Understanding Technology's Impact

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The following is a sample standard in the "technology and society" category of the new national "Standards for Technological Literacy," released by the International Technology Education Association:

Students will develop an understanding of the cultural, social, economic, and political effects of technology. Students should learn that ...

Grades K-2:

  • The use of tools and machines can be helpful or harmful.

Grades 3-5:

  • When using technology, results can be good or bad.
  • The use of technology can have unintended consequences.

Grades 6-8:

  • The use of technology affects humans in various ways, including their safety, comfort, choices, and attitudes about technology's development and use.
  • Technology, by itself, is neither good nor bad, but decisions about the use of products and systems can result in desirable or undesirable consequences.
  • The development and use of technology poses ethical issues. Economic, political, and cultural issues are influenced by the development and use of technology.

Grades 9-12:

  • Changes caused by the use of technology can range from gradual to rapid and from subtle to obvious.
  • Making decisions about the use of technology involves weighing the trade-offs between the positive and negative effects.
  • Ethical considerations are important in the development, selection, and use of technologies.
  • The transfer of a technology from one society to another can cause cultural, social, economic, and political changes affecting both societies to varying degrees.

Vol. 19, Issue 31, Page 18

Published in Print: April 12, 2000, as Understanding Technology's Impact
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