Technology Acceptance Model

Advances in computing and information technology are changing the way people meet and communicate. People can meet, talk, and work together outside traditional meeting and office spaces. For instance, with the introduction of software designed to help people schedule meetings and facilitate decision or learning processes, is weakening geographical constraints and changing interpersonal communication dynamics. Information technology is also dramatically affecting the way people teach and learn.

As new information technologies infiltrate workplaces, home, and classrooms, research on user acceptance of new technologies has started to receive much attention from professionals as well as academic researchers. Developers and software industries are beginning to realize that lack of user acceptance of technology can lead to loss of money and resources.
In studying user acceptance and use of technology, the TAM is one of the most cited models. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was developed by Davis to explain computer-usage behavior. The theoretical basis of the model was Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA).

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is an information systems (System consisting of the network of all communication channels used within an organization) theory that models how users come to accept and use a technology, The model suggests that when users are presented with a new software package, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they will use it, notably:

Perceived usefulness (PU) – This was defined by Fred Davis as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance”.

Perceived ease-of-use (PEOU) Davis defined this as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort” (Davis, 1989).

The goal of TAM is “to provide an explanation of the determinants of computer acceptance that is general, capable of explaining user behavior across a broad range of end-user computing technologies and user populations, while at the same time being both parsimonious and theoretically justified”.

According to the TAM, if a user perceives a specific technology as useful, she/he will believe in a positive use-performance relationship. Since effort is a finite resource, a user is likely to accept an application when she/he perceives it as easier to use than another .As a consequence, educational technology with a high level of PU and PEOU is more likely to induce positive perceptions. The relation between PU and PEOU is that PU mediates the effect of PEOU on attitude and intended use. In other words, while PU has direct impacts on attitude and use, PEOU influences attitude and use indirectly through PU.

User acceptance is defined as “the demonstrable willingness within a user group to employ information technology for the tasks it is designed to support” (Dillon & Morris). Although this definition focuses on planned and intended uses of technology, studies report that individual perceptions of information technologies are likely to be influenced by the objective characteristics of technology, as well as interaction with other users. For example, the extent to which one evaluates new technology as useful, she/he is likely to use it. At the same time, her/his perception of the system is influenced by the way people around her/him evaluate and use the system.
Studies on information technology continuously report that user attitudes are important factors affecting the success of the system. For the past several decades, many definitions of attitude have been proposed. However, all theories consider attitude to be a relationship between a person and an object (Woelfel, 1995).

In the context of information technologies, is an approach to the study of attitude – the technology acceptance model (TAM). TAM suggests users formulate a positive attitude toward the technology when they perceive the technology to be useful and easy to use (Davis, 1989).

A review of scholarly research on IS acceptance and usage suggests that TAM has emerged as one of the most influential models in this stream of research The TAM represents an important theoretical contribution toward understanding IS usage and IS acceptance behaviors. However, this model — with its original emphasis on the design of system characteristics – does not account for social influence in the adoption and utilization of new information systems.

Types of Technology

Technology has permeated every industry and created a new world. There are many areas that have been greatly influenced by the use of technology. A lot of enhancement and productivity has been realized as a result. Though there are many views, both negative and positive, about technology, the bottom line is the impact it has had on many growing industries.

There are many ways to classify the ways in which technology is utilized. To provide an understandable approach, we will list them as types of technology. These include;

• Medical technology – this refers to more than just procedural methods used to treat patients during surgery or for life support. Medical technology goes outside hospital surroundings. There are those who need medical attention even in their homes or whilst working so as to carry on their daily activities effectively. Individuals with hearing impairments can have this corrected through the use of cochlear implants. Those who have missing limbs – legs, arms – can get implants as well and go about life normally. Seniors sometimes run short of breadth thus they need oxygen supply which is also available. Medical technology supports and ensures continuity of life.

• Administrative technology – this basically refers to equipment and other resources used to support everyday undertakings in offices and office buildings. These include printers, photocopiers, fax machines, telephones, industrial vacuum cleaners, etc.

• Instructional technology – this encompasses technologies that are used to teach, learn and communicate certain ideas effectively. These include television, computers, computer software, the internet, videotapes and video recording devices, among others. All these are necessary because they deliver information and communicate in different ways. Each technology is utilized based on the subject matter and the intended result.

• Assistive technology – this is vital in society. It is primarily used to assist those within the community who have disabilities, whether a learning disability, physiological or psychological. This type of technology utilizes specialized equipment, teaching materials and services that will enable these individuals perform and function within their surroundings.

• Information technology – this is to instill knowledge through use of vital resources and materials. The most utilized form of information technology currently is the internet.

