The concept of information technology








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Published by decision of the editorial and publishing council

Yelabuga State Pedagogical University

(Minutes No. 14 dated 22.02.2007)

Reviewers: I.I. EREMINA,

head Department of Informatics and Discrete Mathematics

Yelabuga State Pedagogical University,

Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor,


Art. lecturer at the Department of Information

Systems and Technologies of Yelabuga City Institute

innovative technologies.

Shatunova, O.V. Information Technology: Textbook / O.V. Shatunova. – Elabuga: Publishing House of YSPU, 2007. – 77 p.

© O.V. Shatunova

© YSPU Publishing House, 2007


Currently, among the priorities associated with creating the necessary conditions for high quality education, those related to the fundamentalization of the content of education, the socialization and humanization of the individual, and the use of new information and communication technologies in the educational process come to the fore. In this regard, the requirements for the professional training of future teachers are also changing, in particular, for their technological education, the basis of which is the study of the transformational activity of people (the transformation of materials, energy, information and means of satisfying social needs).

This textbook was created on the basis of the lecture course on information technologies delivered by the author at the Faculty of Technology and Economics of the Yelabuga State Pedagogical University.

It is known that material technology consists of the following modules: materials science, industrial design, production processes, tools, labor protection and safety, theory of enterprise, organization or institution management. Similarly to this structure, keeping the logic of building science, the basic components of information technology are defined. These are information theory, information modeling and formalization, information processes, information systems, information security and information modeling. Therefore, our tutorial is subject to this scheme.

The first section is devoted to the issues of information and informatization of society. In the second section, all the main structural elements of information technology are considered. The third section reveals the content of the basic information technologies that are most widely used in our time. The last section contains the necessary information on traditional information technologies. Each section is followed by a list of references and self-assessment questions.

The textbook is designed for undergraduate students of technological and economic faculties of pedagogical universities. In addition, it can be used as an introductory course on information technology for students studying the humanities.


The concept of information technology

The term “technology” was widely used until recently only in the study of production processes. Let’s look at some definitions.

“Technology (from Greek – art, skill, skill and … logic) – a set of methods of processing, manufacturing, changing the state, properties, form of raw materials, material or semi-finished products carried out in the production process” [Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary. – M., 1979. – S. 1338].

“Technology is a set of production methods and processes of the industry, as well as a scientific description of production methods …” [Ozhegov S.I. Explanatory dictionary of the Russian language / S.I. Ozhegov, N.Yu. Shvedova. – M .: LLC “ITI Technologies”, 2003. – S. 797].

“Technology – … 1) a set of methods for processing, manufacturing, changing the state, properties, form of raw materials, material or semi-finished products in the profession of production, for example, metal technology, chemical technology, construction technology; 2) the science of the methods of influencing raw materials, materials or semi-finished products with the corresponding tools of production” [Political Dictionary. – M., 1989. – S. 534].

Obviously, technology is a scientific solution to practical problems, and the flourishing of modern technologies can be directly linked to the scientific and technological revolution.

All the given definitions are focused on the production and industrial “vector”. However, the concept of “technology” over time turned out to be much richer in content. The potential of the concept of “technology” in the course of its use in the traditional sphere has constantly increased. The area within which this concept was used began to expand rapidly, and as a result, include pedagogy, sociology, culture, etc.

Thus, today the concept of “technology” can be considered at different levels. At the philosophical level, technology is the doctrine of the best (optimal) activity. At the interdisciplinary level, this is a process determined by a set of means and methods of processing, manufacturing, changing the state, properties, form of raw materials or material. Finally, at the general educational level, technology is defined as a field of knowledge, methods and means used for the optimal transformation and application of matter (materials), energy and information according to the plan and in the interests of man, society, and the environment.

Replacing a material object with an ideal one (information) makes it possible to use the concept of technology in the field of information processing and production using modern computer technology.

Information is one of the most valuable resources of society, along with such traditional material resources as oil, gas, minerals, etc. The concept of “information” has come to the forefront of science relatively recently. It is not found in old dictionaries. The first scientific works that formed the foundation of information theory appeared about seventy years ago. And just over fifty years ago, Academician A.N. Kolmogorov attributed information to the most important scientific concepts and called it the fundamental principle of new promising branches of science and technology.

In the conditions of the modern market, the definition of information given by V.L. Tambovtsev: “Information is those products or services that are intended by their manufacturer to transfer knowledge in the most accessible form for a potential consumer” [12, p. ten].

The concept of information is both a broader and, in a sense, narrower concept than knowledge. The total flow of information that comes from the outside world into the human brain through his senses is expressed as a number of 100,000 bits per second. But only a thousandth of this informational avalanche becomes a fact of consciousness. At its highest level, reflection in its resultative form acts as knowledge. Let us ask ourselves the question – can knowledge be identified with information? As A.G. Spirkin: “…Knowledge is the opposite of ignorance, i.e. the lack of verified information about something…” [11]. Knowledge can appear only after receiving and processing information. Thus, knowledge acts as a link in the chain: emergence – transmission – receipt – processing – further transmission of transformed information.

Of course, the concepts of “information” and “knowledge” are very close, and knowledge and awareness play a very important role in people’s lives today. For a technical science like computer science, the concept of information, however, cannot be based on such anthropocentric concepts as knowledge, and cannot rely only on the objectivity of facts and evidence. S.V.Simonovich writes about this [7, p. 13]: “Computer technology has the ability to process information automatically, without human intervention, and there can be no question of any knowledge or ignorance here. These tools can work with artificial, abstract, and even false information that has no objective reflection either in nature or in society.” In his book, he gives the following definition of information: “Information is the product of the interaction of data and methods adequate to them.”

Here is another definition of information: “Computer science considers information as conceptually interconnected information, data, concepts that change our ideas about a phenomenon or object in the world” [8, p. 41]. In addition to the concept of “information”, the concept of “data” is often used in computer science. The data can be considered as signs or recorded observations, which for some reason are not used, but only stored. If the data is involved in the process of removing uncertainty, then the data becomes information. Therefore, it can be argued that the information is the data used.

So, for various fields of science there are definitions of the concept of “information”.

The idea of including information in the chain of production of an information product belongs to V.M. Glushkov. In 1982, in his book Fundamentals of Paperless Computer Science, he gave the following definition: “Information technologies are processes where information is the main processed product” [6, p. 334]. This implies the position that information technologies have always been used, since the tasks of accumulating, processing and disseminating information faced humanity at all stages of its development. Especially widely information technologies were used for education.

Why did they talk about information technology not so long ago? N.V. Apatova notes that “methodological systems were not called information technologies because this term is associated with the advent of computer technology” [2, p. 6]. According to N.V. Apatova, information technology is a kind of methodological system, that is, a part of pedagogical technology.

In some works, we meet with such definitions of information technologies of education that do not give a complete picture of all areas of their application. In particular, N.V. Apatova writes: “Information technology of education is the process of preparing and transmitting information to the student, the means of implementation of which is a computer” [2, p. 7]. Here it would be more correct to talk about computer rather than information technologies of education, since the concept of information technologies is much broader.

In [5, p. 20] the following definition is given: “Information technology is a set of methods, methods and tools that provide storage, processing, transmission and display of information and focused on improving the efficiency and productivity of labor.”

Under information technology in a broad sense, we mean a set of means and methods for collecting, processing and transmitting data (primary information) to obtain information of a new quality about the state of an object, process or phenomenon (information product) [3, p. 87].

The essential difference between information technologies and other areas of science and production is that they are undergoing constant changes caused by the rapid development of computer technology and modern communications. Today people talk not just about information technologies, but about modern or new information technologies (NIT). Their basis, according to A.N. Bogatyreva, A.V. Koptelova and G.N. Nekrasova, comprise five technical achievements [4, p. 5]:

1. The emergence of a new environment for the accumulation of information on machine-readable media.

2. The development of means of communication that ensure the delivery of information to virtually anywhere in the world without significant restrictions in time and distance, a wide coverage of the population by means of communication.

3. Dynamic development of microprocessor technology, providing the possibility of digital information processing.

4. The possibility of automated processing of information using a computer according to specified algorithms.

5. Emergence and rapid development of the Internet.

So, we will call the set of electronic means and methods of their functioning, used for the implementation of learning activities, new information learning technologies. Technologies that existed before the advent of computing, microprocessor technology, we will call traditional information technologies. They are still successfully used in education and are unlikely to be completely replaced by new information technologies.

What is the purpose of information technology? In [3, p. 344] we find: “The purpose of information technology is the production of information that satisfies the information needs of a person. Most often, these needs are associated with decision-making in such areas as knowledge, communication, practical (industrial) activities. In the same work, it is noted that a distinctive feature of the technology is that the application of the same technology to the same initial “raw material” results in a “product” of the same quality. On the other hand, by applying different technologies to the same resource, you can get different products.

