Sunday, 20 March 2011

Tutorial One: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

Information technology (IT) and ethical Issues

This is my first posting relevant to the course and it is based around ‘information technology and ethical issues that arise with the use of IT.

So what is information technology?

Information technology or more commonly known as ‘IT’ "is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.
Information technology. (n.d.).Retrieved February 26, 2011, from technology

‘Information technology’ in my own words

 “Information technology is the study and use of computer and computer based systems which would include computer hardware and software”

How is this form of technology prevalent in our society?

Information technology is a huge part of our society and it is very important to run with it and stay as up to date as you can as it creates many new opportunities in life for example communication, leisure, relationship’s, work, news/updates and connectivity.

Skype is a must if you have family and friends abroad it makes communication that much more exciting not to mention its free ;-) I have added the link if you are not already using Skype give it a go.

I am sure you are all familiar with facebook and the connectivity it creates with friend’s family and even supermarkets, clothing stores, your favourite sports teams and thousands of other pages/links. Facebook offers instant chat to anywhere in the world, private messaging and photo sharing keeping us connected with friends and family all around the world. Or for mothers I am sure you probably use it to keep an eye on those under your own roof ;-)

Playstation, Nintendo, and xbox are all examples of computer systems that are used for leisure and in some cases are now being used for therapy see this youtube clip this also displays how multi functional technology can be.

How common place has it become?

To find out just how common place information technology has become can be rather subjective so I have decided to find some statistics around technology which show how many people are using technology to show how common technologies are:

Check out this link what amazed me the most on this link was the amount of active users (500 million) showing that it is very much common place,  and even more the amount of time that is spent on the site a whopping 700 billion minutes per month. Crazy. These statistics are great and really does show just how much time we spend using this form of technology.

This link shows the amount of internet users worldwide which is another astounding figure

What IT devices or systems do you feel comfortable and competent using?

Devices: Mobile phone, television, camera, ipod, dvd player, Playstation, desktop computer, laptop computer

Systems: MySky, internet, computer games, computer software, blue tooth,

Why I feel comfortable using IT
I feel comfortable using IT as most the IT I use has developed around the same time as I have in the way I grew up around technologies, For example: I started using computers with a trial and error approach when I was younger and computers were starting to become a household item and I now feel comfortable around different areas of technology, I can rule things out and usually figure out the technology using the knowledge I have gained previously.

What might limit or expand the use of IT?

  • Affordability of devices and systems will limit me in the way I may not have access to all the devices I would like to use and trial.
  • New Devices or systems coming out may be harder to use and you may need to be taught rather than my trial and error approach which could limit the use of the IT.
  • Doing a course on newly released IT’s could expand the use of new IT’s 

How is IT being used in Occupational Therapy practise?

Referring to my fieldwork experience in assessment and rehabilitation I can make a few links to the use of IT. Computers were being used to type discharge forms and referrals along with personal research. Cellphones were used by all of the OT’s on the ward so that they could communicate with each other if needed.

What Issues exist around OT’s adoption of IT systems and tools?

Validity of the IT systems and tools and whether it is appropriate to use the tools, ethical reasons such as client confidentiality and privacy.

What are some ways you can envisage IT use becoming a potential tool of practice?

IT can often make things easier whether it be time wise or physically so I can see the use of IT making jobs that are currently time consuming or difficult easier and more time efficient, this could be electronic assessments instead of writing on paper.

Why/Why not a great understanding and use of IT will help us in our practise and daily lives?

I personally feel that IT can help us in practise and daily lives and I feel this is already proven in the way in which we already use IT and the way in which technology is growing worldwide. Technology is often created to make tasks we already engage in easier so being able to use the technology would enable us to use these easier methods.

What ethical implications arise from the capturing, sharing and transferring of information via IT devices or system’s?

  • Loss of data and therefore privacy can be jeopardised.
  • Miss interpretation of data.
  • Need to get informed consent from individuals you are capturing, sharing or transferring information about.
  • It can be a problem as people can change or access the information.

Definition of ‘intellectual property’

“IP is a generic term for the range of property rights accorded for the protection of creations of the mind”

What is intellectual property. (n.d.).Retrieved March 12, 2011, from

‘Intellectual property’ in my own words

Intellectual property is protection of your intelligence, anything you create with your own mind is your very own intellectual property.

Examples of ‘intellectual practise and IT and OT practise

Inventions, literacy/artistic works, symbols, names, images ect.

Definition of ‘social justice’

“All social values – liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the bases of self-respect are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to everyone’s advantage”

Rawls, J. (1973). A theory of justice. Oxford: Oxford university press.

‘Social justice’ in my own words

Social justice is the fair and equal distribution of opportunities, values,  assets and benefits among all members of a society

Definition of ‘Informed consent’

“Consent given by a patient after learning about and understanding fully the purpose and other aspects of a clinical trial or any other medical procedure.”

Us & too prostate cancer. (2005). Retrieved March 13, 2011, from

‘Informed consent’ in my own words

Giving consent after being informed of all the information needed to understand what it is your are giving your consent towards.

Example of informed consent and IT in OT practise

Would be gaining consent from clients to take a photo or video of them if you wish to take the photo or video.


Information technology. (n.d.).Retrieved February 26, 2011, from technology

What is intellectual property. (n.d.).Retrieved March 12, 2011, from

Rawls, J. (1973). A theory of justice. Oxford: Oxford university press.

Us & too prostate cancer. (2005). Retrieved March 13, 2011, from

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