For the sake of simplicity, information may be regarded as documents, images, sound, videos, and spreadsheets (Floridi, 2009).
The sheer volume of information generated on the World Wide Web, accessed via the internet, is colossal. Humanity had accumulated some 12 exabytes of data before the advent of personal computers (Floridi, 2009). In 2002 alone, 5 exabytes of new information was created (Floridi, 2009). This exponential growth of information, worldwide, is expected to increase to a total amount of 44 zettabytes by 2020 (Koso, 2016).
The issue is: how to manage; store; identify; optimise and share such voluminous amounts of information? One possibility is to have a biological and technological ‘marriage’ (Floridi, 2009), whereby librarians utilise technology to tag categories of information. This symbiotic relationship would enable the flow of unstructured data into an institution to become more accessible (Brown & Duguid, 2002). There is also significant investment in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Behavioural algorithms can be used to predictively learn as to what information is most relevant to each individual, saving enormous time in futile searches.
The centralization of controlling information is in schools is deemed necessary to protect data from being mined. The apprehension is that the information may be used to the detriment of the organisation by an employee. Thus, rigid barriers/obstacles are created to protect what is deemed to be ‘sacred’ information (Brown & Duguid, 2002). Vigilant tracking (Brown & Duguid, 2002) is initiated to prevent unauthorized access to certain ‘private’ information. Such a process may adversely affect a school as it prevents real collaboration amongst employees. On an emotional level, teachers who are denied access to certain information could feel ostracised and devalued. There are teachers who hold the position that the democratisation of information would be empowering.
It may be that management simply does not want to dilute their authority or share power. Brown and Duguid (2002) argue that such an attitudinal mindset “… is ultimately a sort of social and moral blindness.”
A remedy to the above is not simple as it involves a paradigm shift in managers who have been inculcated with the predominant traditional business model of line management.
As the number of computers increase year by year, there is an ethical consideration concerning their effect on the environment. Steadily, computers are consuming more and more electricity (Floridi, 2009). It is estimated that carbon emissions from computers alone will add 670,000,000 tonnes to our atmosphere by 2020 (Floridi, 2009).
A remedy may be found in alternate forms of energy generation; such as solar power, wind power, geothermal power and so on.