Communication is a central aspect of all our lives. Today, our modes of communication are highly dependent on technologies such as the internet, wireless networks, phones, and computers. This issue of Topic in Depth explores the ways these forms of communication are part of our lives and highlights some new directions in communication technology.
WordIQ Dictionary and Encyclopedia (1) offers this definition: "Communication is the process of exchanging information usually via a common system of symbols." The website explains some of the key process involved in communication and describes different forms of communication, such as animal communication, interpersonal communication, and computer-mediated communication. Also taking a broad view on communication, this world history website (2) provides some background on the mathematical theories that are used in designing telecommunications systems. The articles highlighted on this website from the Center for the Study of Technology and Society (4) attest to the far reaching influence of communication technology. As research on the MediaLab Europe website suggests (5), we have moved into not just developing technology that mediates interpersonal communication (such as phones) but also creating "intimate and personal connections with and through new technologies." This NSF website (6) also highlights some recent discoveries in Computer Information Science and Engineering. Finally, this article from First Monday (7) discusses the far-reaching effects these new developments in technology and globalization are having on language and learning.
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