What is "technology"?
Each week I'll try to excerpt some good things from student critical response journals and open them up for wider discussion. This morning I was reading the blog from "advee" entitled 676=676 and thought we might like to mull over a point this student raises:
In a conversation, we say 'technology' and think we know what we're talking about. For instance, I often tell people that I'm interested in technology and its effects on writing, or that I'm interested in teaching with technology. But this often goes unprobed. Does this mean that I am interested in computers? Are computers just those processor/keyboard/screen combinations produced by Dell and Gateway and Apple? Or what about ipods and projectors and, better yet, pencils? In short, I really have no idea what I'm talking about when I say 'technology.' But no one calls me on it.
What do the rest of you think technology means -- or should mean? Or perhaps a better question is, if we think there have been significant (if not "revolutionary") changes in political, economic, and social life in the last few decades in part due to new technology, how have those changes affected our very definition of technology itself? (That's like a PhD prelim question right there for ya.)