Technology is an important topic for everyone because it impacts how we interact with each other and the natural world. It’s also a topic that many people feel strongly about – and there are lots of different viewpoints on what it is, how it works and what it does.
In general, when people talk about technology they tend to think of gadgets like mobile phones, the internet and TV’s – as well as things like robots or self-driving cars. It’s not surprising that this kind of technology has a fairly narrow meaning – but there is actually a lot more to the word technology than just gadgetry.
The more accurate definition of technology is about how knowledge is creatively applied to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. This is a broad definition that covers a wide range of technologies – from traditional hand tools to advanced medical equipment. It also applies to the use of information technology (IT) within organisations – including computers, networks and software.
One of the biggest advantages of technology is that it allows us to do things faster and more easily than we could before. Technology can also help us to save time and money – for example, by automating tasks that used to be done manually, or by allowing us to access more of the world’s knowledge online. For example, with digital technology, we can instantly stay in touch with friends and family around the world, or take lessons from teachers in a foreign language.
Another advantage of technology is that it enables us to live longer and healthier lives. Technological discoveries have allowed doctors to make significant progress in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and strokes. They have helped to increase the average human life expectancy from 52.5 years in the 1960s to 72 today.
But there are disadvantages to technology as well. Some people are concerned that the development of new technologies may lead to a reduction in jobs, or that some jobs will become obsolete altogether. There is also concern about the impact of technology on children. Some parents fear that social media and other online technologies are damaging the way their children are developing emotionally.
Technology is important to the lives of all of us, but it is important to be aware of the potential disadvantages and how to manage them. Understanding how technology works is vital for anyone who works in the field of IT, but it is equally important for everyone else who uses technologies in their working and private lives. For example, knowing how technology works can help you to avoid problems such as malware and data breaches. The Open University’s Computing and IT qualifications provide the essential skills you need to understand and apply technology safely and securely. You can find more information about our courses by clicking the links below.