The above mentioned technologies can be used independently or together. They are all necessary and important for the development of a community and a nation as a whole. However, over reliance on technologies should be observed. They are meant to assist us develop not vegetate and become inactive. Through the use of aforementioned technologies, we should grow, cultivate ourselves and our environment.

Technology and the Future of Work

Technological proficiency is essential for most business positions in the modern work climate. Internet-based faxing, laser printers, networked computers and advanced phone systems are common devices in businesses of all sizes and have become the standard norm in all modern day business operations. Moreover, the industrial sector has become the foundation of technological progression as the majority of tasks can now be automated. With the industrial workplace being revolutionized by technology, as humans we simply can’t compete with machines, they beat us on nearly all fronts. Rifkin, a well known activist on such matters, addresses the issues that may be faced within future of our jobs. He maintains that machines and computers have taken over nowadays, ergo, the end of work is near. Due to the speed and efficiency of technology, Rifkin maintains that productivity is rising over time, yet the value of labour is depreciating. Thus, this devaluation of work is problematic. That being said, this brings light to the discussion topic of technological unemployment, often referred to as the Luddite Fallacy.

The adoption of labor displacing technologies as mentioned above can generally be classified under mechanization, automation, and process improvement. Mechanization and automation involve transferring tasks from humans to machines. Process improvement involves the elimination of tasks altogether. In essence, with the combination of all three elements a task is removed from a workforce in turn decreasing employment. This brings rise to many arguments with opposing views which states that there is a negative correlation with technological change and unemployment. Many like Jeremy Rifkin believe that the road to a near-workerless economy is within sight. However when assessing Rifkin’s arguments, I find a few points troubling and many factors are not being taken into account. Although convincing to people who have suffered job loss due to automation and computers, I contend that there is more hope than Rifkin sees. What I see is that our era is becoming extremely competitive and is causing more people to return to school or to pursue higher education in order to keep up with the competition. Although this short-term occurrence of pursuing one`s education is not supplying much to our economy, once these people graduate, many countries will have a higher rate of people that are tapped into the innovations of the Information Age. The education that people are pursuing and the new grounds that they are entering in their fields of IT, software and sciences, to name a few, will inevitably lead to new ideas and new ways of working. When entering anything new, it is scary and it looks bleak, but there have been many jobs that have been created due to technological advancement and due to the competitive edge in technology, where a person’s IPAD is out of date on the day of purchase. Rifkin does not consider that this new age technology has allowed people to open up their own businesses and to be more financially independent. For instance, the invention of the internet has produced self-made millionaires and has made people come up with innovative ideas using new technologies. Moreover, the internet has also allowed people who are bound at home or stay at home parents, to consider an income from home. The internet and technologies that facilitate communications, like Blackberries and IPhones, have allowed for the economic independence and for people to work from home accordingly.

Additionally, no one tends to spend too much time talking about how the decrease in the workweek for some. The professionals that we have nowadays are currently experiencing shorter workweeks because they are getting their business matters done more quickly due to technology. Laptops, digital cameras and notebooks work quickly and produce high quality work. As a result, people are not spending too much time on menial tasks, because the quality of pictures, the innovations included for writers and research, to name a few industries, are all facilitated by technology and having innovations come through the door on a daily basis. Furthermore, shorter workweeks have already resulted for internet entrepreneurs who make money more easily and not on an hourly basis. The Information Age has brought about some positive changes and has empowered many people to either be independent of companies, or by making money on their own, and by maximizing their time, through earning money without working on an hourly rate. This new era has shown that people are not needed in assembly lines and in factories. When automation takes over, people are almost forced to find new ways of making money and earning a living. The internet and technology has facilitated this process and it has encouraged people to be more creative and innovative. The new era looks positive because it is removing people from mindless and unskilled labour, to a more inventive and entrepreneurial position in their careers.

Therefore, as my conclusion I would have to inform the readers that I firmly believe more jobs are being created nowadays than being destroyed. The new knowledge sector of our economy will mostly consist of elites like scientists, technicians, computer programmers, consultants and educators. The facts given above indicate that we are giving more value to our education and wisdom nowadays. I believe that professionalism brings high hopes for our Information Age and most professionals too are convinced that the “Third Industrial Revolution” – if it happens – will allow for more job opportunities. Thus, the focus of this article was mostly on the view of technology empowering the human race since it tends to open up our minds to accomplish incredible feats. Technology also provides us with tools to create amazing things. Thus, as every industry experiences technological progression more jobs will be created than destroyed. In other words, it is my belief that within the future of work we will see a decline in general labor jobs, countered by a much larger incline in the information technology and other supporting sectors. In other words, the people out of work today will soon find jobs again, but the work won’t be the same.

