Change in Working Styles

Telecommuting:

Telecommuting refers to working from home using ICT such as phone, fax and computer, to electronically connect themselves to their offices during normal organizational working hours. The location of work is usually the home but there are also mobile offices where workers travel to a satellite office which are located nearer to the homes. Telecommuting therefore replaces commuting by rail, car or other transport. \[ICT and Our Society\]

Origin

The term telecommuting was first used by the Center for Futures Research at the University of Southern California, to describe a geographically dispersed office where workers can work at home on a computer, and transmit data and documents to a central office via a telephone line. \[ICT and Our Society\]

Telecommuting was initially intended to extend the working day and also to maintain a better work-life balance.

Trend of Telecommuting:

Due to rapidly evolving ICT, companies in the more information-saavy countries, such as the United States, are considering telecommuting as a means to achieve greater corporate benefits, such as:

  • Reducing amount of office space and thus gaining tax incentives
  • Increased productivity
  • Better retention of workers due to greater flexibility in working hours
  • Improved employee moral and hence reduced sick time leading to better productivity

Telecommuting has been greatly motivated and enabled as a result of technologies as follows:

  • Personal computer - makes it possible for individuals to work on documents from home.
  • Mobile phone - added mobility for workers as it is now possible for them to contact anyone, anywhere.
  • Internet - generated the deepest impact, as it allows two-way communication between employers and workers through communication tools such as electronic-mail and instant messaging softwares eg. Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!Messenger, QQ.
  • Broadband - furthered the feasibility of telecommuting by enabling virtual group collaboration to be possible anyplace, anywhere. \[ICT and Our Society\]
Telecommuting and the Environment

One point which environmentalists have cited in advocation towards telecommuting is the benefits it could have in easing traffic congestion and hence reduce air pollution. Although this point has not been greatly evidenced, a June 2008 report by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) has studied the positive externalities that telecommuting could have in fighting Climate Change.

Potential Benefits:

Telecommuting could generate up to 260 MtCO2e savings each year. In the United States, given that 30 million people could work from home, carbon gas emissions could be reduced by 75-100 MtCO2e in 2030, the effect of which is comparable to likely reductions gotten from measures such as fuel efficient vehicles.
The June 2008 report also presented the analysis that suppose a significant number of employees telecommute for more than three days a week, it could bring about energy savings of 20-50%, even with greater use of energy at home.

In a study conducted by the UK Department of Transport, it has been found that telecommuting reduces car travelling by UK telecommuters by 48-77%, representing reductions in fuel required for transport.

2)Change in Lifestyles

The constant innovations of both existing and new information and communications technology have brought about the information age where the personal living of people in countries with good IT infrastructure is more than ever closely knitted to ICT. The following table presents the various forms of transitions, primarily from 'offline' to 'online' or from print to non-print:

Transitions

Past

Present

Impact

Reading Newspapers

Reading news online
eg. BBC, MSN, Yahoo, Reuters

Reduction in demand for newspapers would translate to lesser demand for paper. Lesser processing of wood pulp which requires energy.

Writing diaries in books

Writing diaries on blogs
eg. MySpace, Wretch, Blogspot, Wordpress, Diaryland

Reduced demand for paper thus fewer amount of energy is needed to manufacture paper.

Manual purchase of goods from shops

Online Shopping
eg. E-bays, E-auctions, Commodities websites

Paperless transactions save trees and bring down demand for energy as fuel in manufacturing plants.

Manual banking, billing

Internet banking, online billing at Government websites, Self-Service Automated Machine
eg. SAM machine in Singapore which provides a variety of 24-hour services ranging from telecommunications, billing, postal to ticketing.

