Technology Conflict

Technology Is Not Technology


As I was scrolling through Flickr this image caught my eye so I clicked on it. The quote then really caught my attention, especially coming from Sir Ken Robinson. I have tried to do a little research to see the context the quote was given, as we have discussed a different view of technology. I decided to look into it a little bit more and found that he did give the quote at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference in 2010 but I could not find the transcript or video to give me the context. It looks like Robinson took the quote from from Alan Kay who said, “Technology is anything that was invented after (or wasn’t around when) you were born.” (

It seems as thought there is a great difference in the definition of technology as we have discussed in this class. Some believe that technology is any tool that helps you accomplish a task, whereas others believe it is the newest and greatest inventions available to man.

Encyclopedia Britannica quotes technology as “the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life or, as it is sometimes phrased, to the change and manipulation of the human environment.” This definition refutes the quote given by Robinson and Kay, who are both exceptional educators. I am still interested to know the context and meaning behind their claims.

Any insights are welcome. Still confused!


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2 Responses to Technology Conflict

  1. Jasmeet Virk says:

    So then text should not a technology according to Robinson and Kay. I think their opinions might arise from the fact that we internalize existing technologies and so they don’t feel like technology. The way we have internalized text. We never saw the world of orality- we did not see text manipulate and change human environment as so we had to stop and think of it as technology. Children today are born into the computer environment. They do not realize what it changed…it is a part of life -like food, car, clothes. It is not an innovation for them. Like the mention of frontier by O’Donnell’s on the Cambridge Forum. It was a frontier for one generation but a way of life for the second. Am I making sense?

  2. Dennis,

    I am so puzzled by this statement and don’t even think I should try and understand it. Over the years I have seen technology changing and making tasks easier and more understandable. The innovations are clear and vivid so I don’t see where that statement fits in. So does technology that exist without our knowledge in our time still classified as technology?


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