What is Technology?
Technology is the creative application of knowledge to organised tasks involving people and machines in order to meet sustainable goals. It encompasses a wide range of tools and devices like computers, mobile phones, printers and the Internet – but can also extend to more complex tools such as robots and self-driving cars.
The most significant changes to human life and nature have often been driven by technology. The invention of stone tools increased the available food supply; changes in farming, sanitation and preventive medicine helped to control population growth; the wheel reduced the distance over which humans could travel; bows and arrows gave way to gunpowder and then nuclear explosives; and today technology has transformed how people write, compute, bank, conduct research, communicate and interact with one another.
A key aspect of technology is that it prioritizes certain routes and ends over others. This is why it is sometimes necessary for a technology to displace an existing route or end, such as when digital cameras replaced film cameras and darkrooms. However, it’s important to understand that the elimination of an existing technology is not necessarily a bad thing.
Many different technologies operate at the same time and interact with each other in diverse ways. For example, the smartphone combines several different technology types: radio transmitter and receiver, microprocessor, screen, speaker and camera. Other examples of technology include IoT-driven museums and blockchain games. In the classroom, technology can be used to motivate students and support their learning, for example by enabling them to communicate with classmates remotely, or use apps that allow them to access audio and video material.