When we write about technology in an article, we’re essentially defining its role. The technology we use is instrumental, because it allows us to choose a means to an end, rather than a specific end. This allows us to use the full range of our human creativity to craft these means, and our values shape our articulation of the ends. It can be meaningful and rich enough to meet our technological needs while remaining relevant to human values.
The term ‘technology’ itself has a history that can help us understand how we use it. The term came from German engineering and social scientists, who sought to understand its role in society. Walter Sombart, for example, argued that the relationship between technological development and social change was bidirectional, a view similar to the critique of technological determinism that swept the humanities and the arts in the 1960s. In 1860, William Barton Rogers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed the term. Perhaps he heard it while visiting Edinburgh University in 1857.
There are many ways in which technology is defined in articles. Some perspectives focus on vocational education and industrial arts; others define it as the product of engineering. Still others focus on educational technology. Computational thinking and computing are also important components of technology-based education. In a science-educational article, students are encouraged to use technology to solve problems and develop knowledge. A writer should also be aware of how technology helps students learn.