Information Systems/Introduction

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This lesson introduces computers applications, computer networking, information systems, and computer impacts on society.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for the CLEP Information Systems exam are covered in other lessons. This lesson helps you:

  • Identify resources that may be used to study information systems
  • Understand basic computer and application concepts
  • Describe the sphere of influence of computers in our personal and work environment

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/What is a Computer?
  2. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers in Your Life
  3. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers to Fit Every Need
  4. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computer Networks and the Internet
  5. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: What is a computer?
  2. YouTube: The History of Computers
  3. YouTube: Claude Shannon - Father of the Information Age
  4. YouTube: Moore's Law
  5. YouTube: The World Wide Web in Plain English
  6. YouTube: How to Follow Proper Netiquette Rules
  7. YouTube: Internet of Things Explained Simply
  8. YouTube: What is a Smartphone
  9. YouTube: What is a tablet?
  10. YouTube: What is an Information System?

Activities[edit]

  1. Review Wikipedia: Moore's law. In 2005, Gordon Moore stated that this projection cannot be sustained indefinitely. Research current projections for the technical limits of Moore's law and any potential alternatives to sustain this growth in processing performance.
  2. Review After Moore's Law- The Future of Computing [1] to learn about future of computing- possible end of Moore’s law which will be disguised by the shift to cloud computing.
  3. Search the Internet for the top business computer vendors by market share. For one of the top three vendors, compare prices and capabilities for their tablets, laptops, desktops, workstations, servers, and thin clients. Consider how each of these devices might be a cost-effective solution in your school or business.
  4. Review Wikipedia: Internet of Things. Consider your own home, school, or work environment. Which devices in this environment would be more useful if they were connected to the network? Are there any associated security risks in connecting these devices? Would there be any privacy concerns if others were able to monitor your use of these devices?
  5. Review related online study materials using a textbook website such as Digital Planet: Exploring Our Digital Planet.
  6. Review Bureau of Labor Statistics: Computer and Information Technology Occupations to learn about information systems careers. Select one or more of the listed occupations and identify median pay, education requirements, and job outlook for that occupation.
  7. Review CLEP: Information Systems to learn about this exam and consider whether completing this exam would be beneficial for you. Practice using the sample questions and find out about the study resources available for this exam, including this Wikiversity learning project
  8. Review http://www.blurb.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-ebook/ to learn how to choose the right eBook or Tablet for you. In today's technologically savvy world, choosing the right handheld device that will fit your every day needs is not only essential, but required for work and educational purposes. Before spending what seems like a good chunk of change for an ebook or tablet, make sure you've chosen the right one for you.

Research and Discussion[edit]

  1. Identify computers and information systems in your work and personal environments. How many different computer systems do you interact with on a daily basis?
  2. Research and compare different information systems. How do information systems and sources influence our personal and work environments? Is there an information system that could benefit you to increase your productivity?
  3. How are information technologies changing the way we interact with others in the workplace and in our personal lives? Describe the advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Describe digital tools that make you more productive at work or home. Identify digital tools that make you less productive.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • Computers and mobile devices have become an almost every-day use for individuals of every age. Having one at home or in the business environment will allow you to access the Internet, and be more knowledgeable, more efficient, and more productive.[source?]
  • Portable computers are compact and fully functioning versions of a regular desktop computer that are designed to be mobile. They allow freedom to move around while still being productive. Their mobility alongside their ability to operate similar to a desktop make them powerful tools for businessmen, students, and common individuals alike.[1]
  • Mainframe computers are much larger computers that consolidate the needs of large organizations like universities, hospitals, banks, government offices, etc.[2]
  • Data is essentially the raw (unorganized) facts that are usually typed into a computer.[3]
  • Information is the output. The computer processes the data and spits out the information.[4]
  • The term hardware refers to the components used to build a computer. Breaking down the components into categories, you will find five main groups: input, output, memory, CPU, and communications hardware.[5]
  • Communications hardware is important when it comes to letting computer users access information from the Internet, put information onto the Internet, or interact with other computer users on a network.[6]
  • Most personal computers are made up of a central processing unit, control circuitry on an integrated circuit, and various input/output devices.[7]
  • A URL uniquely identifies a specific Web page. The URL is composed of a communication protocol, (typically HTTP or HTTPS,) a domain name, and a page.[8]
  • Domain names are like fingerprints; two of the same cannot exist.[9]
  • Certain webpages have specific programs and algorithms that sort through the vast expanse of information available on the web. These websites work by processing keywords that are typed into the search bar and display a large list of webpages matching the keywords.[10]
  • Netiquette describes the do's and don'ts of online communicating.  Basic courtesy and common sense are generally the rule of the day when communicating, whether it is face-to-face or through the Internet.[11]
  • Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.[12]
  • Advantages of computer use include improved efficiency, quality, communication, and collective knowledge.[13]
  • Disadvantages of computer use include excessive use, security and privacy concerns.[14]
  • Examples of an application include a word processor, a spreadsheet, an accounting application, a web browser, a media player, an aeronautical flight simulator, a console game or a photo editor.[15]
  • The term "app" is a shortening of the term "application software".[16]
  • Native mobile apps often stand in contrast to software applications that run on desktop computers, and with web applications which run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.[17]
  • Apps that are not pre installed are usually available through distribution platforms called app stores. They began appearing in 2008 and are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World.[18]
  • Computers at home are no longer limited to just desktops and laptops. Now many home appliances, such as thermostats, home entertainment systems and home security systems are controlled by computer resulting it what is called a smart home.[19]
  • Portable computers are not just laptops, they also include, but are not limited to, smart phones, smart watches and tablets.[20]
  • Children as young as kindergarten are using computers at school. This helps develop fundamental skills needed later in life.[21]
  • Tablets provide an instantaneous connection between parents, students, and teachers. It may be easy to lose a handwritten note or assignment, but as the tablet goes back and forth between home and school, parents can monitor their student’s assignments, teachers can notify parents, and all around connections can be sustained.[source?]

