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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century, provides a general overview of how digital technology has come to dominate virtually every aspect of the modern world and some guidance on how to prepare for this digital life.


The profound technological, economic, political and ethical changes brought about by information technology will affect every one of us. You may be wondering what digital technology is and just what is meant by having a digital life. A fundamental idea is that digital technology is any technology based on representing data as sequences of numbers. Computers use digital technologies; so the for benefit of this unit the term digital life refers to the influence of computers, in a wide variety of forms, on the world. It also provides a more detailed explanation of the internal structure and workings of a typical computer. In this unit, you will learn a little about the historical development of computers and their role in today’s society, and you will consider examples of digital technologies in the world around you and their influence on your life. You will also gain a better understanding of what makes a computer work by exploring what’s inside a typical personal computer.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Understand the concept of a ‘digital life’
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the role of information and communication technologies in a digital life
  • Describe the purpose of each of the major components of a computer system, and use common terminology to describe these components.

Course Curriculum

    • Computers: From novelty to commonplace 00:10:00
    • The telephone 00:10:00
    • The computer 00:20:00
    • The information society 00:50:00
    • Some aspects of our information society 00:20:00
    • Financial services 00:10:00
    • Commerce 00:20:00
    • Work 00:10:00
    • Break-point 00:30:00
    • Information 00:10:00
    • Entertainment 00:30:00
    • Public information and services 00:20:00
    • Security and risk 00:30:00
    • Communicating on the move 00:30:00
    • Section summary 00:05:00
    • Participating in a digital world 00:30:00
    • Netiquette: Respecting others online 01:00:00
    • Ethical and legal considerations 00:20:00
    • Copyright 00:10:00
    • Good academic practice 00:20:00
    • Online safety 00:30:00
    • Spam 00:20:00
    • Phishing 00:20:00
    • Managing your identity online 00:20:00
    • What’s inside my computer, and what makes it work? 00:20:00
    • What’s inside? 00:40:00
    • Conclusion 00:05:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK