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Technological Literacy And First Year Courses For Engineering And Engineering Technology Majors

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Technological Literacy - Courses, Educational and Accreditation Standards

Tagged Division

Technological Literacy Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1193.1 - 15.1193.9



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Paper Authors

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John Blake Austin Peay State University

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

Technological Literacy and First Year Courses for Engineering and Engineering Technology Majors Abstract Technological literacy courses and programs have the goal of educating people about technology. These courses do not focus on developing specific abilities to use some form of technology. Rather, these courses address broader questions and issues, such as the answer to the question of what is technology, and understanding how technology is developed and improved over time. A technologically literate person has learned to recognize the importance of technology in our lives, our collective ability to direct or restrict technological change, and the importance of economic, social, legal, and public policy considerations.

One thrust in technological literacy education has been to teach this subject to people who are not pursuing majors in engineering and technology. This has unique challenges, including the challenge of overcoming the sense of intimidation that seems to come with engineering courses. The topics being taught here are not only important for non-majors. Student pursuing degrees in engineering and engineering technology also need to develop technological literacy. While their major courses will focus on specific aspects of the student’s chosen area of engineering and technology, especially on developing the student’s abilities in analysis, design, and application of technology, these students also need to develop an understanding of the connections between technology and society.

Many institutions require new engineering and engineering technology students to take at least one first year course in the major. These courses are intended to introduce students to the subject of engineering and technology, to help them see the road ahead to the degree, and to assist the student in developing some basic abilities needed for future courses. This course is also likely to be expected to cover certain EAC or TAC of ABET program learning outcomes. This first year course often plays an important role in teaching prospective majors about engineering and technology, and may be more likely to cover broad issues of technology and society than upper level, major-specific courses.

The first year course is likely to include significant coverage of technological literacy in the course content. This link with technological literacy may or may not be recognized. The author has taught introductory level courses and an upper level course focusing on technological literacy for non-majors. This paper will explore links between the two types of courses and the concept of teaching technological literacy as a framework for material in first year courses. Finally, the paper will also discuss carrying the concept of teaching technological literacy throughout the curriculum.

Blake, J. (2010, June), Technological Literacy And First Year Courses For Engineering And Engineering Technology Majors Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16613

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