Automated f

Impact on Environment:

Reduces paper usage, thus reducing need to process wood pulp which consumes great amount of energy
Reduces need for travel - uses less fuel for transportation - reduces amount of greenhouse gases emissions

3)Change in Teaching Styles

  • E-learning in schools eg. Singapore, USA, UK
  • Multimedia softwares/Cd-roms to replace classroom teaching
  • Use of Smart Boards instead of conventional marker boards/chalkboards
  • Online submissions of students' assignments through school portals/platforms eg. NUS- IVLE

*E-learning{*}Definition of E-learningThe delivery of a learning, training or education program by electronic means. E-learning involves the use of a computer or electronic device(e.g. a mobile phone) in some way to provide training, educational or learning material. \[Derek Stockley, 2003\]

E-Learning in Singapore

  • E-Learning initiatives in the Education sector

     1. IT Masterplan II

     2. Backpack.NET Initiative(Microsoft+IDA)

     3. iSHARE Project(Repository System Project)

     4. Learning Gateway with Microsoft

     5. Digital Content Exchange(DCX) Project

     6. Classrom of the Future(Microsoft+IDA)

     7. iTAP - Programme with Microsoft and the MOE. Students helping teachers

     8. Library of digital interactive resources

     9. Digital Learning Resouces

     10. Edumall - a quick-stop site for information on IT in education in Singapore and the masterplan II for IT in Education(mp2)

     11. Increasing use of Open Source Software \[Lim Kin Chew, 2004\]

SMART Board

The SMART Board is an interactive, electronic whiteboard, which is very different from conventional marker boards and chalkboards. The SMART Board combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer and its feature of touch-sensitive display makes it incredibly easy to use.(SMART)

Since SMART Board can provide more impressive virtual images, which can attract students' attention and easily help students to learn more effectively. Moreover, the SMART Board provides easier ways for students to participate and thus benefit more from involvement in the lessons. (Liebrecht, 2007)

School platform

Nowadays more and more schools, especially universities, have set up their own virtual learning platforms. These learning platforms provide students and teachers access to various information and resources within the school and outside the school. Thus, they enable more effective communication and management between students and teachers. According to Becta, learning platforms are not just "a single 'off the shelf' product but a collection of tools that are designed to support teaching, learning, management and administration.(Becta, 2007) 

IVLE - Integrated Virtual Learning Environment in NUS

-provide online webcast lectures: CS1105 lectures are only conducted online through IVLE

-provide easy access to the library's eResources

-Provide important messages from University Administration

-enable lecturers share their teaching materials and provide lesson plan for students

-allow students to submit their homework and assignments for assessment

-provide forums for students and teachers to discuss on various topics

-other tools: such as gradebook, consultation, organizer

-also provide virtual environment for communities.

Link: http://ivle.nus.edu.sg/lms/default.aspx 

References:

Becta, 2007: Becta. (2007). What is a learning platform. Retrieved 13th, November, 2008 from http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=re&rid=12887

SMART: SMART Board interactive whiteboards. Retrieved November 13th, 2008 from http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Boards/

Liebrecht, 2007: Deia Liebrecht. (2007) West Area Gets Smart With Technology. Retrieved November 13th, 2008 from http://www.theledger.com/article/20071127/NEWS14/711270453/1229/CAMPUS40

Lim Kin Chew, 2004: Learning Standards Technical Committee, Singapore. Retreieved November 14th from http://www.elc.or.jp/aen/content/conference/2004/file/S2_Singapore.pdf

Derek Stockley, 2003: E-learning Definition and Explanation(Elearning, Online Training, Online Learning). Retrieved November 14th, 2008 from http://derekstockley.com.au/elearning-definition.html

Impact on Environment:

  • Reduces paper wastage
  • Reduces resources to make boards





Navigation Pane

1.

Climate Change

1.1
1.2
1.3

Definition
Causes
Impacts of Climate Change

2.

ICT as a Solution to Climate Change

2.1





2.2
2.3

Achieving a Green Business through ICT
2.1.1     ICT in Manufacturing Sector
2.1.2     ICT in Transport Sector
2.1.3     ICT in Building Sector
2.1.4     ICT in Power Sector
2.1.5     Case Studies
Role of the Internet in Promoting Green Awareness
Other Spinoffs from the Advancement in ICT

3.

Limitations of ICT in Fighting Climate Change

3.1
3.2
3.3

Freedom of Expression
ICT's Two-fold Role
Inability of ICT to stand as an Independent Solution

4.

Ongoing Research and Development of ICT in fighting Climate Change

4.1
4.2
4.3

Symposium
Conference Talk
Progress

5.

Quotes on ICT and Climate Change

5.1

Quotes

6.

References