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Technological Literacy And Empowerment: Exemplars From The History Of Technology

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Defining Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological Literacy Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1238.1 - 11.1238.12



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Paper Authors


W. Bernard Carlson University of Virginia

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W. Bernard Carlson is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments in the School of Engineering and the History Department. His primary fields are the history of technology and business and his research focuses on how inventors, engineers, and managers used technology to create big business between 1870 and 1920. His most recent book is Technology in World History, 7 vols. (Oxford University Press, 2005). With support from the Sloan Foundation, he is currently writing a biography of the inventor Nikola Tesla.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


that those of us shaping technological literacy need to recognize now that the only way to teach this broader form of technological literacy is to work together to create materials that integrate how the machine works with how people use the machine. Engineers, historians of technology, and STS scholars must collaborate to create case studies that will teach students not only technical principles but also empower them to use technology to change the world. That's what technological literacy can--and should--do.


1W. Bernard Carlson, ed., Technology in World History, 7 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). Hereafter cited as TWH. 2 David E. Nye, America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003).

3 Carlson, "Industrial America," TWH, 5:76-83. 4 Brooke Hindle and Steven Lubar, Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986).

5 June Sprigg and David Larkin, Shaker: Life, Work, and Art. (New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1987). 6 Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine. Vol. 1: Technics and Human Development (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1966).

7 Francesca Bray, "Ancient China," TWH, 2:22-34. 8 Bruno Latour, "Where are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts" in W. E. Bijker and J. Law, Eds., Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992), 225-258.

9 Chandra Mukerji, Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

10 Jonathan Coopersmith, "Nazi Germany and Soviet Union," TWH, 6:60-63. 11 Carlson, "Early Modern Europe," TWH, 5:25. 12 Francesca Bray, "Imperial China," TWH, 4:68. 13 Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Cambridge: Perseus, 2002).

14 Entry on EDSA II, Wikipedia. Last modified 13 Jan. 2006.

Carlson, W. B. (2006, June), Technological Literacy And Empowerment: Exemplars From The History Of Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--691

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