What is technology? For those not acquainted with this question, it pertains to any devices, machines, programs, or elements used in combination to accomplish a particular purpose. It is very broad and covers many areas. For instance, computer technology refers to the use of machines to store, manipulate, retrieve, and analyze information or data. It is also commonly known as information technology.
Technological definition varies among dictionaries and does not always coincide with the layman’s meaning. For this reason, it is important to understand the source of the definitions. Some popular usage examples are technological: in use today or already in use; of application in certain circumstances or for a specific purpose; an invention which transforms an existing process or product into something new, etc. Others use the term in a broader sense to describe the actual physical objects that comprise the technological system.
Broad and more common usage examples of what is technology are telephones, automobiles, computers, satellites, watches, personal computers, microwaves, and various communication methods and equipment. The most accurate definition is, “the entire set of knowledge and skills associated with the use of things created by man.” However, even in this broad definition there are still some inevitable exceptions. There are different types of technology and there are some who are considered technological breakthroughs.
One of the most common definitions is technological systems approach. Systems approach is how individuals and institutions form relationships with each other, making use of technology to create new and improved systems for societal needs. It usually starts with what is technology and how people interact with it. After defining the general characteristics of what is technology, chapters on social systems are then introduced to discuss different aspects of these systems.
Another common definition is applied science. Applied science refers to specific fields of study that embrace what is technology and who uses it. A common applied science definition is technology assessment, which attempts to assess the value of technology across the spectrum of its application and impact. In engineering and computer science, applied scientists examine the relationship between technology and society as a whole.
A definition of what is technology can also be a definition of what is knowledge. Knowledge is defined as the process of receiving, obtaining, acting upon, understanding, and using that which has been correctly described. For example, scientific theories is a collection of understood facts about nature, which are then tested and re-tested based on new discoveries. Knowledge is not only scientific but also artistic and cultural in nature. While theories is a fact and a collection of facts, knowledge is always changeable, which is what separates knowledge from falsified information.
The third most common definition is technology transfer. This is also a definition of what is technology, because it is a process of transferring or utilizing technology. Transfer can take place in many different forms, for instance, transferring data or information from one technological system to another, what is technology today can be considered tomorrow, what is technology today can be called current day, what is technology tomorrow can be called future day, etc. In other words, what is technology today can be described as present day, what is technology tomorrow can be described as historical footage, etc.
The fourth most common definition is general technological studies. A number of universities and colleges use a version of this definition, which is usually called applied science. Applied science describes applied research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Most applied sciences require thesis and research projects in which data is accumulated and analyzed in order to determine how technology affects society, industry, and our world as a whole. An applied science major focuses on how technology affects society, industries, and a world-wide perspective.