What Is Technology?

Technology is the accumulated knowledge and skills used to create tools, machines, and systems that improve human life. It encompasses both the physical tools of teaching and learning, such as whiteboards and clickers, and the non-physical tools that support instruction and learning, such as computer software, books (both paper and electronic), musical instruments, mathematical formulae, and statistical notation.

There is a lot of variation in what people mean when they use the word “technology.” It could refer to any human-made object; however, it tends to evoke ideas of new things and how they can be applied to solve problems or achieve goals. There are two sharply diverging traditions of talking about technology: instrumentalist and values-based. Instrumentalists, such as Aristotle, Hugh of St Victor, Johann Beckmann and Talcott Parsons, use the language of means and ends to describe technology. They see it as a tool that can be used for either good or evil. Values-based thinkers, such as Plato and Aristotle, reject the instrumentalist approach to technology. They advocate that it should be used for the advancement of moral and ethical principles, such as equity and justice.

The concept of technology has changed dramatically over the course of history. Initially, it simply referred to the use of natural resources to help humans survive and thrive. But today, the word is a broad term that encompasses the invention of all kinds of tools, machines, and devices. The invention of fire and the wheel, for example, increased access to food, reduced the distance between homes, and allowed people to communicate with each other more effectively. These changes had a significant impact on humanity’s development.

A key feature of technology is that it tends to prioritize some paths and deprioritize others. As a result, it can be difficult to identify which technologies are actually ‘good’ or ‘bad’. For example, when digital cameras became widespread, analogue photography was deprioritized and its associated behaviors, such as the time-consuming but gratifying process of physically retouching images in a darkroom, were made more difficult to carry out.

When it comes to education, technology is increasingly being used in the classroom as a way to engage students and improve their learning. However, it is important to note that technology should not serve as a replacement for the teacher. Instead, teachers should focus on creating engaging and accessible lessons that are designed to complement the technology. It is also crucial to set expectations for student behavior, as well as provide opportunities for students to practice using the technology before they are expected to independently use it in class. This will help prevent the negative effects of technology in the classroom, such as distractions and lack of focus.

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