Technology education

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1 Definition

Technology education refers to teaching and learning of technology, e.g. ICT as a subject.

  • Technology education is relevant for educational technology, since some technology must be taught before it can be "used".

2 Technological literacy

There are standards for technological literacy. Below we just present two that chose randomly.

2.1 The US Technology Content Standards

The listing of STL Contents Standards shows that scope of what can be meant by "technology education" (see also the ITEA full standard document and that also proposes curricula plans for all school levels).

The Nature of Technology
Standard 1. Students will develop an understanding of the characteristics and scope of technology.
Standard 2. Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
Standard 3. Students will develop an understanding of the relationships among technologies and the connections between technology and other fields of study.
Technology and Society
Standard 4. Students will develop an understanding of the cultural, social, economic, and political effects of technology.
Standard 5. Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.
Standard 6. Students will develop an understanding of the role of society in the development and use of technology.
Standard 7. Students will develop an understanding of the influence of technology on history.
Design
Standard 8. Students will develop an understanding of the attributes of design.
Standard 9. Students will develop an understanding of engineering design.
Standard 10. Students will develop an understanding of the role of troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.
Abilities for a Technological World
Standard 11. Students will develop abilities to apply the design process.
Standard 12. Students will develop abilities to use and maintain technological products and systems.
Standard 13. Students will develop abilities to assess the impact of products and systems.
The Designed World
Standard 14. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use medical technologies.
Standard 15. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use agricultural and related biotechnologies.
Standard 16. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use energy and power technologies.
Standard 17. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies.
Standard 18. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use transportation technologies.
Standard 19. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use manufacturing technologies.
Standard 20. Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use construction technologies.

2.2 The European Computer Driving License (ECDL)

In contrast to the above, ECDL is a very low profile ICT qualification that demonstrates competence in essential computer skills & knowledge. Below is a copy/paste list (sorry) from INSRV/University of Cardif:

Module 1 - Concepts of Information Technology (IT)
  • general knowledge of the main it concepts
  • the software and hardware components of a personal computer
  • general knowledge of networking, applications, security, virus protection, legal issues and health and safety
Module 2 - Using the Computer and Managing Files
  • ability to use a computer and its operating system
  • use of tools such as print management, virus protection and compression software
  • ability to adjust settings, access help, restart your computer from failure
  • organise files and folders and operate in a desktop environment
Module 3 - Word Processing
  • ability to use a word processing application, e.g. Microsoft Word
  • tasks include creating, formatting, and finishing small documents, use of cut and paste, copy and moving, generating tables, pictures & images
  • ability to perform a mail merge
Module 4 - Spreadsheets
  • ability to use a spreadsheet application, e.g. Microsoft Excel
  • understand the concepts of a worksheet or spreadsheet
  • tasks include formatting and modifying a simple spreadsheet, applying formulas and creating graphs and charts
Module 5 - Databases
  • ability to use a database application, e.g. Microsoft Access
  • understand the primary concepts of a database
  • tasks include, creating and modifying tables, queries, forms and reports, relating tables, manipulating and retrieving information using sort tools and queries, managing output from the database
Module 6 - Presentations
  • ability to create a presentation using a suitable application, e.g. PowerPoint
  • create, format and prepare slide shows for presentation
  • tasks include manipulation of text, inclusion of pictures and images, creating simple drawn objects and charts, ability to animate a presentation
Module 7 - Information and Communication
  • ability to use the World Wide Web
  • understand basic concepts of the Internet including security issues
  • tasks include the use of search engine tools to locate and retrieve information, completion of a web based form
  • ability to use email and understand simple concepts including security issues
  • tasks include ability to create, send and receive emails, techniques such as reply to and forwarding of emails, handling of attached files and the organisation of message folders

Note: ECDL also promotes other standards, e.g. advanced ICT or CAD.

3 Technological literacy of teachers

It is often speculated that technology literacy of teachers is an important variable that explains whether they use educational technology in the classroom.

DSchneider (from his own experience) doesn't believe computer literacy to be an important variable. It may explain why some totally technology illiterate teachers don't use technology. But in our own surveys we did not find any linear correlation between technical skills and ICT use in the classroom.

4 Links

  • Hierarchy of Skills A skills table for Kindergarten and primary school by Lincoln School's Technology Plan

5 References

ITEA, Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology, (2000) Reprinted 2002 - PDF