How a basic understanding of technology and its working can improve performance in all shperes of life.
“Technology is the wave of the future.” this statement is no longer true, technology is the wave of present. In the contemporary times the reach of technology has increased to all domains. Thus increasing the complexity and intensity of all environments. Since schools are place where a student learn about the human made world, its important that schools also teach them about technology, on which this world is relying so much.
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) , while redefining its definition of literacy in the 21st century, observed that :
“Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to:”
Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
In this context the Technological literacy doesn’t refer to just fucntionng and replication of technology, but the term literacy here implies that the learners will be able to function effectively in a society that is heavily relying on technology.
Even the adults find the growing gap between technology literacy hard to tackle with. Even for them technology is just some “black box”. The gap between information and understanding is thus widening.
“It provides valuable opportunities for children to tackle practical problems which transcend arbitrary boundaries of practical problems which transcend arbitrary boundaries of specialized subject areas, while inviting rich use of specialized subject areas, while inviting rich use of imagination.” (Dunn & Larson, 1989, p. 13).”
Technology Education in the Classroom (1995), defines technology as follows :
“Technology involves the application of knowledge, resources, materials, tools, and information in designing, resources, materials, tools, and information in designing, producing, and using products, structures (physical and producing, and using products, structures (physical and social), and systems to extend human capability to control social), and systems to extend human capability to control and modify natural and human and modify natural and human -made environments.”
In other words technology is not just limited to electronics and computers, but all the things that people do to their natural environment to get the things to work.
The nature of study of creation and execution of technology is fundamentally hands-on. The hands-on approach inculcates a sense of achievement which in turn improves the motivation for self learning among learners. When students is involved in hands-on learning, the education appeals in many more ways than traditional lectures. Kinesthetic and visual senses all are at peak of their activity.
Technology education focuses on practice, asking ‘what makes’ and ‘how to’, and thus is immediately useful.