Volume 4 Number 3

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An Examination of Computer Attitudes, Anxieties, and Aversions Among Diverse College Populations: Issues Central to Understanding Information Sciences in the New Millennium

William H. Burkett, David M. Compton,
Gail G. Burkett
Palm Beach Community College

Studying the impact of computer attitudes on the production of knowledge is central to the understanding of information sciences in the new millennium. The major results from a survey of diverse college populations suggest that Liberal Arts College (LAC) students, in this demographic, have somewhat more ambivalence toward computers than students in a Community College (CC) or a nontraditional Business College (BC) environment. The respondents generally agreed that computers were an important part of daily life and not particularly frustrating. In addition, it appears that today’s students like computers, know at least something about them, feel competent when using one, and are not tired of hearing about computers as a matter of daily discourse. The participants generally agreed, although not strongly so, that they would like to learn more about computers. The surveyed students generally expressed an interest in on-line courses, although students from the LAC were more neutral about on-line courses. On-line courses were generally considered somewhat inferior to traditional classes. Most of the respondents feel that they have a reasonable amount of computer-related experiences and, as a result, have considerable competence and success when using one, and believed that they could successfully master new software. The majority of the students expressed at least some degree of enjoyment from computer and non-computer games. Last, students at the LAC and BC appeared to possess greater knowledge about computer operation, a fact that may in part be due to the age of the respondents.

Keywords: computer aversion, computer anxiety, computer phobia, computer avoidance, computer attitude



Informing Science (IS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS): The University as Decision Center (DC) for Teaching Interdisciplinary Research

Teresa Castelao-Lawless
Grand Valley State University, USA

William F. Lawless
Paine College, USA

Students of history and philosophy of science courses at my University are either naïve robust realists or naïve relativists in relation to science and technology. The first group absorbs from culture stereotypical conceptions, such as the value-free character of the scientific method, that science and technology are impervious to history or ideology, and that science and religion are always at odds. The second believes science and technology were selected arbitrarily by ideologues to have privileged world views of reality to the detriment of other interpretations. These deterministic outlooks must be challenged to make students aware of the social importance of their future roles, be they as scientists and engineers or as science and technology policy decision makers. The University as Decision Center (DC) not only reproduces the social by teaching standard solutions to well-defined problems but also provides information regarding conflict resolution and the epistemological, individual, historical, social, and political mechanisms that help create new science and technology. Interdisciplinary research prepares students for roles that require science and technology literacy, but raises methodological issues in the context of the classroom as it increases uncertainty with respect to apparently self-evident beliefs about scientific and technological practices.

Keywords: STS, science, technology, practice, uncertainty, University, policy making


95-104 Internet 2 – WWW: Where, When and Why?

Adi Armoni
Tel Aviv College of Management
Tel Aviv, Israel

After the World Wide Web and other great inventions of the academic world, comes Internet 2. The new Inter-University project is rapidly evolving into a powerful consortium. 181 universities, 60 American companies and a few dozen international institutions are collaborating to create the communications technologies of the future. Their main focus is to rid themselves of the terrible congestion that exemplifies the Internet and create a new fast multimedia connection between research institutions. They promise that all this will be done far from the intrusion of the private market, a market that, according to the four fathers of Internet 2, “stifles creativity”.

The foundations of Internet 2 are comprised of two main technological notions. The first is the Gigapop, which is a regional network’s interconnection point to the new Internet 2 cutting edge services. Some types of Gigapops are being constructed so that Internet 2 members can connect solely to Internet 2 services, while other Gigapops are being constructed to connect non Internet 2 members to various other services, such as the old Internet (a.k.a. the commodity Internet or Internet 1).

The second technological notion is QoS, which stands for Quality of Services and is a new method of sending information around more efficiently. The basis of QoS is to create priorities for the information sent. In this way crucial medical information will have priority when compared to chess game simulations.

The implementation of these two notions, together with other innovative technologies, requires a vast amount of funding, which is partly private but mainly governmental. The methods discussed here for budgeting and funding of institutions for the Internet 2 project are interesting and are a main force in the shaping of Internet 2. Moreover, they will also influence important infrastructure and technical decisions yet to be made, such as routing methods, protocols and speeds that will shape and mold I2.

The following research deals with both the technology and infrastructure needs and the advantages to be gained by the Internet 2 project worldwide. This is the first time that readers are exposed to a comprehensive survey of the financial and technological aspects gained from the implementation of the project.

Keywords: Communications, Infrastructure, Internet 2, Financial Aspects, Gigapop, Internet


An Action-Oriented Perspective of
Information Systems in Organizations

Rex Eugene Pereira
Drake University, USA

Despite the best efforts of researchers and practitioners, information system (IS) failures continue to occur. IS projects are not carried out in isolation, and organizational factors can affect the project outcome. Using a case study conducted at a large, multinational organization, this research investigates the roles users perceive an information system to play. The purpose is not to animate the information system and give it life of its own, but rather, to make explicit the socially constructed roles conferred on the information system by the users. The role which an individual perceives an information system to be playing is determined by three factors:  the combination of business knowledge and information systems knowledge of the individual, the socially constructed image of the information system, and the functionality provided by the information system.

Keywords: ERP systems, information technology, organizational structure, technology-organization fit