3D printing, E-cigarettes among the most important inventions of the 21st century

The human race has always innovated, and in a relatively short time went from building fires and making stone-tipped arrows to creating smartphone apps and autonomous robots. Today, technological progress will undoubtedly continue to change the way we work, live, and survive in the coming decades.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the world has witnessed the emergence of social media, smartphones, self-driving cars, and autonomous flying vehicles. There have also been huge leaps in energy storage, artificial intelligence, and medical science. Men and women have mapped the human genome and are grappling with the ramifications of biotechnology and gene editing. 

We are facing immense challenges in global warming and food security, among many other issues. While human innovation has contributed to many of the problems we are facing, it is also human innovation and ingenuity that can help humanity deal with these issues. These are 21 strategies that could avert climate disaster . 

Get ready: These are the best vehicles coming in 2020

Small-business headaches: Ruling on sales tax creates expenses for some small-business owners

24/7 Wall St. examined media reports and other sources on the latest far-reaching innovations to find some of the most important 21st-century inventions. In some cases, though there were some precursor research and ancillary technologies before 2001, the innovation did not become available to the public until this century. This list focuses on innovations (such as touch screen glass) that support products rather than the specific products themselves (like the iPhone). 

It remains to be seen if all the technology on this list will continue to have an impact throughout the century. Legislation in the United States may limit the longevity of e-cigarettes, for example. But some of the inventions of the last 20 years will likely have staying power for the foreseeable future. Here are some inventions that are hundreds of years old but are still widely used today .

1. 3D printing

Most inventions come as a result of previous ideas and concepts, and 3D printing is no different. The earliest application of the layering method used by today's 3D printers took place in the manufacture of topographical maps in the late 19th century, and 3D printing as we know it began in 1980.

The convergence of cheaper manufacturing methods and open-source software, however, has led to a revolution of 3D printing in recent years. Today, the technology is being used in the production of everything from lower-cost car parts to bridges to less painful ballet slippers and it is even considered for artificial organs.

2. E-cigarettes

While components of the technology have existed for decades, the first modern e-cigarette was introduced in 2006. Since then, the devices have become wildly popular as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, and new trends, such as the use of flavored juice, have contributed to the success of companies like Juul.

Recent studies have shown that there remains a great deal of uncertainty and risk surrounding the devices, with an increasing number of deaths and injuries linked to vaping. In early 2020, the FDA issued a widespread ban on many flavors of cartridge-based e-cigarettes, in part because those flavors are especially popular with children and younger adults.

3. Augmented reality

Augmented reality, in which digital graphics are overlaid onto live footage to convey information in real time, has been around for a while. Only recently, however, following the arrival of more powerful computing hardware and the creation of an open source video tracking software library known as ARToolKit that the technology has really taken off.

Smartphone apps like the Pokémon Go game and Snapchat filters are just two small popular examples of modern augmented reality applications. The technology is being adopted as a tool in manufacturing, health care, travel, fashion, and education.

4. Birth control patch

The early years of the millennia have brought about an innovation in family planning, albeit one that is still focused only on women and does nothing to protect against sexually transmitted infections. Still, the birth control patch was first released in the United States in 2002 and has made it much easier for women to prevent unintended pregnancies. The plastic patch contains the same estrogen and progesterone hormones found in birth control pills and delivers them in the same manner as nicotine patches do to help people quit tobacco products.

5. Blockchain

You've likely heard about it even if you don't fully understand it. The simplest explanation of blockchain is that it is an incorruptible way to record transactions between parties – a shared digital ledger that parties can only add to and that is transparent to all members of a peer-to-peer network where the blockchain is logged and stored.

The technology was first deployed in 2008 to create Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency, but it has since been adopted by the financial sector and other industries for myriad uses, including money transfers, supply chain monitoring, and food safety.

6. Capsule endoscopy

Advancements in light emitting electrodes, image sensors, and optical design in the '90s led to the emergence of capsule endoscopy, first used in patients in 2001. The technology uses a tiny wireless camera the size of a vitamin pill that the patient swallows.

