What Is Technology?


Technology refers to the use of tools or techniques for accomplishing a practical goal. It includes both tangible tools such as utensils and machines, and intangible ones like software. It is an important part of science, engineering, and everyday life. It has a long history, starting with stone tools and progressing through the ages to today’s cars, airplanes, and computers. It is a vital element of modern society and has many advantages over other forms of living, but it can also have negative effects on humans.

Technological development occurs through a process of experimentation and iteration. It is rare for a scientific discovery to be immediately useful; rather, it must be worked on and refined in order to become usable technology. This is why seemingly promising early technologies often stall midway through the development process, a phenomenon known as “death valley”.

Modern technology refers to any form of advanced scientific or mechanical equipment. It is used for increasing productivity, efficiency, and accuracy in business or industrial settings. Examples include robots, computers, and high-speed Internet connections. It can also refer to medical equipment like MRI scanners or remote patient monitoring devices.

The word ‘technology’ derives from the Greek word techne, which means ‘art’ or ‘craft’. In earlier times, a technology might grow out of personal experience with the properties of things and the techniques for manipulating them. It could also come from accumulated practical knowledge, such as the skills of a single craftsman or the ‘know how’ passed down to apprentices over generations.

It is a central part of every culture, and it reflects the values of that culture. It can be both good and bad, but it is always present. It can help solve problems, but it can also create new ones. The key is to use it wisely.

Using technology in the classroom allows students to collaborate with other members of the class and with those in other countries around the world. It makes it easier for students to communicate and learn from each other, and it provides them with a way to access information that would be impossible to find in the real world.

In his book ‘Technology, Values and Society’, Eric Schatzberg writes that there are two sharply diverging traditions in the ways that people talk about technology. The first is an instrumentalist approach that reduces it to the process of finding the best means to a specific end. This approach ignores the importance of values and morality in the choice of means, and it leads to determinist views of technology as self-directed and detached from human control. The other tradition, he argues, is the cultural view of technology, which sees it as an integral part of human social life.