May 03, 2016

The whole purpose of technology is to make our lives easier. It’s in the definition! According to Merriam-Webster, technology is defined as “the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or solve problems”1. Since the beginning of the spoken word, technology has driven societies forward; enhancing lives, and improving the efficiency of learning.

An Abacus

Early civilizations used writing to learn new ideas, conduct trade, calculate taxes, and do various other tasks which would be otherwise impossible. Just as the invention of writing represented an evolutionary step in the progress of technology, the abacus was a technological marvel for simple mathematics. While classrooms weren’t around as we think of them back then, the invention of writing and the abacus are some of the first steps of technological advancement for passing along knowledge.

While new science and mathematics were developed in the ensuing millennia, it wasn’t until the invention of the printing press that humankind made the next leap forward in communication technology. Printing pressDue to the immense number of hours it takes to transcribe a book by hand, books were rare and expensive items. The printing press allowed for printing of books orders of magnitude faster than writing by hand and reduced the cost of acquiring books. This allowed for exponentially faster propagation of knowledge and a general increase in the quality of life.

From then on, the proliferation of technology in education has increased at a near exponential rate. Most all of the recent explosion of technology has been thanks to the humble transistor. It is the basis for most every electronic device in our lives today and is what handles the logical operation of our computers.

1"Technology." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

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