Technology refers to the knowledge and skills that enable human beings to adapt to their environment and control material resources to satisfy needs and wants. Technology can be used to create new products, to improve existing ones, or to repair or maintain them. It can also be used to create machines or processes that are new. Technological advances have dramatically impacted the human race, and have helped us to reach new levels of productivity. However, it is important to remember that any innovation has both good and bad implications.
Historically, technological innovations grew out of personal experimentation with the properties and manipulation of materials, or out of the accumulated know-how handed down by individual practitioners over many generations. Increasingly, technological innovation arises out of scientific understanding as well.
The most important determinant of what technologies will be developed is not the inventive genius of individual designers, but rather the social and economic forces that shape how much attention, investment, and use a given technology will receive. These include factors such as the cost of developing and introducing the technology, its perceived usefulness and value to society, its likely side effects (including disadvantages to some individuals and disruption of natural environments), and its ethical implications (including risks to subsequent generations). An optimum engineering design is one that achieves a reasonable compromise among these constraints.
Almost all aspects of modern business, whether in manufacturing, service delivery, or even marketing, rely on technology. A business’s use of technology to improve efficiency and profitability is known as information technology or IT. IT is an increasingly important area of business management, and is often seen as a key differentiator between successful and failing businesses.
Many of the world’s most admired companies have established themselves as leaders in their respective industries by implementing IT as part of their overall strategy. In the past, businesses that were unwilling to invest in technology or feared that it could threaten their bottom line have fallen behind their competitors. Today, the vast majority of businesses recognize the importance of IT and are actively working to improve their IT capabilities.
Education is another important sector of the economy that benefits from technology. Computers and the Internet provide teachers with a powerful tool to connect with students in a way that was not possible before. This new form of communication allows for students to understand curriculum material in a way that is relevant to their lives and interests. Additionally, students can look back at these messages at any time to refresh their memories or explore related topics.
In addition, the use of technology in the classroom helps prepare students for the technical working conditions they will encounter once they leave school. This is particularly crucial, as more and more jobs require some level of technical skill. As a result, the use of technology in schools is a critical component of any curriculum.