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Contemporary Issues In Computing

 

Technology and society are invariably linked. The spread of technology and technological knowledge reflects and affects the distribution of wealth, knowledge, and care for the environment. Here are three important issues facing the world of technology and computing today.

Essentiality And Availability

Computers and smart technology are abundant in working and learning environments. In university, everybody needs a student computer. When working from home, everybody is expected to have access to the internet for video calls. This means that there is a distinct disadvantage placed upon the heads of people with very little resources. Although there are schemes set up by schools, workplaces, and governments designed to facilitate the spread of technology, some people will inevitably get left out. All tech producers and distributors need to work together to facilitate parity.

Learning Gender Gap

Across the world, there is a rather alarming gender gap when it comes to learning in preparation for careers in computing and technology. For instance, in the United Kingdom, only 21.4 percent of GCSE computer science entrants identified as female. This is a huge issue. Achieving gender parity in computing and technology fields is an essential task due to the ubiquity of these fields in senior careers. Furthermore, the role that technology plays in society means that people familiar with tech will naturally be able to exercise power more than those people that are not. This is only likely to become a starker reality in the future.

One long-term solution to this issue is to address the gender disparity between computer science and technology subject teachers. Male teachers in these subjects are far more common than female ones, which may be reflected in the students that choose to take their classes. Addressing deep-seated prejudices about the suitability of girls for the technological study will take time but will prove to be a completely essential process.

Environmental Impact

The ubiquity of computers means that they are produced and shipped in absolutely vast quantities. For example, 277 million laptops are due to be shipped in 2021 alone, according to data compiled by Statista.

Unfortunately, this means that computing technology creates a great deal of carbon dioxide expenditure, chemical waste, and plastic waste. Shipping accounts for a large portion of humankind’s carbon footprint and seeing as most computers heading to America or Europe have to come all the way from the far east, it is easy to see how this process could be environmentally damaging. However, advances in green shipping technology have produced efficient modern sailboats, which may be revolutionary in cutting down marine diesel expenditure. Laptop batteries are also responsible for some environmental damage. Rare earth metals are necessary for creating traditional laptop batteries, and these metals are often mined in an unsustainable fashion. Thankfully, many leading computer manufacturers are working towards producing more eco-friendly batteries. It is hoped that future legislation across the globe will help curb unsafe production and shipping practices. It is also worth mentioning that laptops are significantly greener than desktop computers.