The ICT Lounge
 
Section 6.1:
Communication Applications
 
One of the positives of ICT is that is allows us to communicate with each other in many different ways. We will look at:

  • Newsletters
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Cartoons
  • Mobile phones
  • Websites
  • Music scores
  • Flyers/Posters
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
Key Concepts of this section:
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Understand what is meant by e-commerce
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Know how online data can be secured.
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Be able to describe the features of website that has been secured using a secure socket layer.

Communicating using ICT
Key Words:
Digital certificate, Secure socket layer (SSL).
What are the two different types of ICT communication?
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There are two different types of communication where ICT can help us share information or ideas:
  • Paper-based communication
  • Digital communiation
Examples:
ICT can be used to communicate different types of personal information.
 
ICT can be used to create a paper-based poster advertising a store's sale.
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We use each type of communication for two main reasons:
  • Personal reasons
  • Business reasons.
Personal reasons could include:
  • Telling a friend when and where to meet up
  • Reminding your brother about a family member's birthday.

Business reasons could include:
  • Letting customers know about a sale
  • Advertising a new product
  • Sending messages to employees or colleagues.

Paper-Based Communication
Key Words:
Digital certificate, Secure socket layer (SSL).
What is paper-based communication?
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This type of communication involves producing hard copy's (printouts) of documents.

Examples:
Printing off hard-copies of documents can be
very expensive especially if they are colour
Paper-based publications can be carried around.
Paper-based publications can be printed in braille.
Desktop Publishing programs include Microsoft Publisher and PagePlus.
Flyers and catalogues are examples of paper-based communication.
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Creating documents suitable for printing is often called Desktop Publishing (DTP).

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Advantages/Disadvantages of paper-based communication are summarised in the table below:

Advantages of paper-based communication
Disadvantages of paper-based communication
Document can be brought to people who are disabled (e.g. newspaper).
Costs time and money to distribute the document.
Document can be printed in Braille for blind people.
It is not possible to add exciting effects to a printed document.
(animation, video etc)
The document can be carried around and read whenever you want.
Can be very expensive to print off copies of the document.

What is desktop publishing?
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Desktop publishing (dtp) is where we use a computer and special software which allows us to produce high-quality, printed documents with attractive layouts and coloring.

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Typical elements found on a dtp document include:
  • Text (of various font styles and sizes)
  • Images
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Borders
  • etc.....
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Desktop publishing software gives us access to a variety of tools that allow us produce the highest quality documents possible.

These tools include pre-made templates, ruler (for accurate measurement), colour pickers and a large range of page size options.

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There are many desktop publishing software applications with Microsoft Publisher being one of the more popular choices within schools.


Examples of paper-based communication:
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Examples of paper-based communication that can be created using desktop publishing are listed below:
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Each of these paper-based communication methods will be discussed in detail below:
Newsletters
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Newsletters are released regularly (e.g. once a month) and are used to inform people about areas of interest to them.

Examples:
Newsletters provide information about specific areas of interest.
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Schools often release newsletters to keep parents up-to-date with school events and important dates (like examinations).
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Newsletters can be created very easily using DTP software and can be printed using a standard home printer.
Posters
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Posters are a simple but effective way of communicating with people, for example:
  • Promoting an event (like concerts or festivals)
  • PPromoting good causes (like charity sales etc)
  • Advertising business promotions or sales
  • Decoration which show people your interest (e.g. bedroom posters of movie stars).
Examples:
A large poster advertising Coca-Cola.
Poster have been used for year to advertse
up-coming events.
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Posters include combinations of text, images, colours and come in all different sizes.

The size that you create the poster would depend on where you intended to put it.

If you wanted to place the poster on a wall in a room, it would likely be much smaller than a poster you wanted to place on the side of a building!

#
Very large posters are printed onto multiple sheets of paper and then joined together like you see on billboards.

#
Posters are usually attached onto a wall in easy to see positions.
Flyers
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Flyers are very similar to posters except they are smaller in size.

Examples:
Flyers are small posters that can be handed out.
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Flyers are normally printed onto single sheets of paper, 8 1/2" x 11" in size.

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They are usually handed out to people instead of being attached to a wall. The small flyer can then be easily put into your pocket and read later.

Note:

Flyers are often created in order to promote or market special occassions such as a sale in a store, a music concert or some sort of social event.

People would be employed to stand in the street and hand out the flyers to passers-by.


