June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Technological Literacy Constituent Committee
15.1255.1 - 15.1255.9
The Social, Economic, and Political Impact of Technology: An Historical Perspective
Our modern lives are filled with technologies. In fact, they have become so integrated into our lives that many of them are frequently used but never really thought about. Few people stop to consider that civilization once lived on without them. Many of these technologies are so common today that they have become almost invisible. The impact of technology on our lives is substantial, even though it may not be obvious, understood, or even considered. For many, it is simply accepted. Technologies have changed the way people live, work, and play. However, this is not a new phenomenon. Technology has changed civilization in many ways throughout all of history. Today, few people stop to consider the social, economic, and political impact technology has had on our lives. To address this issue, an interdisciplinary junior level course has been created that explores a historical perspective of the development of technology in a global context. The social, political, economic and cultural impacts of technologies are explored to determine their positive and negative effects. In this context the two biggest technology drivers of agriculture and war are studied in detail. Through innovations agriculture was able to produce more food allowing populations to grow. While new inventions created more effective and devastating weapons of war used to kill and destroy. Throughout the course, numerous technologies are scrutinized and examined in terms of their cost versus benefit to society. It also investigates how technologies are inter-related and how cultural factors affect the acceptance or rejection of technology. The intent of the course was to enhance the student’s understanding of how technologies developed and why. The material covered helps the student to understand and recognize our dependence on technology and its impact on our lives. In this course the students study the past development, use and effects of technology in order to be better prepared for the new technologies of the future.
Throughout history, new inventions and innovations have produced more food, created new tools, made life easier, and war more devastating. Today technology influences and affects every aspect of our life. However, we often forget that it profoundly affected the lives of past generations dating back to the beginning of civilization. Perhaps not to today’s extent, but the impact was still dramatic.
An interdisciplinary course was created a number of years ago (Loendorf5) that explores a historical perspective of the development of technology in a global context. This junior level course (TECH 393), titled Technology in World Civilization, traces the interconnected events and cultures in which technology developed. It investigates how technologies are inter-related and how cultural factors affect the acceptance or rejection of technology. The intent of the course was to enhance the student’s understanding of how technologies developed, why they were used, and their impact on society. This course traces the evolution of technology and its impact on
Loendorf, W. (2010, June), The Social, Economic, And Political Impact Of Technology: An Historical Perspective Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16269
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