Key Terms[edit]

application software
A set of computer programs designed to permit the user to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities.[22]
cell phone
See smartphone
computer programming
The process of developing and implementing various sets of instructions to enable a computer to do a certain task.[23]
data (raw data)
A collection of numbers or characters used as input to a system.[24]
data processing
The collection and manipulation of items of data (input) to produce meaningful information (output).[25]
desktop computer
A personal computer in a form intended for regular use at a single location due to its size and power requirements.[26]
digital divide
An economic and social inequality with regard to access to, use of, or impact of information and communication technologies.[27]
electronic mail (email or e-mail)
A method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients.[28]
embedded system
A computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints.[29]
hardware
Physical parts or components of a computer. It includes all the parts inside a computer and is tangible.[30]
industrial age
A period characterized by an economy organized for the purpose of manufacturing.[31]
Industrial Revolution
The transition to new manufacturing processes that included going from hand production methods to factories and machines.[32]
information age
A period characterized by an economy based on computerization.[33]
information
Output from a system that gives the answer to a question of some kind.[34]
information system (IS)
A set of components for collecting, creating, storing, processing and distributing information.[35]
integrated circuit (aka Silicon Chip)
A set of electronic circuits on a small plate or "chip" of semiconductor material, normally silicon.[36]
Internet
A global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link billions of devices worldwide.[37]
laptop computer
A portable personal computer with a clamshell form factor, suitable for mobile use.[38]
mainframe computer
Computers used primarily by large organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning and transaction processing.[39]
microprocessor
A computer processor that incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits.[40]
mobile app
A computer program designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.[41]
Moore's Law
The observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.[42]
netbook
A generic name given to a category of small, lightweight, legacy-free, and inexpensive computers.[43]
netiquette (Internet or network etiquette)
A set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks.[44]
network
A telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data.[45]
notebook computer
A generic name given to a category of small, lightweight, legacy-free, and inexpensive computers that were introduced in 2007.[46]
operating systems (OS)
Collection of software that directs a computer's execution of other programs, manages storage, input/output, and communication resources.[47]
paradigm shift
A fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline.[48]
peripheral
An auxiliary device that connects to and works with the computer in some way.[49]
personal computer
A general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities and original sale price make it useful for individuals, and is intended to be operated directly by an end-user operated by a microprocessor.[50]
server
A computer that provides other network-connected computers with access to data and programs.[51]
Silicon Valley
A nickname for the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to many of the world's largest high-tech corporations, as well as thousands of tech startup companies.[52]
smart phone
A mobile phone with an advanced operating system which combines features of a personal computer operating system with other features useful for mobile or handheld use.[53]
supercomputer
A computer with a high-level computational capacity used for a wide range of computationally intensive tasks in various fields, including quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, oil and gas exploration, molecular modeling and physical simulations.[54]
system software
Computer software designed to provide services to other software such as operating systems.[55]
tablet computer
A type of portable PC that de-emphasizes the use of traditional input devices (such as a mouse or keyboard) by using a touchscreen display, which can be controlled using either a stylus pen or finger.[56]
terminal
An electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying data from, a computer or a computing system.[57]
thin client
A computer or computer program that depends heavily on another computer to fulfill its computational roles.[58]
timesharing
The sharing of a computing resource among many users by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking.[59]
transistor
A semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices.[60]
web browser
A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.[61]
workstation
A special computer designed for technical or scientific applications and intended primarily to be used by one person at a time.[62]
World Wide Web
An information space where documents and other web resources are identified by URLs, interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet.[63]

Review Questions[edit]

