Magazine article Technology and Children

From the Editor

Magazine article Technology and Children

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Can the new Standards for Technological Literacy be incorporated into the existing elementary curriculum, or should they be addressed as a separate subject?

Welcome to another school year, and volume 5 of the Technology and Children journal! The start of a new school year is always such an exciting and invigorating time for me, as I'm sure it is for you. We get to see many new faces, so eager and excited to see what we have in store for them this year. It's exciting for us because we have the chance to plan ahead to build technology education into our school year as an integral component of the curriculum, not as an add-on or afterthought.

Technology education is an integrating experience for students, especially in the elementary classroom. It combines learning from all areas of the curriculum and applies it in a meaningful, authentic context. Yes, the study of technology can and should happen as a natural part of the regular curriculum. That is not to say that technology shouldn't be specifically studied, but rather that it is naturally linked to the other subjects.

I was reminded of this fact just last week when answering questions from an elementary teacher about how to incorporate the new Standards for Technological Literacy into her lessons. The conversation centered on the efficient use of scarce natural resources. Yes, this is also part of social studies/economics at this grade level, but we approach it with greater focus in technology education. Specifically, the notion of "efficiency" is a fundamental concept in technology. Trying to do things faster, cheaper, and with greater ease is a major driving force behind the development of technology.

Similarly, production is concerned with the conversion of resources into products, and thereby increasing their value. Whereas an economic unit may typically mention the concept of resources, technology focuses on it in greater detail, and typically applies it in an authentic setting, such as a small-scale mass production run (which, coincidentally, is the theme behind this issue). …

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