Just as in material technology its components are distinguished (materials science, design, production processes, tools, safety and labor protection, enterprise management theory), so information technology can be divided into parts: information theory, modeling and formalization, information processes, information systems, information security and information management.

Information technology, like any other, must meet the following requirements:

ensure a high degree of division of the entire information processing process into stages, operations, actions;

include the entire set of elements necessary to achieve the goal;

have a regular character. Stages, actions, operations of the technological process can be standardized and unified, which will allow more efficient targeted management of information processes.

To date, there are various approaches to the problem of classification of information technologies. Here are some classifications. In [8], the following types of information technologies are distinguished:

information technology of data processing,

management information technology,

office automation,

decision support information technology,

· information technology of expert systems.

In [13, p. 17] information technologies are divided into different types as follows:

function-oriented information technologies designed to implement certain tasks,

subject-oriented information technologies designed to solve specific problems in a particular subject area,

· problem-oriented information technologies designed to solve typical applied problems.

We will adhere to the classification given by the authors of the textbook [3], which is compiled depending on the form of presentation of the information being processed:

technologies for processing text information,

technologies for processing numerical information,

technologies for processing graphic information,

sound processing technologies

technologies for working in global networks,

social information technologies.

The choice of this classification is explained by the fact that there is a tradition to teach schoolchildren and students these types of information technologies.

Informatization of society

In the history of human society, several times there have been radical changes in the information field, which can be called information revolutions.

The first information revolution was associated with the invention of writing. Writing has created an opportunity for the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, for the transfer of knowledge to future generations. Civilizations that mastered writing developed faster than others, reached a higher cultural and economic level. Examples are Ancient Egypt, the countries of Mesopotamia, China. Later, the transition from pictographic and ideographic writing to alphabetic writing, which made writing more accessible, largely contributed to the shift of the centers of civilization to Europe (Greece, Rome).

The second information revolution (mid-16th century) was associated with the invention of printing. It became possible not only to save information, but also to make it widely available. Literacy is becoming a mass phenomenon. All this accelerated the growth of science and technology, helped the industrial revolution. Books crossed the borders of countries, which contributed to the beginning of the creation of a universal civilization.

The third information revolution (the end of the 19th century) was due to the progress of communications. The telegraph, telephone, radio made it possible to quickly transmit information over any distance. It was no accident that this revolution coincided with a period of rapid development of natural science.

The fourth information revolution (70s of the XX century) is associated with the emergence of microprocessor technology and, in particular, personal computers. Shortly thereafter, computer telecommunications arose, radically changing information storage and retrieval systems. The foundations for overcoming the information crisis were laid.

The fourth information revolution gave impetus to such significant changes in the development of society that a new term “information society” appeared to characterize it.

The name itself first appeared in Japan. The term’s originators explained that it defines a society in which information of high quality circulates in abundance, and in which there are all the necessary means for its storage, distribution and use. Information is easily and quickly distributed according to the requirements of interested people and organizations and is given to them in the form they are used to. The cost of using information services is so low that they are available to everyone.

Academician V.A. Izvozchikov offers the following definition: “We will understand the term “information” (“computerized”) society as that in all spheres of life and activity of whose members computers, telematics, and other informatics tools are included as tools of intellectual labor, opening wide access to the treasures of libraries, allowing to make calculations and process any information with great speed, simulate real and predicted events, processes, phenomena, manage production, automate training, etc.” [9, p. 107]. Here the term “telematics” means the processing of information at a distance.

Let us trace in more detail the existing trends in the development of the information society. However, first we note that at present no state is in this stage. The United States, Japan, and a number of Western European countries have come closest to the information society.

There is no generally accepted criterion for evaluating a full-scale information society, but its formulations are known. An interesting criterion was proposed by Academician A.P. Ershov: “The phases of progress towards the information society should be judged by the total capacity of communication channels” [9, p. 108]. There is a simple idea behind this: the development of communication channels reflects both the level of computerization, and the objective need of society for all types of information exchange, and other manifestations of informatization. According to this criterion, the early stage of the informatization of society begins when the total bandwidth of communication channels operating in it is reached, which ensures the deployment of a sufficiently reliable long-distance telephone network. The final phase – if it is possible to implement a reliable and prompt information contact between members of society on the principle of “each with each”. In the final phase, the throughput of communication channels should be a million times greater than in the first phase.