The Impact of Technology on Our Society

Without a doubt, technology is all around us. Technology is a major part of our everyday lives and it is hard to imagine living in a society that does not have advanced technology. The affect that the current technological advances continue to have on our lives grows more positive with every new “thing” that comes out.

Here is a look at some of the impacts that technology has had on our lives.

Smartphones everywhere

Ten years ago, smartphones were mostly for the elite and a majority of people under age 16 were still dependent on the old house phone. Today, there are more people with a cellular phone than there are without one. Being able to communicate is not considered to be as important as eating and sleeping. The cellphone is the last thing that they see when they go to sleep and it is the very first thing they look to grab in the morning. Smartphones make it possible for anyone to connect to everyone out there in cyber world. Apps like Twitter and Facebook now come standard in a majority of smartphones. Now, when you have something to say, all you have to do is log on.

Quick access to information

With technology growing the way that it is, that makes it much easier for people to know what is going on all over the world. In the past, if you heard something big was going on, you had to rush to a television to find out what happened. Today, information is literally a click away. Believe it or not, most people learn of news breaks through websites that are constantly updated, such as twitter. If you watch the regular evening news, you may catch them encouraging the viewers to submit photos or video of news that they see happening. The built-in camera and camcorder that smartphones have make this possible.

Children of Tomorrow

Children born in this day and age have a leg up on prior generations because they are growing up in the age of growing technology. It can be a steep learning curve for older people to understand some of the new technology that is out. Younger children will not have that problem because they are playing with phones, computers and tablets before they can even talk. This means that when it comes to learning new technology, it will be second nature to them. They will be the ones who will be upgrading the technology that is currently available. Without a doubt, they will bring unforeseen changes to the world that will not have been possible without using the technology that they have been born into as a foundation to the future.

The impact of technology on society is positive in almost every way. The only downside is that some people may use technology as a substitute for real human interaction. That is a fact that we should all be aware of, but it is easy to overcome. All it takes is choosing to make a call instead of sending a text.

Clean Technology: Tomorrow’s Technology

The popularity of clean technology is rapidly growing: people are realizing that by being eco-friendly and applying these principles to their companies, they are able to deliver quality products and services, while promoting the protection of the planet, its natural resources and the importance behind these efforts. As technology continues to evolve and adapt to our needs, many agree that green technology is tomorrow’s technology.

Clean technology is defined as the different products, services and procedures that aim at providing top performance at affordable costs, while conserving the natural environment and promoting the productive and balanced use of the planet’s natural resources.

The concept of this technology was first presented by the Cleantech Group (founded in San Francisco, California, USA in 2002), a company that provides support to corporations, investors and smaller companies in the form of market research and assessment on how to incorporate this technology to their products and services, and how to market them. That makes this technology a very appealing option to most companies and their target audiences.

Popular ways of using this technology in our daily lives is through recycling (processing used materials to create new ones), renewable energy (energy obtained from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, water and geothermal heat), sustainable or green transport (walking, cycling, green vehicles, carpooling, public transportation), green or sustainable chemistry (designing products that contain little or no hazardous substances to the planet), using energy-saving light bulbs and greywater (wastewater generated from activities such as laundry, dishwashing or bathing. It differs from sewage or blackwater, as it doesn’t contain human waste).

As there is a growing interest in clean technology and its benefits, there has also been a growing demand for careers or courses focused on the topic, such as Environmental Engineering or Environmental Systems (a form of civil engineering, where professionals are able to create structures or the right landscape that can perfectly blend in or protect the environment), Environmental chemistry, sustainable chemistry or environmental chemical engineering (courses help the student understand the positive and negative effects chemicals can have in the environment), and Environmental technology courses (that focus on producing electrical or electro technology-oriented graduates, that are able to develop tools and equipment aimed at monitoring, calculating, shaping and controlling the impact on the environment or discovering new technologies that can be used to create or recycle energy.

The need to minimize pollution (as it affects not only the environment, but our health) and use more clean technology to prevent and reduce it, this initiative has led country leaders to come together and create strict obligations to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in industrialized countries.

The need for further research and documentation has resulted in the creation of non-profit organizations worldwide. The fast and effective communication through the internet, and proper ecological education in schools, and the development of careers focused on creating sustainable development and clean technology, has helped people all over the world understand the problem and educate themselves, and the new generations to favor this technology, and make the lifestyle changes necessary to make it tomorrow’s technology.