As the capsule traverses the digestive system, doctors can examine the gastrointestinal system in a far less intrusive manner. Capsule endoscopy can be used to identify the source of internal bleeding, inflammations of the bowel ulcers, and cancerous tumors.

7. Modern artificial pancreas

More formally known as closed-loop insulin delivery system, the artificial pancreas has been around since the late '70s, but the first versions were the size of a filing cabinet. In recent years, the artificial pancreas, used primarily to treat type 1 diabetes, became portable. The first artificial pancreas (the modern, portable kind) was approved for use in the United States in 2016.

The system continuously monitors blood glucose levels, calculates the amount of insulin required, and automatically delivers it through a small pump. British studies have shown that patients using these devices spent more time in their ideal glucose-level range. In December 2019, the FDA approved an even more advanced version of the artificial pancreas, called Control-IQ, developed by UVA.

Dear GM: Don't revive Hummer. Focus on Cadillac instead.

8. E-readers

Sony was the first company to release an e-reader using a so-called microencapsulated electrophoretic display, commonly referred to as e-ink. E-ink technology, which mimics ink on paper that is easy on the eyes and consumes less power, had been around since the '70s (and improved in the '90s), but the innovation of e-readers had to wait until after the broader demand for e-books emerged. Sony was quickly overtaken by Amazon's Kindle after its 2007 debut. The popularity of e-readers has declined with the emergence of tablets and smartphones, but they still command loyalty from bookworms worldwide.

9. Gene editing

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and a separate team from Harvard and the Broad Institute independently discovered in 2012 that a bacterial immune system known as CRISPR (an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) could be used as a powerful gene-editing tool to make detailed changes to any organism's DNA. This discovery heralded a new era in biotechnology.

The discovery has the potential to eradicate diseases by altering the genes in mice and mosquitoes to combat the spread of Lyme disease and malaria but is also raising ethical questions, especially with regards to human gene editing such as for reproductive purposes.

10. High-density battery packs

Tesla electric cars have received so much attention largely because of their batteries. The batteries, located underneath the passenger cabin, consist of thousands of high-density lithium ion cells, each barely larger than a standard AA battery, nestled into a large, heavy battery pack that also offers Tesla electric cars a road-gripping low center of gravity and structural support.

The brainchild of Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, these battery modules pack more of a punch than standard (and cheaper) electric car batteries. These packs are also being used in residential, commercial, and grid-scale energy storage devices.

11. Digital assistants

One of the biggest technology trends in recent years has been smart home technology, which can now be found in everyday consumer devices like door locks, light bulbs, and kitchen appliances. The key piece of technology that has helped make all this possible is the digital assistant. Apple was the first major tech company to introduce a virtual assistant called Siri, in 2011, for iOS.

Other digital assistants, such as Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa, have since entered the market. The assistants gained another level of popularity when tech companies introduced smart speakers. Notably, Google Home and Amazon's Echo can now be found in millions of homes, with an ever-growing range of applications.

12. Robot heart

Artificial hearts have been around for some time. They are mechanical devices connected to the actual heart or implanted in the chest to assist or substitute a heart that is failing. Abiomed, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company, developed a robot heart called AbioCor, a self-contained apparatus made of plastic and titanium.

AbioCor is a self-contained unit with the exception of a wireless battery pack that is attached to the wrist. Robert Tools, a technical librarian with congestive heart failure, received the first one on July 2, 2001.

13. Retinal implant

When he was a medical student, Dr. Mark Humayun watched his grandmother gradually lose her vision. The ophthalmologist and bioengineer focused on finding a solution to what causes blindness. He collaborated with Dr. James Weiland, a colleague at the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, and other experts to create the Argus II.

The Argus II is a retinal prosthesis device that is considered to be a breakthrough for those suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited retinal degenerative condition that can lead to blindness. The condition afflicts 1.5 million people worldwide. The device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013.

