That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 1 - ICT and Society

Note: this page applies to the AQA Applied ICT A level specification. This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013. The content will be retained as an archive and because it has some stuff that might be quite useful for someone or other

Mobile phone imageBlock Two - Communications revolution?

This block deals with how we communicate using ICT. The key objectives are to:

The ICT Communications Revolution:

How do we communicate using ICT? What are some of the similarities and differences between communications methods?

PDF iconCommunications revolution - slides from the presentation summarising ICT communications methods

The Pros and Cons of E-mail:

What exactly is e-mail? What are it's benefits and drawbacks? Why should organisations use e-mail?

PDF iconE-mail - pros and cons - slides from the presentation introducing e-mail

PDF iconThe E-mail revolution - handout summarising some of the benefits and drawbacks of e-mail

You might also like to consider some more detailed examples of benefits and drawbacks. In 2010, for example, hoax e-mails were sent by criminalsexternal link hoping to benefit when flights were cancelled after the Icelandic volcanic eruption closed UK airspace. Later in the same year Google introduced a priority inboxexternal link to help users deal with the number of e-mails they receive, hopefully making their work more efficient as a result.

Meanwhile an MP tried to restrict public access to his e-mail addressexternal link, claiming he received too many e-mails. You can read his original blog post as wellexternal link, although you should be aware that the blog will contain political points which are clearly going to be biased toward one point of view. Other views do, of course, exist.

Back in 2007 a report found that many workers were increasingly stressedexternal link as a result of e-mails continually appearing in their inboxes. As a new method of communicating, workers may be less familiar with ways of managing e-mail.

Finally you might want to read a more general article about how the internet is changing the way we speakexternal link, or write anyway. Fwiw, I found it quite interesting...


Should organisations like Leiston High School adopt e-mail as a main way of communicating between staff? What would the pros and cons be?

PDF iconE-mail @ LHS? A writing frame for a short piece of written work

MS Word iconE-mail @ LHS? A word version of the writing frame for completion

Why are you being asked to do this? The writing you'll need to do for your newsletter or web pages in the exam for this unit needs to focus on the benefits and drawbacks of ICT developments. If you're going to be able to do this well for the exam then I think you need to practice making arguments effectively. Of course, in the exam you'll have an unfamiliar audience and an organisation you may know little about, but let's start with somewhere you do know!

Trust me - this sort of practice is important. The only reason for providing the writing frame is to give you a scaffold at this stage to help you develop your answer. Don't worry, I'll be taking the scaffold away pretty soon!