Technology is the rational process of creating means to order and transform matter, energy and information to realize certain valued ends. It also includes the set of technological objects (tools, devices, systems and methods) that comprise the actual implementation of the technology. The term is derived from the Greek words techne (art, skill) and logos (word, utterance, saying).
In our day-to-day lives, it’s hard to imagine how we would manage without certain technologies. These include the internet which enables us to communicate with people from all over the world instantly, televisions which relay signals that enable you to watch audio-visual content and more. In addition to this, many businesses use advanced technology to stay competitive in the market.
Education is another area where technology plays a vital role. By using digital learning tools like virtual classrooms, video conferencing, and robots, teachers can make their classes more engaging and students can build essential 21st-century skills.
However, all technologies have side effects. This is true not only of large technologies such as nuclear reactors or agriculture, but also of ordinary everyday technologies such as refrigerators. For example, a refrigerator’s tiny leakage of the gas used in its cooling system may have substantial environmental consequences.
The design of a technology is often constrained by an awareness of its side effects. This is especially the case where a new technology is compared to existing technologies in terms of their effectiveness and costs. It is not unusual for engineers to calculate the side effects of a particular technology as part of its design process.