the term technology is often used by itself to describe the
educational application of computers in a classroom, instructional
technology is a subset of the much broader field of technology.
While important, computers and instructional tools that use
computers are only a few of the many technological innovations
in use today.
developed through engineering include the systems that provide
our houses with water and heat; roads, bridges, tunnels, and
the cars that we drive; airplanes and spacecraft; cellular
phones, televisions, and computers; many of today's children's
toys; and systems that create special effects in movies. Each
of these came about as the result of recognizing a need or
problem and creating a technological solution. Figure 1 below
shows the steps of the engineering design process. Beginning
in the early grades and continuing through high school, students
carry out this design process in ever more sophisticated ways.
As they gain more experience and knowledge, they are able
to draw on other disciplines, especially mathematics and science,
to understand and solve problems.
are experienced technology users before they enter school.
Their natural curiosity about how things work is clear to
any adult who has ever watched a child doggedly work to improve
the design of a paper airplane, or to take apart a toy to
explore its insides. They are also natural engineers and inventors,
builders of sandcastles at the beach and forts under furniture.
1 2 3
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