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What is Technology?


Lesson Title: What is Technology?

"Broadly speaking, technology is how people modify the natural world to suit their own purposes. From the Greek word techne, meaning art or artifice or craft, technology literally means the act of making or crafting, but more generally it refers to the diverse collection of processes and knowledge that people use to extend human abilities and to satisfy human needs and wants."
(Excerpt from Standards for Technological Literacy, ITEA, 2000)

There are many definitions of technology and many misrepresentations of what technology is meant to be. On this page you will find the terms and definitions that we use in order to discuss this widely misunderstood term.


Technology Definition #1:  Human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities.


Technology Definition #2: The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.


Technology Definition #3: Technology is the application of knowledge, tools, and skills to solve problems and extend human capabilities.

Technological Literacy —

The ability to use, manage, understand, and assess technology.


Technology Education —

A study of technology, which provides an opportunity for students to learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology that are needed to solve problems and extend human capabilities.


What is a System?

A system is a group of resources (people, information, tools, energy, capital, time, materials) working together for a purpose


What is a Technology System?

A technology system is a group of resources working together, using or producing technology to solve problems and extend human capabilities.


Technology Systems are Diverse

        A technology system may be very simple or it may be very complex.

        It may be very small or it may be very large.


What is the purpose of math, science, and technology?



What is it? (A) Science is the process for studying the universe.

What is it for? (A) Science is for answering questions and giving us understanding.



What is it? (A) Math is a number tool

What is it for? (A) Math is for measuring, analyzing, describing, predicting and communicating.



What is it? (A)Technology is things and systems created by people.

What is it for? (A)Technology is for solving problems to meet our needs and wants.


Comparing Problem Solving in Science

  • Inputs are problems in the form of questions.
  • Process involves experimenting, manipulating variables, data collecting and data analyzing.
  • Output Products are knowledge and understanding.
  • Feedback evaluates the answers to questions, and raises new questions

Comparing Problem Solving in Technology

  • Inputs are problems in the form of needs or desires.
  • Process involves combining resources to accomplish objectives.
  • Output products are hardware and software.
  • Feedback evaluates the achievement of objectives and leads to greater achievement

 What are some applications of Technology Systems?

v     Manufacturing

v     Construction

v     Transportation

v     Information and Communication

v     Health and Medicine

v     Agriculture

v     Energy

v     Finance

Vocabulary Terms


  1. innovation
  2. knowledge
  3. process
  4. systems 
  5. change
  6. modification
  7. environment
  8. needs
  9. wants
  10. tools
  11. skills
  12. Technological Literacy
  13. Technology Education
  14. Science
  15. Math
  16. Manufacturing
  17. Construction
  18. Transportation
  19. Information and Communication
  20. Health and Medicine
  21. Agriculture
  22. Energy
  23. Finance
Review Questions
Related Internet Links

Lesson Title
Vocabulary Terms
Review Questions
Related Internet Links