Technology is a big idea that covers a huge variety of tools, machines, products, and processes. It focuses on understanding how knowledge is creatively applied to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals.
In general, technology improves the human environment and solves problems. Its history stretches back to the Stone Age, when early humans developed tools like clubs and spearheads to survive in their environment. Other technologies, such as the printing press and the telephone, lowered physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact on a global scale. Occasionally, the development of technology is controversial, such as when individuals and companies test new weapons that may be capable of mass destruction.
A wide variety of technologies are used in education. For example, teachers use educational apps in the classroom to review student understanding of lessons. This can encourage students to engage in class discussions and work collaboratively. It also means that teachers can keep lines of communication open with parents and administrators.
Often, technological advancements are driven by individual inventiveness. However, social and economic forces heavily influence whether new technology spreads or dies. These include consumer acceptance, patent laws, availability of risk capital, government regulation, budgets, media attention, the economy, and competition. The costs of developing and implementing new technology are also important factors. For instance, a new machine can have high initial production costs but may eventually save money by eliminating costly manual labour or by lowering the number of personnel needed to operate it.