Technology is the rational process of creating means to order and transform matter, energy and information to realize valued ends. It comprises both the set of tools and machines (physical objects) created by the technological process as well as the knowledge that makes it possible. It also encompasses the methods, systems and procedures of this process. Technological objects range from toothbrushes to transportation systems. The knowledge that makes the technological process possible consists of scientific, mathematical, linguistic and historical knowledge, as well as a more general understanding of human nature and its relationship to the natural world.
Throughout history, people have used technology to improve their lives and achieve the goals they set for themselves. The first recorded technology is stone tools, followed by fire, which led to food preservation and cooking, then the wheel, which opened up the world, and later the printing press, which made the dissemination of knowledge more efficient. Today, technology is part of everyone’s life and it continues to expand at an amazing rate. Technology now permeates our work, home and social lives, blurring the lines between them. The use of technology also has the potential to change the way the world works, for example by lowering costs, increasing efficiency and improving safety.
Technological advances are often seen as a key driver of economic growth and prosperity. Businesses rely on technological resources to maximize their output and deliver services to customers within expected time frames and budgets. Technology enables companies to keep their operations running smoothly and provides the ability to make informed decisions using reliable, accurate data.
The use of technological resources can reduce the amount of manual labor required and increase the accuracy of decision making, thereby reducing operating costs. For example, the automation of repetitive and redundant tasks can allow for more production to be achieved in less time, which helps a business stay competitive. Additionally, technology can help a company handle large volumes of data and provide insight into customer behavior.
In schools, technology is becoming a regular feature of classroom learning. It allows teachers to engage students in new ways and provides them with access to a wider range of content. However, technology should not be viewed as a replacement for the teacher, but rather as a tool that can be utilized to enhance and extend lessons.
Despite the positive impact that technology has on our lives, some of its effects can be negative and even harmful. For this reason, technological innovations are often subject to public debate and, in some cases, formal regulation. This is particularly the case when a proposed technology has the potential to affect a significant number of people, such as with contour plowing, vaccines and genetic engineering. Individuals may seldom be in a position to directly influence the development and use of technology on a large scale, but their knowledge of these issues increases the attention that is paid to them by private enterprise, interest groups and government officials.