The 21st Century and Information and Communication Technology

The 21st Century and Information and Communication Technology

The concept of wealth prevailed in the last century has radically changed. The whole world rightly acknowledges that the wealth of the 21st century is knowledge. It means that neither agriculture, mineral resources and energy, nor industry and business are the sources of wealth as human beings are the only resources able to search for knowledge. This concept has reshaped the people's way of thinking throughout the world. They have been taking preparation to face the challenges of the 21st century.

We have already started realizing that the world of the 21st century is making its firm standing on a knowledge-based economy. In this century, two more important factors - globalization and internationalization have come into being, and ICT is the main driving force behind their acceleration. Now the geographical border of a country transcending own extends to all parts of the world as an effect of globalization. We can refer to Bangladesh as an example of making the point clear. Millions of Bangladeshis now live all over the world. The place where they live in is as if a small Bangladesh. So, in one sense, the border of Bangladesh has extended beyond the line. Moreover, they, in spite of being the natives of Bangladesh, are living as the citizens of different countries. 'Internationalism' is the unwritten law of the present world.

Once people had to depend on the blessings of nature for survival. However, inventing machines and tools, they have lessened this dependence. With the help of machines and technology, they have controlled the world economy after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th Century. The nations, who participated in the industrial revolution, once ruled the world. A similar shift of power has been observed, as the knowledge-based economy has started dominating the world in the 21st Century.

We can realise that we should take adequate preparation for taking part in this revolution. The specific skills for survival are the ability to cooperate and communication with each other, awareness about the obligations of citizenry, acumen in solving problems, critical thinking, creativity and skill in ICT. In fact, skill in ICT has emerged as the most important technological skill. Everyone should have the basic computer literacy to survive in 21st century. Only then, one may have access to its amazing world. Unless students acquire the ICT skills, they may not generate new knowledge by collecting, analysing, and evaluating information. In fact, without the skill, they can never face the challenge in the 21st Century and position themselves in the knowledge based society.

Great ICT Personalities

Many scientists, visionaries and engineers have contributed significantly to the development of Information and Communication Technology. Cable connection and wireless system, acceleration of computers' counting power and the development of microelectronics have ensured rapid growth of ICT.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), an English engineer and mathematician, first introduced computer and developed the device. He is regarded as the father of modem computer. He invented Difference Engine In 1991, in the Science Museum of London, an engine was made according to the design of Babbage, and it worked properly as expected and later, he designed a calculating machine called Analytical Engine.

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the daughter of poet Lord Byron first thought about how the process of calculation could be made more effective. She became interested in science and mathematics since her childhood encouraged by her mother. When she met Charles Babbage in 1833, she brought before him the concept of 'programming' to use in his analytical engine. That is why Ada Lovelace is honoured as the pioneer of programming concept. Babbage delivered a lecture about his engine in 1842 at Turin University. Then Ada with the help of Babbage explained the ways how the engine could work. She marked it in numerical order, while describing its mode of working. In 1953, when the note was published again one hundred years after the death of Ada, the scientist realised 1hat it was Ada who put forward the idea about Algorithm of programming,

 Important progress was done in physics during that period along with the inventions of Babbage and Ada. Scientist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), combining the electric energy and magnetic force, put forth the theory of Electromagnetic Force which opened a possibility of sending wireless messages from one place to another.

Bengali scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937) became successful for the first time in sending wireless messages ftom one place to another. In 1895, he successfully did it by using microwave. But, Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) succeeded first in doing the same work by radiowave. That is why he is acknowledged as the inventor of radio.

Raymond Samuel Tomlinson

In the 20th Century, after the development of electronics, IBM Company first built mainframe computer Guglielmo Marconi after the development of electronics. In 1971, making of cost-saving computer. In 1971, with the invention of the microprocessor, it became easier to make affordable computers. In the 60s and 70s, using the Internet Protocol, Arpanet was invented the Internet protocol. The interrelation among the computers through network started developing since then, and the invention of the Internet is the outcome. In 1971, American programmer Raymond Samuel Tomlinson introduced first electronic mail communication through ARPANET. He is the pioneer of inventing e-mail system.

Steve Jobs

After the invention of microprocessor, making of personal computer by using this device started in the USA. Steve Jobs (1955-2011} and his two friends Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne started a company named Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. This company is one of the biggest organisations in the world. The development of personal computer has been carried out by this company.

Willium Henry Bil Gates

IBM company put the responsibility of developing the operating system for personal computers on 'Microsoft' of William Henry Bill Gates (born on October 26, 1955). They succesfully developed MS DOS and Windows operating system. At present, most of the computers of the world are run by the operating system software of Microsoft company of Bill Gates.