14. Mobile operating systems

Mobile operating systems for smartphones and other portable gadgets have enabled the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile gadgets thanks to their intuitive user interfaces and seemingly endless app options. Mobile operating systems have become the most consumer-facing of computer operating systems. When Google first purchased Android Inc. in 2005, the operating system was just two years old, and the first iPhone (with its iOS) was still two years from its commercial debut.

15. Multi-use rockets

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk may not necessarily be remembered for his contributions to electric cars innovations, but rather for his contributions to space exploration. Musk's private space exploration company, SpaceX, has developed rockets that can be recovered and reused in other launches – a more efficient and cheaper alternative to the method of using the rockets only once and letting them fall into the ocean.

On March 30, 2017, SpaceX became the first to deploy one of these used rockets, the Falcon 9. Blue Origin, a space-transport company founded by Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, has launched its own reusable rocket.

16. Online streaming

Online streaming would not be possible without the convergence of widespread broadband internet access and cloud computing data centers used to store content and direct web traffic. While internet-based live streaming has been around almost since the internet was broadly adopted in the '90s, it was not until the mid-2000s that the internet could handle the delivery of streaming media to large audiences. Online streaming is posing an existential threat to existing models of delivering media entertainment, such as cable television and movie theaters.

17. Robotic exoskeletons

Ever since researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, created in 2003 a robotic device that attaches to the lower back to augment strength in humans, the demand for robotic exoskeletons for physical rehabilitation has increased, and manufacturing has taken off.

Wearable exoskeletons are increasingly helping people with mobility issues (particularly lower body paralysis), and are being used in factories. Ford Motor Company, for example, has used an exoskeleton vest that helps auto assemblers with repetitive tasks in order to lessen the wear and tear on shoulders and arms.

18. Small satellites

As modern electronics devices have gotten smaller, so, too, have orbital satellites, which companies, governments, and organizations use to gather scientific data, collect images of Earth, and for telecommunications and intelligence purposes. These tiny, low-cost orbital devices fall into different categories by weight, but one of the most common is the shoebox-sized CubeSat. As of October 2019, over 2,400 satellites weighing between 1 kg (2.2 lbs) and 40 kgs (88 lbs) have been launched, according to Nanosats Database.

19. Solid-state lidar

Lidar is an acronym that stands for light detection and ranging, and is also a portmanteau of the words "light" and "radar." The technology today is most often used in self-driving cars. Like radars, which use radio waves to bounce off objects and determine their distance, lidar uses a laser pulse to do the same.

By sending enough lasers in rotation, it can create a constantly updated high-resolution image map of the surrounding environment. The next steps in the technology would include smaller and cheaper lidar sensors, and especially solid state ones – no spinning tops on the cars.

20. Tokenization

If you have ever used the chip embedded in a credit or debit card to make a payment by tapping rather than swiping, then you have benefited from the heightened security of tokenization. This data security technology replaces sensitive data with an equivalent randomized number †known as a token †that is used only once per transaction and has no value to would-be hackers and identity thieves attempting to intercept transaction data as it travels from sender to recipient. Social media site classmates.com was reportedly the first to use tokenization in 2001 to protect its subscribers' sensitive data. Tokenization is also being touted as a way to prevent hackers from interfering with driverless cars.

21. Touchscreen glass

Super-thin, chemically strengthened glass is a key component of the touchscreen world. This sturdy, transparent material is what helps keep your iPad or Samsung smartphone from shattering into pieces at the slightest drop. Even if these screens crack, in most cases the damage is cosmetic and the gadget still works.

Corning Inc., already a leader in the production of treated glass used in automobiles, was asked by Apple to develop 1.3-mm treated glass for its iPhone, which debuted in 2007. Corning's Gorilla Glass is still the most well known, though other brands exist in the marketplace.