Paper-Based Communication for Publicity
Key Words:
Business Cards , Letterheads, Flyers, Brochures

What is publicity?

Examples:
Publicity is where you give information about a person, an event or a product.
#
Publicity is where you give out information or advertise a product, a person or a service.

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There are several examples where ICT can be used to produce documents that can be used to generate publicity:
These will be discussed below:
   
Business Cards
Overview of Business Cards:
Examples:
Attorney's business card from 1895
A badly designed business card will leave potential customers with a poor impression of your company.
 
A well designed business card can give potential customers a good impression of your company.
 
NOTE:
Web to Print is offered by printing companies and gives people the ability to modify online templates of business cards and place orders.

The print company then prints off the required number and delivers to the customer. Click here for an example of a Web to Print web site.
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Business cards are printed documents that contain the business information of companies or individuals. They are usually printed on thick paper or card.

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Employees of the company carry the business cards around with them and hand them out to potential customer / clients.

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Business information found on the cards can include:
  • Company Logo
  • Type of Business - (lawyer, financial services etc)
  • Business Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address
  • Web site
  • etc.....
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Business cards are small in size so they are easy to carry. Dimensions vary but in Europe they are sized 85mm wide and 55mm high.

Creating Business Cards:
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Business cards can be created in different ways including:
  • Desktop Publishing Software - (such as Microsoft Publisher)
  • Web to Print - (web sites that allow people to design their cards online).

Effects of business cards on company publicity:
Good first impression
A well designed, professional looking business card will give potential customers / clients a good first impression of the business.

If the card looks professional, people will assume that you run your business to a high standard.
Can be used anywhere
Business cards are not digital and so can be handed out and read anywhere.

For example - If you wanted to text a potential client your details using a mobile phone, you would be relying on having battery charge and network coverage.
Letterheads
Overview of Letterheads:
Examples:
Letterheads make printed letters look more professional.
 
The same letter without a letterhead does not
give as good a first impression.
A letterhead often includes contact details.
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Letterheads are found at the top of printed letters which are to be mailed to clients / customers.

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Letterheads make it clear to the reader of the letter which company sent it.

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Company information found on a letterhead usually includes :
  • Company Logo
  • Company Name
  • Address
  • Contact Details - (email, phone number etc).

Effects of letterheads on company publicity:
Professional impression
Letterheads make printed letters look more professional.

This gives readers a good impression of your company and the feeling of 'high-standards'.
Easy for clients to reply
Letterheads often include contact details which makes it very easy for the reader of the letter to respond.

They can reply to the letter using the email address, business address or telephone number that are provided in the letterhead.
Flyers
Overview of Flyers:
Examples:
Flyers being distributed in New York 1973
A flyer promoting a special offer from a
design and printing company
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Flyers are normally printed onto single sheets of paper, 8 1/2" x 11" in size.

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Flyers are handed out directly to people and are used to promote things like new products, special offers, events, job vacancies etc.

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Flyers are cheap to produce and so can be handed out in large numbers.

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Information found on a flyer usually includes:
  • Company Logo
  • Information that we want to communicate - (new products, price discounts, special events etc)
  • Contact Details - (email, phone number, fax, address etc).

Effects of flyers on company publicity:
Quick to spread information
Flyers are very quick and easy to distribute. All you do is stand in a crowd and pass them out.

People can also pass their flyers onto friends and family.

This quickly spreads the information that you want people to read.
Target an exact audience
It is easy to target the exact audience that you want to read the information on your flyers.

For example - if you want to promote your products to people in the 16 - 21 age range you would distribute your flyers in colleges and Universities.
Can be read anywhere
Flyers are not digital and so can be handed out and read anywhere.

For example - Your reader does not need a charged battery or Wi-Fi connection to read the contents of a flyer.

 
Brochures - (Leaflets)
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Brochures / Leaflets are very similar in purpose and effect to flyers.

Examples:
Brochures are often left for people to
pick up voluntarily.
Brochures are like leaflets that are folded into sections.
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The only differences are that they are often folded into sections and instead of being handed out they are often left on counters for potential customers to pick up.

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The images below show examples of brochures.

 
     

Digital Communication
Key Words:
Digital certificate, Secure socket layer (SSL).
What is digital communication?
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Digital communication requires a computer and a screen in order to present the document.

Examples:
ICT can be used to communicate different types of personal information.
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Digital communication involves creating documents and files and then 'displaying' them via a computer and a screen.

