– Describe two factors that could reduce productivity instead of increasing it when the computer network is introduced in the school.
* Distractions: tinkering with files saved in file servers, answering e-mail, exploring the web, playing interactive games, etc.
* Inadequate user training and support: network system is introduced into the workplace without any consideration of the way people work and interact.
* Rapid changes: staff spend hours learning complex programs that are upgraded in a few months.
* Laziness: students produce lower quality work because they can now “copy and paste” an entire work from the Internet.
– The headteacher is concerned that unauthorized software may be installed on the network. Explain two reasons why software may be regarded as unauthorized.
* The school has not bought a licence for the software installed by the user.
* The software is shareware but not authorised by the network manager.
* Personally owned software has been installed in school owned computers.
* Software may introduce non-standardisation.
* Software may facilitate unauthorised data changes (e.g. by-pass audit log, read passwords, etc.)
* Software may take up excessive space on the network server, causing problems to users.
– The school is considering producing a code of conduct for the use of networked computers and the Internet. Discuss one appropriate rule which must be included in such a code to prevent computer misuse, and two ethical factors that must be taken into account when the Code of Conduct is produced.
Rules to prevent computer misuse
* Members are allowed to use only those computer resources, data or communication facilities that have been allocated to them.
* Computer resources may be used only for properly authorised purposes (e.g. not accessing unauthorized pages).
* Users do not have authorisation to grant anyone else access to the facilities that they have been given.
* Members of the school may not access, alter, erase or add to computer material which has not been generated by them, unless they are authorised to do so by the originator of the material.
* Members of the school may not use computer systems or networks in such a way as to compromise the integrity or performance of the systems or networks (e.g. downloading large files, executing unknown programs that might be infected with viruses, etc.).
* Accept answers referring to banning of unauthorised software, with an explanation.
Ethical factors to take into account to produce the code of conduct
* Privacy: if computer monitoring is used to track and record network use, students and staff must be informed.
* Control on the use of computers and the Internet should not threaten personal privacy. e.g. reading personal e-mail messages to punish students or to fire staff is unacceptable.
* If teachers are required to use IT as a teaching tool, they must be trained in the use of such tools.
Otherwise, the teacher might find his/her job de-skilled by IT.
* Rules for the use of the Internet must be published before taking any action against those who misuse it.
* The proper operation of the IT equipment and software should be guaranteed in order to avoid people losing productive time working around software bugs and recovering data from system crashes.