What is Technology?

Below is an excerpt from a paper I recently gave at an education conference.  For citations and the full paper go here. (Yes, I did cite myself). :)


Too often technology is simply viewed as electronic and digital technologies.  When asking prospective administrators about their considerations for technology use in schools, Buckmiller & Kruse (2011) found that not a single participant mentioned any technology other than digital technologies and the Internet.  This narrow focus ignores many other technological aspects of school and their effect on learning.  DiGironimo (2011) uses a three-pronged framework to understand technology: technology as artifacts, technology as a creation process, and technology as a human practice. Reflecting these broader ideas, the National Academy of Engineering (2009) notes that technology includes:  practical knowledge, innovation, human activities, and systems of components.


Kruse (2012) makes clear why having more robust definitions of technology are important for educators:

If educators adopt a more robust view of what constitutes technology, the technology that affects our schools includes: Carnegie Units, bell schedules, curriculum maps, and age-based promotion, in addition to the digital technologies usually considered.  Each of these technologies deserves our scrutiny.  Sadly, like the digital technologies we see being mindlessly implemented today, the technologies that have come to define our educational system were likely adopted in much the same way – based on popularity or novelty rather than deep consideration of how student learning might be enhanced or disturbed.  If technology includes all these systems and methods as well as tools, understanding how technology will affect learning environments is perhaps the most important knowledge set educators must acquire.

This entry was posted in Education Research, Nature of Teaching, Nature of technology, Technology in the Classroom and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What is Technology?

  1. Pingback: Defining Technology | Crescat scientia; vita excolatur

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