What Is Technology?

Technology is the application of knowledge creatively and organisationally to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. It encompasses a wide range of methods, materials and devices that enhance the quality of life and improve productivity. It also includes a range of technical arts, such as computer programming, artificial intelligence, and design.

Technology enables us to transform the natural world, as well as our own lives and human relationships. This is reflected in the way our society is evolving and changing, and it is important to understand how technology can impact the way we live and work.

Using technology in the classroom is one of the most innovative ways to modernise teaching. It connects students to curriculum, classroom resources, and one another, as well as allowing teachers to assess their student’s progress through online grading systems and student attendance records. It can also facilitate communication between students and parents, with tools such as email and forums keeping lines of communication open.

The word technology comes from two Greek words, techne and logos. The former means art, skill, or craft; the latter refers to the expression of inward thought. The earliest use of the term was in reference to prehistoric tools, such as stone axes and spearheads that allowed humans to survive. More recent technological advances, such as the printing press and the telephone, have reduced the physical barriers to human interaction, enabling the spread of ideas across geographical regions. However, not all technologies are beneficial to humankind: the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has propelled a number of dystopian literary classics, such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange.

Despite the broad definition of technology, the precise nature of what qualifies as such is not easy to pin down. There are two sharply diverging traditions of talking about it: an instrumental approach that focuses on the means and ends of human actions; and an ideational approach that focuses on the meaning and value of the things that humans produce and exchange.

For example, science is considered to be a form of technology because it uses formal techniques such as the scientific method to discover enduring principles. Engineering, by contrast, combines science with the goal of creating new and useful tools, products and machines, drawing on scientific, mathematical, linguistic and historical knowledge to achieve this. However, there are also many cases where the boundaries between science and engineering are blurred, as in the case of nuclear energy, which is a mixture of scientific and engineering principles. This has led to a growing interest in the study of technoculture, which examines how technology is used and experienced in society. The concept of technoculture arose in the 1960s and 1970s, and has since become an important aspect of research in the field of humanities and social sciences. It is particularly relevant to the areas of history and sociology, and has implications for understanding the evolution of culture.