Introduction to Technology

    We are surrounded by technology everywhere we go and we use technology every single day. Technology can be something simple like a pencil or complex like a smart phone. By definition, technology is the use of resources to solve problems that satisfy human needs and wants. That means that everything that was not created by nature is a result of technology!

    In breaking down the definition of technology, it all starts with resources. There are eight different resources that are used by humans to make technology possible.
    The first resource of technology is materials, which is the matter used to make products. There are many different types of materials such as wood, metal, paper, cloth, foam, plastic, and glass.
    Materials can be categorized as either recyclable or nonrecyclable materials. Recyclable materials can be reused. They are collected, cleaned, and then processed into new products. Nonrecyclable materials can not be reused and are just thrown away in the trash once we finish using them.
    Picture that Ms. Dec took at a metal recycling center



    Typical landfill full of garbage - Nonrecyclables


    Materials must then be transformed or altered in order to make technologies. This is done by cutting, sanding, or painting them. The second and third resources of technology are tools and machines. Both used to transform materials, but have their differences.
    Tools use human energy for power. They are often hand held and may be referred to as "hand tools" sometimes. We use our own energy to do the work. Some examples would be hammers, saws, screw drivers. Machines, on the other hand, use an energy source to do the work. Most machines use electricity for power. Some examples would be drills, band saws, palm sanders, and even hot glue guns!


    Which are tools and which are machines?

    The next resource of technology is energy. Energy by definition is the ability to do work. The energy used to power most tools and machines is called electricity. It is a secondary energy source, which means that it comes from other sources of energy. The energy sources used to generate electricity can be categorized as either renewable or nonrenewable.
    This chart shows that our energy is used for...

    energy consumption

    Renewable energy can be replenished and can be used over and over again to generate power (wind, water, and solar power to name a few). Nonrenewable energy sources can not be replenished (oil, gas, coal to name a few). Once they are used, they are gone. Unfortunately, we use far more nonrenewable energy sources than renewable ones.
    Technology is created by many different types of people. So, people are a resource too! We need researchers, scientists, inventors, designers, engineers, and laborers to make technology possible. They all can assist in either the designing or creating of technology.
    t              brainstorm           test
    The creators of technology must also use information, which leads to the learning, knowledge, and understanding necessary to make successful technologies. Math, science, engineering, and art are all needed to make technology possible.
                     o                  r
    In order to purchase all of the other resources, money is needed. For example, we must buy the materials and tools to make the products.

    Lastly, in order to make technology possible, we need a period of time to design and create it.

    So, that makes the eight resources of technology... materials, tools, machines, energy, people, information, time, and money.
    The last part of the definition says that technology will "satisfy human needs and wants." So...what are human needs and wants? A human need is something one must have for survival such as food, water, shelter, and clothing. A human want is something one would like having. Examples of these would be entertainment, communication, and transportation.