Critique of technology

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Not to be confused with Technocriticism.

Critique of technology is an analysis of the negative impacts of technologies. It is argued that, in all advanced industrial societies (not necessarily only capitalist ones), technology becomes a means of domination, control and exploitation, or more generally something which threatens the survival of humanity.

Prominent authors elaborating a critique of technology are, e.g.. Jacques Ellul, Ivan Illich, Langdon Winner, Joseph Weizenbaum, Theodore Roszak, Günther Anders, Neil Postman and Lewis Mumford. Some authors such as Chellis Glendinning and Kirkpatrick Sale consider themselves Neo-Luddites and generally hold that technological progress has had a negative impact on humanity. Theodore Kaczynski's criticism of technology held that: "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race."[1]

In the 1970s in the US, the critique of technology became the basis of a new political perspective called anarcho-primitivism, which was forwarded by thinkers such as Fredy Perlman, John Zerzan, and David Watson. They proposed differing theories about how it was industrial society, and not capitalism as such, that was at the root of contemporary social problems. This theory was developed in the journal Fifth Estate in the 1970s and 1980s, and was influenced by the Frankfurt School, the Situationist International, Jacques Ellul and others.

The critique of technology overlaps with the philosophy of technology but whereas the latter tries to establish itself as an academic discipline the critique of technology is basically a political project, not limited to academia. It features prominently in neomarxism (Herbert Marcuse and Andrew Feenberg), ecofeminism (Vandana Shiva) and in postdevelopment (Ivan Illich)

Technology in the classroom Technology is one of the most necessities in the world that people cannot live without. It has a lot of benefits for almost all facilities in the life, and people use it from many years ago for developing education. In addition, there are two opposite sides upon technology and education. Some people believe that technology is very helpful and effective for students in the classrooms because they can take notes, translate, and search for information by using technological devices. However, some people believe that technology takes students thinking processes, and it takes their attention during lectures. Making rules for students to control their usage in the classrooms, and training teachers to be professional in using technology, can control the usage of technology because its benefits overcome its disadvantages. Clearly, students themselves should use technology in a way that helps them in their study.

It is impossible to ignore the presence of technology across the globe. With a heavy focus on instant gratification and multitasking, technology has become an overwhelming part of everyday life. Throughout recent years, the mass prevalence of technology in the classroom has led to several controversies regarding technology’s role in students’ education regarding individual learning styles, increased distractions and the overall relation between technology and student performance.

In a recent study, a technology-based classroom proved to provide better for a greater range of students’ learning styles (Shapley). Acknowledging individual learning styles through technology also proved to be beneficial in advancing the given child’s individual. On the other hand, the amount of technology in classrooms is creating an unavoidable distraction for students. As elementary school teacher Kyle Redford explained, providing students’ with this much technology is only setting them up for failure (Redford). Finally, a study performed at Eastern Mediterranean University focused on the effects of technology on students’ achievement academically and overall preference with technology based education. The results of the study proved to be positive for technology based education indicating a positive correlation to students’ performance and overall progress along with indicating a student preference to a technologically based classroom (Eyyam and Yaratan). When weighing both sides of the discussion on technology in the classroom, an increase in overall student performance, a technological preference and an acceptance of different learning styles proved to be beneficial for technology in the classroom. However, the issue of distraction in the classroom proved to be a fatal downside. Now it is simply a matter of accepting this new wave of education or fighting for the abolition of its roots.

EYYAM, RAMADAN, and HÜSEYİN S. YARATAN. "Impact Of Use Of Technology In Mathematics Lessons On Student Achievement And Attitudes." Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 42.(2014): 31-42. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 July 2016. <http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=62c30954-8227-43b1-a888-7744e025bafc%40sessionmgr4001&vid=27&hid=4104>.

Redford, Kyle. "Getting Real About Educational Technology." Education Week 33.1 (2013): 6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 June 2016. <http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=6d001aa2-434a-40f8-8a98-4b81c07b6684%40sessionmgr4001&vid=36&hid=4104>.

Shapley, Kelly, et al. "Effects Of Technology Immersion On Middle School Students' Learning Opportunities And Achievement." Journal Of Educational Research 104.5 (2011): 299-315. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 July 2016. <http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=62c30954-8227-43b1-a888-7744e025bafc%40sessionmgr4001&vid=30&hid=4104>.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Theodore Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael Adas, Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance, Cornell University Press 1990
  • Braun, Ernest (2009). Futile Progress: Technology’s Empty Promise, Routledge.
  • Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, Trans. John Wilkinson. New York: Knopf, 1964. London: Jonathan Cape, 1965. Rev. ed.: New York: Knopf/Vintage, 1967. with introduction by Robert K. Merton (professor of sociology, Columbia University).
  • Andrew Feenberg, Transforming Technology. A Critical Theory Revisited, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 2002, ISBN 0-19-514615-8 - Feenberg offers a "coherent starting point for anticapitalist technical politics"[citation needed] to overcome what he considers to be the "fatalism" of Ellul, Heidegger, and other proponents of "substantive" theories of technology.
  • Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, and Other Essays, B&T 1982, ISBN 0-06-131969-4
  • Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, ISBN 0865717044.
  • Derrick Jensen and George Draffan, Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004, ISBN 1-931498-52-0
  • Mander, Jerry (1992). In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations, Sierra Club Books.
  • Postman, Neil (1993). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, Vintage.
  • David Watson, Against the Megamachine, Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 1998, ISBN 1-57027-087-2 - The title essay is available online here
  • Joseph Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation, W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd, New Edition 1976
  • Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Technics-Out-Of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought, MIT Press 1977, ISBN 978-0-262-23078-0

External links[edit]