Almost everyone uses technology every day, whether it’s using the Internet on a tablet or a smartwatch. It’s important to understand how each type of technology works so that you can make the best decisions about your own personal and professional uses. The Open University Computing and IT qualifications can help you develop an understanding of the different types of technology that are used in society.
Technology is the development and application of knowledge to solve human problems or meet practical goals. The word comes from the Greek techne, which originally meant skills in working with wood but later came to mean a broad class of industrial arts. Today we use the term more narrowly, to refer to scientific and technological change. Technology has an immense impact on society and our daily lives. For example, the invention of fire increased the availability of food, while advances in transportation enabled humans to move more freely and socialize on a larger scale. Technology also helps create advanced economies, but some technologies also cause harm to the natural environment and challenge traditional morals.
There is a long history of philosophical debate over the role of technology in society. Neo-Luddism and anarcho-primitivism claim that technology harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological advancement as beneficial to humanity. It’s important to consider these debates when considering the use of technology in your own life and teaching.