It should be noted that today more and more people in society are busy working with information. Information allows a person to know the world, feel like a part of it, communicate with other people, raise children, solve everyday problems, engage in various activities, creative work. With the help of information, the joint work of people at enterprises is organized, their trade unions and societies are formed. Information is the basis of the activities of legislative, executive and judicial authorities, the system of public administration.

The information society is a society in which the majority of workers are engaged in the production, storage, processing and sale of information, especially its highest form – knowledge. The driving force behind the development of society should be the production of not a material, but an information product. The physical product will become more information-intensive, which means an increase in the share of innovation, design and marketing in its value.

According to a number of experts, the United States will complete the transition to the information society by 2020, Japan and most Western European countries by 2030-2040.

The transition to the information society is accompanied by a shift in the center of gravity in the economy from the production of material goods (goods) to the provision of services, which entails a significant reduction in the extraction and processing of raw materials and energy consumption.

The second half of the 20th century, thanks to informatization, was accompanied by a flow of people from the sphere of direct material production to the information sphere. Industrial workers, who in the middle of the 20th century made up more than 2/3 of the population, today account for less than 1/3 in developed countries. Significantly expanded the social stratum, which is called “white collars” – people of hired labor who do not directly produce material values, but are engaged in information processing (in the broad sense): teachers, bank employees, programmers, etc. So, by 1980 in rural 3% of workers were employed in the economy, 20% in industry, 30% in the service sector, and 47% of people were employed in the information sphere [9, p. 108].

Most importantly, informatization has also changed the nature of work in traditional industries. The emergence of robotic systems, the widespread introduction of elements of microprocessor technology is the main reason for this phenomenon.

Let’s take an example: 330,000 people were employed in the machine tool industry in the USA in 1990, and by 2005, 14,000 people remained. This will happen due to the mass reduction of people on assembly lines, due to the introduction of robots and manipulators instead.

Another characteristic feature in this area is the emergence of a developed market for information products and services. This market includes sectors:

business information (stock exchange, financial, statistical, commercial information);

professional information (scientific and technical information, primary sources, etc.);

consumer information (news, various schedules, entertainment information);

educational services and others.

However, there is also a negative side of the informatization process, the essence of which lies in the fact that the flow of information that has rushed over a person is so great that it is inaccessible to processing in an acceptable time. This is the so-called information crisis.

This phenomenon takes place in scientific research, in technical developments, and in social and political life. In our increasingly complex world, decision-making is becoming more and more responsible, and it is impossible without the completeness of information.

Accelerating the accumulation of the total amount of knowledge occurs with surprising speed. At the beginning of the 20th century, the total volume of all information produced by mankind doubled every 50 years, by 1950 it was doubling every 10 years, by 1970 it was already every 5 years; The end of this acceleration process is not yet in sight.

The information crisis manifests itself in the following:

The information flow exceeds the limited possibilities of a person in the perception and processing of information;

· there is a large amount of redundant information (the so-called “information noise”), which makes it difficult to perceive useful information for the consumer;

· there are economic, political and other barriers that impede the dissemination of information (for example, because of secrecy).

A partial way out of the information crisis is seen in the application of new information technologies. The introduction of modern means and methods of storing, processing and transmitting information greatly reduces the barrier of access to it and the speed of search. Of course, technologies alone cannot solve a problem that has both an economic nature (information costs money), and a legal one (information has an owner), and a number of others. This problem is complex and is solved by the efforts of both each country and the world community as a whole.

The information revolution is based on the explosive development of information and communication technologies. In this process, the feedback is also clearly observed: the movement towards the information society dramatically accelerates the development of these technologies, making them widely in demand.

However, in itself, the rapid growth in the production of computer technology, which began in the middle of the 20th century, did not become the reason for the transition to the information society. Computers were used by a relatively small number of specialists as long as they existed in isolation. The most important stage on the way to the information society was:

· Creation of telecommunication infrastructure, including data transmission networks;

· the emergence of huge databases, access to which through the network received millions of people;

development of uniform rules of behavior in networks and search for information in them.

The creation of the international computer network Internet played a huge role in the process under discussion. Today it is a colossal and rapidly (by 10-15% per month) growing system, the number of users of which has exceeded 200 million people.

It should be noted that at present the world is seeing a refusal to create its own corporate networks in favor of open standardized systems and their integration into the Internet (with the exception, of course, of special-purpose networks, in which information security requirements are very high).