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  1. Today's world runs on computers. Computers are _____. Having one at home allows you to _____.
    Today's world runs on computers. Computers are efficient. Having one at home allows you to access the most informative tool known to mankind.
  2. Computers are used _____.
    Computers are used at home, in education, and in work environments.
  3. Computer types include _____.
    Computer types include embedded computers, mobile devices, personal computers, midrange servers, mainframe computers, and supercomputers.
  4. An embedded computer is _____.
    An embedded computer is a mini computer with a specific function within a product that completes detailed tasks or jobs for that product.
  5. Portable computers are _____.
    Portable computers are compact and fully functioning versions of a regular desktop computer that are designed to be mobile. They allow freedom to move around while still being productive. Their mobility alongside their ability to operate similar to a desktop make them powerful tools for businessmen, students, and common individuals alike.
  6. Mainframe computers are _____.
    Mainframe computers are much larger computers that consolidate the needs of large organizations like universities, hospitals, banks, government offices, etc.
  7. Data are essentially _____.
    Data are essentially the raw facts that are usually typed into a computer.
  8. Information is _____.
    Information is the output. The computer calculates the data and spits out the information.
  9. The term hardware refers to _____.
    The term hardware refers to the components used to build a computer. Breaking down the components into categories, you will find five main groups: input, output, memory, CPU, and communications hardware.
  10. Communications hardware is important when _____.
    Communications hardware is important when it comes to letting computer users access information from the Internet, put information onto the Internet, or interact with other computer users on a network.
  11. Most personal computers are made up of _____.
    Most personal computers are made up of a central processing unit, control circuitry on an integrated circuit, and various input/output devices.
  12. A URL uniquely identifies _____. The URL is composed of _____.
    A URL uniquely identifies a specific Web page. The URL is composed of a communication protocol, (typically HTTP or HTTPS,) a domain name, and a page.
  13. Domain names are like _____.
    Domain names are like fingerprints; two of the same cannot exist.
  14. Certain webpages have specific programs and algorithms that sort through the vast expanse of information available on the web. These websites work by _____.
    Certain webpages have specific programs and algorithms that sort through the vast expanse of information available on the web. These websites work by processing keywords that are typed into the search bar and display a large list of webpages matching the keywords.
  15. When communicating online, it is important to remember _____, and to follow _____.
    When communicating online, it is important to remember you are interacting with a human being, and to follow netiquette guidelines.
  16. The integrity factor is important when _____.
    The integrity factor is important when searching the Internet. Always verify the credibility of the information given.
  17. Advantages of computer use include _____.
    Advantages of computer use include improved efficiency, quality, communication, and collective knowledge.
  18. Disadvantages of computer use include _____.
    Disadvantages of computer use include excessive use, security and privacy concerns.
  19. Some examples of home computers, besides desktops and laptops are _____, _____ and _____.
    Computers at home are no longer limited to just desktops and laptops. Now many home appliances, such as thermostats, home entertainment systems and home security systems are controlled by computer resulting it what is called a smart home.
  20. Portable computers include _____, _____ and _____.
    Portable computers are not just laptops, they also include, but are not limited to, smart phones, smart watches and tablets.
  21. School age children are using computers to help _____.
    Children as young as kindergarten are using computers at school. This helps develop fundamental skills needed later in life.
  22. A tablet is a _____.
    A tablet is a small portable computer that accepts input directly onto its screen rather than via a keyboard or mouse.

Assessments[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

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  1. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers in Your Life
  2. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers to Fit Every Need
  3. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/What is a Computer?
  4. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/What is a Computer?
  5. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/What is a Computer?
  6. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/What is a Computer?
  7. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers to Fit Every Need
  8. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computer Networks and the Internet
  9. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computer Networks and the Internet
  10. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computer Networks and the Internet
  11. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society
  12. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society
  13. Wikibooks:Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society
  14. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society
  15. Wikipedia: Application software
  16. Wikipedia: Mobile App
  17. Wikipedia: Mobile App
  18. Wikipedia: Mobile App
  19. Wikibooks:Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers in Your Life
  20. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers in Your Life
  21. Wikibooks: Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers in Your Life
  22. Wikipedia: Application software
  23. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/computer-programming.html
  24. Wikipedia: Data
  25. Wikipedia: Data processing
  26. Wikipedia: Desktop computer
  27. Wikipedia: Digital divide
  28. Wikipedia: Email
  29. Wikipedia:Embedded system
  30. http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-computer-hardware-components-definition-examples.html
  31. Wikipedia: Industrialization
  32. Wikipedia: Industrial Revolution
  33. Wikipedia: Information Age
  34. Wikipedia: Information
  35. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/information-system
  36. Wikipedia: Integrated Circuit
  37. Wikipedia: Internet
  38. wikipedia: Laptop
  39. Wikipedia: Mainframe computer
  40. Wikipedia: Microprocessor
  41. Wikipedia: Mobile app
  42. Wikipedia: Moore's Law
  43. Wikipedia: Netbook
  44. Wikipedia: Etiquette in technology
  45. Wikipedia: Computer_network
  46. Wikipedia: Laptop
  47. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/operating-system?s=t
  48. Wikipedia: Paradigm shift
  49. Wikipedia: Peripheral
  50. Wikipedia: Personal computer
  51. Wikipedia: Server (computing)
  52. Wikipedia: Silicon Valley
  53. Wikipedia: Smartphone
  54. Wikipedia: Supercomputer
  55. Wikipedia: System software
  56. Wikipedia: Personal computer
  57. Wikipedia: Computer terminal
  58. Wikipedia: Thin client
  59. Wikipedia: Time-sharing
  60. Wikipedia: Transistor
  61. Wikipedia: Web browser
  62. Wikipedia: Workstation
  63. Wikipedia: World Wide Web