Technology is the practical application of scientific knowledge to create tools, systems and processes that improve our lives. It incorporates the use of machines, computers and other electronic devices to automate tasks, process data and store and transmit information. It also refers to the use of artificial intelligence and computer systems to facilitate operations that would be difficult or impossible for humans to perform manually.
When a technology becomes widespread, it typically prioritizes certain paths of action and neglects others. For example, when digital cameras became popular, the analogue photography pathway was deprioritized, and the associated behaviors — the inefficient but gratifying darkroom culture and the painstaking culture of physically retouching each photograph for hours — were replaced by the more rapid and satisfying workflows offered by digital technology.
Businesses employ technology to stay competitive and deliver products and services that meet customer expectations. They also use it to streamline operations and lower costs by automating manual tasks. In the past, this was accomplished with mechanical technology like gears, cogwheels and hammers but is now often achieved with electrical and chemical technology.
Teachers employ technology in the classroom to transfer ownership of learning to their students. They can do this by using online tools like Poll Everywhere, Mentimeter and Socrative to collect immediate feedback from their students on a topic. This allows them to check that all students understand the material and then tailor their instruction accordingly. They can also use technology to prepare students for technical working environments.