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Advantages/Disadvantages of digital-based communication are summarised below:

Advantages of digital communication
Disadvantages of digital communication
Far cheaper as there is no printing.
Often requires expensive software.
Exciting effects can be added.

(animation, sound video etc)
Some software is very difficult to use.

(music production, website design etc)
Easier to update content.
More complex documents require more time to build.
Communication can be interactive.

(viewer can click options or leave comments etc)
 

Examples of digital communication:
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Examples of paper-based communication are listed below:
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Each of these digitalcommunication methods will be discussed in detail below:
 
Websites
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Newsletters are released regularly (e.g. once a month) and are used to inform people about areas of interest to them.

Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
#
Schools often release newsletters to keep parents up-to-date with school events and important dates (like examinations).
#
Newsletters can be created very easily using DTP software and can be printed using a standard home printer.
Multimedia Presentations
#
Posters are a simple but effective way of communicating with people, for example:
  • Promoting an event (like concerts or festivals)
  • PPromoting good causes (like charity sales etc)
  • Advertising business promotions or sales
  • Decoration which show people your interest (e.g. bedroom posters of movie stars).
Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
#
Posters include combinations of text, images, colours and come in all different sizes.

The size that you create the poster would depend on where you intended to put it.

If you wanted to place the poster on a wall in a room, it would likely be much smaller than a poster you wanted to place on the side of a building!

#
Very large posters are printed onto multiple sheets of paper and then joined together like you see on billboards.

#
Posters are usually attached onto a wall in easy to see positions.
Music Scores
#
Flyers are very similar to posters except they are smaller in size.

Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
#
Flyers are normally printed onto single sheets of paper, 8 1/2" x 11" in size.

#
They are usually handed out to people instead of being attached to a wall. The small flyer can then be easily put into your pocket and read later.

Note:

Flyers are often created in order to promote or market special occassions such as a sale in a store, a music concert or some sort of social event.

People would be employed to stand in the street and hand out the flyers to passers-by.

Cartoon Animations
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Cartoon development has changed a lot with the introduction of ICT.

Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
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Old cartoons used to have to be drawn by hand frame-by-frame.

Every tiny movement of a character or object had to be drawn. Lighting and fine detail was also added by hand.

This was a hugely time consuming process.

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Computers can hugely speed up this process by using 3-D models which are made up of mathematical polygons.

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Special software can be used to add the following to the 3-D model:

For example:
Textures
adding skin, clothes etc.
Poses
positioning the model into different shapes across frames.
Effects
adding lighting and shadows etc.
Animation
combining each frame to give the effect of movement.
Mobile Phones
Overview of Mobiles:
Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
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The first commercial mobile was released by Motorola in 1983 and was named the DynaTAC 8000X.

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The DynaTAC 8000X was very large and cost Almost $4,000.

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Mobiles are wireless devices that allow users to make telephone calls from pretty much any location both indoors and outside.

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Mobiles connect to the telephone system using radio signals and you must be within range of a mobile tower.

These mobile towers provide a boost to the radio signal which increases the range over which calls can be made.

Uses of Mobiles:
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Modern mobiles have lots features that are useful for communicating:
  • Send / receive voice telephone calls
  • Send / receive text messages
  • Send / receive pictures
  • Send / receive files
  • Email
  • Internet access
  • Digital camera
  • Business applications - (edit MS Office docs, Calendars, Organisers etc).
Internet Telephony - (VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol)
 
Overview of VoIP:
Examples:
Digital certificates prove that emails or websites are from trusted sources.
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Internet Telephony services (aka VoIP) allow users to talk to each other over the Internet.

To use VoIP, you need to have an internet connection.

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VoIP services are usually free of charge which means that users can even make International calls at no cost.

The only charge is your monthly internet bill.

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There are many Internet Telephony applications available. Some of them are included with web browsers and some are stand-alone programs. The list below shows you some of them:
  • CoolTalk - released in 1996 as a plug in for Netscape navigator 3.0
  • NetMeeting - Microsoft product bundled with early versions of Explorer
  • MSN / Yahoo Messenger - chat programs with VoIP capabilities
  • Skype - stand-alone VoIP program that is becoming very popular.

Uses of VoIP:
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Internet telephony has the following uses:
  • You can talk to people over the internet
  • You can have face-to-face video meetings - (useful for conducting job interviews)
  • Send / receive pictures
  • Send / receive files
  • Save lots of money if you are making international call.
 

Please add your questions/comments below:
 

Links to Theory Units:
 
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring