Saturday, 5 February 2011

Technology vs ICT; are we talking the same language?

Technology Is Not Technology Photo by lgb06

Terminology can be a barrier in any language, however in the changing landscape of education and the web, teachers like myself are often left feeling we aren't talking the 'right' talk.

Based on my experience in primary schools, the meaning of 'Technology' and 'ICT' are very different. Technology is usually based on Inquiry Learning and involves creating a product or process that fulfills a need. In Intermediate Schools (age 11-13) this involves the students usually going to specialised teachers. Projects I have seen regularly across NZ are cooking, woodwork, making mosaics and wooden jigsaws, Trash to Fashion, electronic toys, etc.
TKI - Technology is intervention by design: the use of practical and intellectual resources to develop products and systems (technological outcomes) that expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities.
ICT is often viewed as anything done in the class computer suite time. A more accepted view is ICT or Information and Communication Technology as anything involved using technology (computers, cameras, audio recorders, mp3 players) to record, communicate, manipulate and create information in multimedia forms.

However the online education community and within my Twitter PLN, there seems to be more blurring of the meaning of 'Technology' and 'ICT'. When you are reading blogs and twitter conversations, be aware that most of the time when the author says 'Technology' they mean 'ICT'. You can usually tell by the context and content of the sentence.

I think it would be easier for everyone if we agreed on the meanings of 'Technology' and 'ICT' and started speaking the same language. What does 'Technology' and 'ICT' mean to you and your school?

Are we talking the same language?