Technology is a hugely influential and evolving area of human endeavour. Understanding it is important not only for those who develop and research new technologies, but also for all those who use them in their daily lives. Technology is a broad term that can refer to anything from a crowbar to a particle accelerator, but it can also encompass things like computer software and business methods.
Generally, when people talk about technology they are discussing how knowledge is creatively applied to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. This approach to technology is called instrumentalist, and it contrasts with other ways of thinking about technology, which are more concerned with values and social context.
As technology evolved, it became increasingly specialised, with tools and machines being created for specific purposes. Increasingly, such technology developed into an integral part of society, shaping and reflecting cultural values. The inventions of the bow and arrow, gunpowder, the printing press, steam power, electricity, automobiles and microprocessors have all profoundly changed the way that humans live and work, as well as their interactions with each other and the natural world.
It is difficult to consider any aspect of human life without finding some technological influence. For example, writing and communication have become highly influenced by the technology of writing and printing; music and art are shaped by the technological developments of musical instruments and computers; and commerce is now based on the technologies of banking, credit cards and electronic transactions.
The development of technology is a multifaceted process that involves many different disciplines and professions. These include scientists, engineers, designers, craftspeople, labourers, managers, financial analysts and economists, and marketers. In the modern sense of the word, it is also a process that includes education and training.
In education, technology can provide students with a variety of learning opportunities that may be otherwise unavailable. For example, the technology of interactive games and online resources can help students engage in active learning. This can be particularly helpful for students who learn best with visual and hands-on activities.
Educational technology can also make teachers’ jobs easier by allowing them to create new types of assignments. For example, the use of the Prodigy adaptive math game can help students progress at their own pace and provides a more personalized learning experience.
It is important to remember that technology should not replace a teacher. It is essential for students to interact with teachers who can provide them with guidance and feedback. In addition, it is important for teachers to spend time ensuring that the technology they are using in class is working correctly.
It is also important to note that technology can have a number of costs associated with it. The initial investment can be expensive, and then there are the ongoing costs of operation, maintenance, repair and replacement. Training personnel to operate and support technology is another significant cost, especially when the technology changes rapidly.