Sir Timothy John Tim Berners Lee

In 1989, during the development of the Internet, a British computer scientist proposed and later on successfully invented information arrangement by using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http) and successfully invented it. Sir Timothy John Tim Berners Lee is known as the pioneer of World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet connection spread out throughout the world for its development. A strong economic field has been created on the Internet and different types of application software have been developed.

Mark Zuckerberg

The learner of Harvard University Mark Zuckerberg (Born on may 14, 1984) and his four friends are the pioneers of creating social networking system facebook in the Internet. At first, it was confined to the university students, but according to the statistics of May 2014, at least 119 crore people of the world have been using facebook. Many people in our Bangladesh use facebook for social networking.

Social Networking and ICT

Social mobility and development require communication amongst individual human beings. So, social communication means interaction among people through virtual communiction and networking. In other words, that what people create and exchange to communicate and express them by using the internet and ICT is called social networking. Now this communication has become easier, cost-effective and usully safe. By using the internet, e-mail, mobile phone and messaging system, blogging and platforms of social networking, the ICT based social networking has been made easy. Platforms have been set up on the internet known as social networking. Two most popular social networking websites are facebook and twitter. Facebook is a website of social networking system. Mark Zuckerberg along with some of his friends launched this site. Anyone can be the member of facebook without any subscription. The users can add friends, send messages, update their personal information and give status share with others. Besides, audios and videos can be sent through it. Any organisation can open their home page on facebook, and at the same time, like minded people can form a facebook group . According to report of march 2015, the bumber of facebook users in the world is 1415 million. Twitter is a social network too, but it has a basic difference with facebook. The users have to express themselves and exchange opinions within 140 characters. That is why it can be called a website of microblogging. The message of 140 words is called the 'Tweet'. The tweets of Twitters are displayed their profile page. The members of the twitter can follow other members to read the tweets. Those who follow a member are called followers.

Entertainment and ICT

With the development of ICT, a new era in the entertainment world has started. It has occurred in two ways. First, how people consume entertainment. Second a qualitative change is noticed in the different mediums of entertainment.

Let us see first how individual media consumption habit has transformed in response to the changes in ICT. Once, people had to go outside for entertainment. If they wanted to enjoy a film, they had to go to the cinema hall to enjoy a film; to the playground to watch a football match; to a concert to listen to music. Nowadays, there is no need to go outside for entertainment. Radio was invented first, and then the television. The computer came eventually. Internet is the latest addition to the computer. We have discovered that people can enjoy all kinds of entertainments within four walls of their home. When computer first came into being, it was only used for computation and calculation. Only the big organisations and the government could afford computers. However, with the development of technology, computers have become easily available and people have started using them for their personal purposes. Since computers have become more sophisticated processors, huge storage, and considerable memory, they can be used not only for writing or calculation, but also for entertainment. Perhaps, people use computer most for their entertainment. Composing a song, making a movie, and taking a photograph - all can be done on computers. Because of the development of ICT, changes have come to the mediums and forms of entertainment. Since songs can be digitised and converted into MP3 format, they can be played on computers. Similarly, we can watch videos and movies on computers. A huge volume of data can be stored on CD or DVD. Watching movie on DVD player without going to the cinema hall is a very common practice nowadays. Internet with faster speed has become easily available for 'fibre optic network'. As a result, people do not have to depend on audio CD or DVD either for listening to music or watching films. On top of it, programmes in different radio and television channels can be directly accessed through the Internet. Sometimes recorded programmes are also available on the Internet. Hence, viewers can access these programmes according to their convenience.

New forms of entertainment have appeared with the development of ICT. Computer game is one of them. Big industries of computer games are established all over the world and the experts of these industries are innovating computer games of various sorts. The extensive popularity of computer games demonstrates its immense success as a new medium of entertainment. One of the reasons for their success is that computer games entertain people across age with different preferences. These games can be played with others, the computer itself, or even with gamers in a remote place via network. In fact, it should be noted here that excessive and compulsive use of computer or video games may become so strong that it can easily turn into addiction. That is why people around the world are warned about the negative consequences of compulsive computer or video gaming. Development in ICT played a vital role in the emergence of new forms of entertainment. Once, making animation or cartoon films was very difficult. It has become easier for ICT and high-end/super computers. Not only that, innovations done by creative designers have brought about changes to graphic works. Digital actors and actresses have been created on computers for graphic movies that are no longer dependent on real actors and actresses. Use of high-end/ super computers in creating imaginary dinosaurs and aliens for popular commercially successful films is very common nowadays.

In one word, ICT has not only created new forms of entertainment, but also made them accessible to the mass. Most importantly, ICT has revolutionized the entertainment industry and its ultimate future in the entertainment industry is beyond one's imagination.


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