Technology is the study of techniques that improve our lives. The term tekhnology derives from Greek tekhne, meaning “tool,” and -logia, “to learn.” This discipline encompasses all kinds of technologies that are not naturally occurring. In this way, it is not merely an academic subject but a way of life. There are many ways that technology affects the world we live in. Here are some examples of technology’s impacts.
Agricultural technology has shaped human civilization. Improvements in sanitation and preventive medicine have facilitated population control. Technology has helped us get through wars and revolutionized communication. It also has contributed to increased urbanization and dramatic economic interdependence of communities all over the world. And it continues to shape human life and the way we live it. As a result, technology is integral to our lives, both in the present and in the past. It shapes and reflects our values and influences our lives.
Technology also plays an important role in the sciences. It provides the eyes and ears of scientists, and a portion of the muscle. High-end technology, such as electronic computers, has contributed to substantial advancements in complex systems. Technology aids in data collection, measurement, sample treatment, computation, and transportation to research sites. It helps us protect ourselves from toxic chemicals, while advancing our knowledge. Technology has also made it easier for scientists to create new instruments and techniques.
Throughout our daily lives, technology is present in everything we use. From the synthetic materials that make up a mattress to the electrical systems that power them, technology plays a huge role in our lives. The bed might even be made of a synthetic material, or a spring underneath. Even the toilet, bathroom fan, and sink water system are examples of technology. All of these technological objects make our lives easier and more comfortable. We can’t imagine life without them.
When we teach technology, we should aim to promote balanced perceptions of technology. While it is essential to introduce new concepts, it is also vital to make sure that students understand the fundamental ‘big ideas’ in the field. The PATT questionnaire, for example, revealed that the majority of students have only a partial conception of technology. Instead of presenting technology as a black box that makes everything else invisible, we should teach our students how to think about the world through its core concepts.
What are the costs and benefits of new technologies? First, consider the costs of building or operating a new technology. Both benefits and costs may be different over time, and the main beneficiaries will only reap a small portion of the rewards. Moreover, new technologies may also have adverse effects. They could endanger other species or the environment. It is important to understand the impact of new technologies, because they can cause trouble if not used correctly. You should not rely on new technology unless you’re prepared to make compromises.
Then think about what you can do with the new knowledge and insights. In the meantime, think about how you can use it to better our society. You can find out how to make technology work better for you in this book. You’ll be glad you did. There are many ways to use technology in your life and you can use it to do it. But the first step in rehabilitating technology is to acknowledge that it does. It is the best starting point to a more meaningful discussion of technology.