Mr. Maldonado - Tech class|

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What is Technology?

"Technology, 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." Britannica

That is the dictionary definition of the word technology by the editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, I like to define and describe technology as anything that helps us to resolve or make work more efficiently with less effort. For example, the invention of the wheel helped humans to carry heavy objects with less effort and more efficiently. The modern calculator helps us to make math and to calculate big numbers faster.

As you can notice neither definition mentions specifically computers; this is because computers are part of the technological advancement but technology is not a computer. Then, what is a computer?

What is a Computer?

According to Dr. Paul Mullins at Slipper Rock University, "a computer can also be defined as an electronic machine that accepts input (data), processes it and gives out results (information). A program or app (short for application program) in memory manages the processing. It can make use of data or information stored in memory and remember the results of the processing for later use, again in memory. A computer is also a (fairly complicated) tool intended to assist the user in accomplishing information-based tasks ranging from locating and acquiring data/information to processing it to presenting or transmitting it." Dr. Paul Mullins, Slippery Rock University

A computer is a piece of technology that works with information. The computer takes the information the user (you and I) give using the mouse, keyboard, touchscreen, microphone, scanners, sensors, and processes with the memory and with the Central Process Unit or CPU (the famous micro-chip or just chip). After all that work the computer gives a result or carries out an action. The result could be in the form of an image on the screen, an image reproduced by a printer, a sound from speakers, or even actions, like the movements of a robot. The computers do all this work in less than a second using only numbers, specifically binary numbers, 1 and 0.

In this way, computers help us to resolve problems or make work more efficiently with less effort, like any other piece of technology.

What is Computer Science (CS)?

“The study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their [implementation], and their impact on society.” As defined by K–12 Computer Science. A simple definition for this could be: Computer science is the study of how computer systems work and how they affect our daily lives.

Why CS in School?

"Computer science and the technologies it enables rest at the heart of our economy and the way we live our lives. To be well-educated citizens in a computing-intensive world and to be prepared for careers in the 21st century, our students must have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of computer science." Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA)

Teaching computer science in school opens the opportunity for students to know a new world. Most of the students associate technology and computers with watching their favorite shows or playing their video games. While they study CS in school, they start to convert into creators, to understand what is needed to make the computers do what we want to do; they start to get the knowledge of how computers improve our lives. They need to think in most cases out of the box, to develop critical thinking, to apply the problem-solving process. These skills are important not only for technology or computer science, also for life in general.