A Cultural Approach to the Analysis of Technology in Schools

Technology is a constantly changing field with new applications being introduced on a daily basis. The world of technology has made great strides forward when it comes to communication, information, energy, transportation, manufacturing, medicine, electronics, communications, and a plethora of other areas. Technology is an ever-expanding field and is continually changing the way we live our lives. Technological change is playing a vital role in society and the world at large.

Technology in education has become an important factor in today’s society. Technology in education helps to enhance the quality of life for students. Students are becoming increasingly computer literate with the increasing use of web based resources and technology. Teaching technology provides a broad yet complex framework for teachers to incorporate teaching practices that are effective yet innovative. It also helps educators cut across these different technologies by creating a seamless learning environment. Broad technological patterns emerge from cross disciplinary research, technological integration, and technological experimentation.

The goal of this project was to develop five broad technological patterns which can be seen throughout the developed world. The resulting technologies can help educators design and apply a complete methodology for teaching technology literacy. When combined with existing research and practices, these technologies provide an integrated methodology for the teaching of technology. They allow for the seamless implementation of various principles regarding the design, organization, operation, maintenance, and adoption of technology.

A broad pattern for teaching technology fields looks at the relationships between technology, teachers, technology usage, curriculum development, and student learning. Teachers create lesson content through both designing and deploying content management systems, including content, videos, documents, and interactive media. The teacher also uses technology in the classroom, using handouts, notes, and electronic forms for lesson design, assignment scheduling, and discussion boards. Technology is also used to support instruction through the provision of multimedia experiences, curriculum development and assessment, and the delivery of student work.

The second broad pattern focuses on the processes involved in integrating technology with students. There are three critical stages involved in the process: application, collaboration, and transformation. Application refers to the selection of technologies and their appropriate implementation in terms of the curriculum and lesson design. Cooperation refers to the evaluation of technology applications and their use in the classroom and application.

The third process involves transformation. Transformation means the process by which technological objects are selected, used and maintained. Medical technology is a good example of the transformation involved in integrating technological objects into the practice. Medical devices must meet certain standards and undergo vigorous testing; adherence to standards and testing requirements must be monitored regularly to ensure optimal patient safety.

The fourth process incorporates the collection, analysis, and dissemination of research data. Schatzberg and colleagues (1990) developed a framework called schizonomic structure that helps explain the process of collecting scientific data and developing new technologies. According to this framework, technology is a complex system of human activities that generate knowledge and information. Analysis is the process by which the knowledge and information become useful for making decisions. Dissemination means that the information is made available to the public or to professionals who can make use of it. One example of a technology whose dissemination has been effectively controlled by analysis is medical technology, which has largely been developed and controlled through analysis.

According to the fifth major schatzberg concept, technology is part of culture and society. Technology, according to this school, is not static, but constantly changing and evolving in response to cultural change. Schatzberg and coworkers (1990) suggested that there are five major patterns of change and development of technology, each with a variety of possible causes and effects. By combining analysis with the cultural approach, we can learn about the various forms and sources of technological change.

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