Podcast transcript: Internet
This podcast is part of the UCIL Digital Society course from the University of Manchester running in 2019/20 semester 2. The story it relates to is hosted on Medium and can be found here.
In this podcast Dr Craig Morley introduces the topic — the Internet.
AS: Welcome to the Digital Society podcast. This week’s topic is the Internet.
AS: Hello, I’m Amanda from the Library Student Team, and today on the Digital Society podcast, we are joined by Craig to talk about the Internet.
GW: Craig is a Learning Developer who designs and delivers training sessions on the My Learning Essentials and My Research Essentials programmes run by the library.
CM: Okay, so I am just going to start by first off talking about why I find digital society interesting, and then I give a bit more information on the topic itself and what you can expect to see and to do anything in the topic. So, I find digital society over as an idea and as this unit itself really interesting as we often take for granted new technologies, new digital innovations, for granted in terms of the convenience they give us or what they allow us to do faster, what they allow us to do easier. But sometimes in this rush to have the big new, shiny thing we don’t often consider whether we agree with the wider impact these technologies are having on our society and in the ways we interact with each other and connect with each other which is really important to think about in terms of understanding our own perspective on society.
So, I think this unit is a chance to slow that down and think about whether we do agree with way digital society is developing, whether we agree with the values we have. It’s a really useful opportunity to do that and develop those ideas which is really good.
In terms of the topic itself, it’s all about the internet. Which I think personally is at the heart of the digital society -the Internet connects people, connects individuals, groups, connects people to the government, the charities, their hobbies everything like that. So the Internet has become sort of one glue of society and we use it everyday for everything: studying at university, shopping, ordering food, making friends, keeping in contact with friends. For all the impact it has and has had on society, it hasn’t actually been around for too long. So I am ‘only’ 30 but I can remember when it first started becoming popular and big thing, and becoming part of people’s awareness. I can remember when schools first started introducing the Internet and telling kids what the Internet was about. I can remember when people first started having it at home. When you are talking to your friends about what the Internet was and what you used it for. So it is really impressive the impact the Internet has had.
So in this topic we are going to look at the way the Internet has developed and also try and get a better understanding of how the Internet has impacted and how developed the digital society itself.
Where the topic starts off, we will look at the history of the internet, how it’s developed, how it’s come to be what we recognise as the Internet today. For this we have an interactive time-line. The time-line is made up of videos, posters and pictures which go all the way back from the 1940s all the way to today and they provide snapshots of how people thought about the internet and what different technologies have been used to help create and develop the Internet over time, which I think is really useful in seeing how people’s perspectives have changed. You watch some of the videos and you think what were these people thinking, why did they think the internet was going to be like that. It’s a really good opportunity to understand where the Internet came from.
Secondly, we will look at the purpose of the internet, how and why people use the Internet and how that’s changed over time which again once you get more into the topic you will see it’s changed dramatically in terms of what the Internet was intended for at the start and to what people use it for now. That might be really useful in getting to grips with your own internet habits and how you use the Internet and view the internet.
And finally, from that we will take a look at the impact the internet has had on our society in creating this digital society. We will look at the benefits and some of the disadvantages of how much more interconnected we are with other individuals, with other groups and society. And take a look at both the positive things this can do or this can introduce in the society and also some of the dangers we might need to be aware of in terms of being connected with people all across the world that we don’t necessarily know. Hopefully that will give you a chance to develop you own ideas, perspectives on the internet. So hopefully you will enjoy this topic.
AS: Now that you’ve heard a little bit about this topic, you’re ready to work through the Topic post which includes activities to help you join in the discussion. Engaging with all this content will help you prepare for the assessments. We look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say!