Information and communication technologies are constantly evolving. Gradually, the leading technologies are being universalized, that is, instead of creating their own technology for solving each problem, powerful universal technologies are being developed that allow for many use cases. A well-known example is office software systems, in which many different actions can be performed, from the simplest typing to the creation of special programs (for example, payroll using a spreadsheet).

The universalization of information technology contributes to the widespread use of multimedia. A modern multimedia system is able to combine the functions of, for example, a computer, TV, radio, telephone, answering machine, fax, while providing access to data networks.

The existence of computing technology leads to the personalization and miniaturization of information storage devices. Tiny devices that fit in the palm of your hand and have all the functions of a personal computer allow a person to acquire their own universal reference book, the amount of information in which is comparable to several encyclopedias. Since this device can be connected to the network, it also transmits operational data, for example: weather, current time, traffic conditions, etc.

Consider the concept of “information culture”. The concept of the information culture of the individual is currently not finally defined and is interpreted in different ways. Most often it is used to denote the breadth of a specialist’s knowledge.

The variety of views that characterize certain aspects of the information culture of a specialist, therefore, comes down to at least three positions. As a subject in its analysis, all authors explore the knowledge that a specialist should possess. This is the first thing that unites them when discussing this problem. The second is related to the fact that information culture is designated as a qualitative characteristic of a person. Third, it reflects the level of informatization of society.

The current stage of the transition of mankind, from the “industrial society” to the “information” puts forward a number of requirements for the activity of the subject, which give reason to talk about some general approaches to the formation of the information culture of the participants in the educational process. A person of the information society needs such knowledge and skills that, on the one hand, can be energetically and effectively used to further advance science, technology, culture, to identify the huge potential of computer technology, and, on the other hand, this knowledge and skills should become a guarantor of sovereignty. personality for the sake of the most complete realization of the creative resources of man.

An analysis of theoretical sources shows that some facets of a person’s information culture are sufficiently defined. The requirements for a specialist – a graduate of a pedagogical institute are formulated; certain aspects of information culture are considered; specific features of modern processes taking place in society are revealed. Information culture is an integral part of pedagogical culture. The most important component of information culture in modern conditions, in turn, is the computer culture of a participant in the educational process.

It is expedient to attribute the skills of using computer technology and erudition in the field of professional application programs created for this purpose to the general computer culture. To a special computer culture – knowledge that provides an opportunity for a specialist to work at the intersection of his profession with computer science and computer technology. It develops on an understanding of the basic ideas of computer science and ideas about the role of information and telecommunication technologies in society and in the professional activities of a specialist, as well as general skills in using computer technology, the ability to use computerized information and telecommunication technologies.

For 96% of the participants in the educational process, computer culture implies the availability of knowledge that provides the teacher and student with the opportunity to use the basic concepts of informatics, computer technology, as well as the skills to solve problems of professional activity using computers, erudition in the field of special application programs created for this [10]. , with. 86].

Improving computer culture is an urgent imperative of the time, an indispensable requirement for a modern specialist. To solve this problem in all educational institutions, it is necessary to form a new thinking based on the awareness of the unconditional need to use and apply modern computer technology, information and telecommunication technologies in any kind of professional activity of a teacher, which can only be mastered on the basis of computer literacy.

The successful implementation of the tasks of a gradual but constant increase in the level of computer literacy of all participants in the learning process at a pedagogical institute is ensured by the following conditions:

The study by students of the subjects of the information cycle, giving students knowledge, skills, sufficient knowledge of the correct understanding of the meaning of information and effective work with technologies of purposeful activity, functioning on the basis of the production of various operations with professionally significant information (information technologies);

· creation of favorable conditions for the interest of the teaching staff in raising the level of their computer training.

This goal is connected not so much with the formation of the required level of computer literacy, but, along with it, with the study and assimilation by students of the features and capabilities of one of the main types of manifestation of human intelligence – systems thinking. The study of a systematic approach brings up a special culture of thinking, and therefore it will be productive in mastering not only mathematics, computer science, but practically all disciplines, the subject of which is complex objects of the surrounding world.

The introduction of information technologies into the educational process involves the mastery of computer culture both from the side of objects and from the side of the subjects of the learning process.

The main condition here is a comprehensive and purposeful preparation for the skillful and competent use of information technology by the teaching staff. It is on their enthusiasm for modern computer technology that the active introduction of information technologies into the educational process of the university, as well as successful training in the basics of the design and use of computers, depends.

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