while driving in New Zealand is illegal for a reason. It can be very dangerous on soooo many levels.

What is Intellectual Property you might ask?? WIPO (2010, para 1) states that IP " refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce." Common types of intellectual property include copyrightstrademarkspatentsindustrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

"A general definition of social justice is hard to arrive at and even harder to implement. In essence, social justice is concerned with equaljustice, not just in the courts, but in all aspects of society. This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone, from the poorest person on the margins of society to the wealthiest deserves an even playing field" (WiseGeek, 2011, para 1).

Client or service users receiving Occupational Therapy, deserve the right to be told everything regarding their health and the care they are getting. Informed consent refers to a agreement made before any procedure takes place (HealthPoint, 2011). Health point (2011) describes that before gaining consent, the healthcare provider will clearly explain what will happen, other options available and what can be expected after the procedure. Any questions can also be asked.


Help2go. (2008). Internet glossary. Retrieved 4 March, 2011 from:   

SearchCIO. (2011). ICT (Full). Retrieved 5, March, 2011 from,,sid183_gci928105,00html

M, Verdonck., Ryan, S. (2008) Mainstream technology as an Occupational Therapy tool: technophobe or technogeek? British journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(6), 253-256

WIPO. (2010). What is Intellectual Property? Retrieved 11 March, 2011 from

Healthpoint. (2011). Informed consent. Retrieved 11 March, 2011 from

WiseGeek. (2011). What is Social Justice? Retrieved 11 March, 2011 from


There are many ways that digital images are stored transferred and manipulated using information technology.

Some of the hardware I am familiar with are USB sticks that I sometimes use to store pictures uploaded off the internet, the memory card from my camera that is used to upload my photos via the television, computer or at printing booths and a USB cord connected from my video recorder that can also take digital images to be uploaded on the computer or viewed on the TV.

Digital imaging software that I know of are Adobe and Picasso. These software programs help me to edit and be more creative in getting the images I want.   

The above you tube video is an example of some of the ways digital imaging software can be used

This you tube video explains the basics of digital imaging from start to finish.

This last you tube clip is about a range of digital imaging that samsung provides.

"A new technology is rarely superior to an old one in every feature."

The above statement is insinuating that just because a technology is new and may seem more appealing with more 'flash' and up to date features, it is not always the case.

Some of the pluses and minuses digital camera technology holds in relation to more traditional film based cameras are...

Digital photographs are REALLY adaptable. You can email them to your family/friends in no time at all!! You can store them on your laptop, up load them to a website, burn them onto a CD or DVD to be viewed on your TV. How awesome is that??
They also take out the need to develop/process them which saves waiting for days on end! The fact that they can be edited with ease it also an advantage.

Ok..the not so good part
There is usually a higher cost in purchasing digital camera and they also require more battery consumption. People also perceive digital imaging to be 'less valuable' then film photography. There is also a potential equipment failure which would be sooo frustrating if you lost ALL your photos on your memory card. Lastly there is also a steeper learning curve which means more time and patience.

Hmmmm Ethical Issues???
Given the prevalence of image capturing and distribution using IT, some of the ethical issues that may arise with their use are not having to have permission for taking a video or picture of someone. An example of this are the thousands of pictures/videos people post on facebook everyday. If your profile isn't private then those photos/videos are available for anyone and everyone to see. Another ethical issue would be how easy it is to cyber bully someone. Sending mean emails, making hate clubs on facebook or bebo or posting nasty videos of someone on youtube are some of the ways people go about cyber bullying. Is this ethical?? I think not :(

Occupational therapy and Digital Imaging.
OT's use digital imaging for knowledge retrieval, storage, generation and transfer. This includes using digital imaging for evidence based practice, client opinions and ideas, resources and information and communities of practice (OT4OT, 2010).

OT4OT. 2010. Online Technology in Occupational Therapy Education and Practice. Retrieved March 20 2010 from

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