24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

  • EssayBasics.com
  • Pay For Essay
  • Write My Essay
  • Homework Writing Help
  • Essay Editing Service
  • Thesis Writing Help
  • Write My College Essay
  • Do My Essay
  • Term Paper Writing Service
  • Coursework Writing Service
  • Write My Research Paper
  • Assignment Writing Help
  • Essay Writing Help
  • Call Now! (USA) Login Order now
  • EssayBasics.com Call Now! (USA) Order now
  • Writing Guides

Technology In 21st Century (Essay Sample) 2023

Technology in 21st century.

Modern technology is an important area that business needs to consider. The reason behind this is that technological advancements are pivotal in enhancing business operations around the globe. Most businesses thrive using modern technology as technology has advanced operations of business through several ways. Some of the ways technology have enhanced business operations are efficient marketing through social media platforms, effective mass communication to all personnel in the business and provisions of effectual ways business people use to store and access data for the functioning of the business. Besides, social media is an influential social media aspect that has huge followership, and effective use of social media is an index to a business in increasing sales volume among many businesses. The paper views technology in the 21st century.

Technology has played a crucial role towards enhancement of globalization in the 21st century. Globalization had huge impacts on the economic world, through an array of merits and demerits arising from globalization acts. New technological trends have played a fundamental role in making a rapid enhancement to globalization. Additionally, people connect and communicate to other people from areas that are very far geographically, for example, people who have lived in one country or one continent have pertinent information concerning other far areas such as they communicate to people and find more information about other important continents and aspects such as business from other far geographies. Rapid globalization has also enhanced economic development from a business-based perspective.

Modern technology stimulates most of the business activities around the world. The reason behind the argument is that most of the businesses in the 21st century make extensive use modern technology to conduct business. From a different angle, most people transact businesses even from a far distance through technology, which has given the world an outlook of a global, interactive society where people cold share and access new ideas and vital information. People exchange business ideas and transact business activities from far distances, which has helped disqualify distance as a barrier in business, and most of the business have taken advantage of globalization and modern trends in technology to enhance their business operations.

Information Technology (IT) and the Internet are protuberant technological trends in the 21st century. The chief reason behind the argument is that most businesses have adapted Information technology in their operations for effectiveness. Information technology has had an array of impacts to businesses around the world. A good example of the impacts that Information technology has is the impact and aspect of competition. Firms and business around the world use Internet and Information technology factor to outdo the other firms that provide similar related services. Organizations have learned on Information technology as a chief aspect in interviews and evaluations, as people with (IT) competence are huge assets for most business around the world.

In the 21st century, technology has evolved and became an inevitable aspect around the globe. Scholars have proved that most people can carry out projects and make business plans that consume information technology competencies and services extensively. A greater percentage of the plans that business people make for example marketing and management plans incorporate IT experts as advisors, who give the proprietors the best techniques to apply. From a different view, Information technology is a field that involves uniformity and accuracy of undertakings based on IT. In a case where one uses modern technology to market or manage the business operations, the aspect uniformity, accurate targets and effective marketing strategies have been protuberant outcomes aligned to good use technological trends in businesses.

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

Issue Cover

  • Previous Article
  • Next Article

Promises and Pitfalls of Technology

Politics and privacy, private-sector influence and big tech, state competition and conflict, author biography, how is technology changing the world, and how should the world change technology.

[email protected]

  • Split-Screen
  • Article contents
  • Figures & tables
  • Supplementary Data
  • Peer Review
  • Open the PDF for in another window
  • Guest Access
  • Get Permissions
  • Cite Icon Cite
  • Search Site

Josephine Wolff; How Is Technology Changing the World, and How Should the World Change Technology?. Global Perspectives 1 February 2021; 2 (1): 27353. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2021.27353

Download citation file:

  • Ris (Zotero)
  • Reference Manager

Technologies are becoming increasingly complicated and increasingly interconnected. Cars, airplanes, medical devices, financial transactions, and electricity systems all rely on more computer software than they ever have before, making them seem both harder to understand and, in some cases, harder to control. Government and corporate surveillance of individuals and information processing relies largely on digital technologies and artificial intelligence, and therefore involves less human-to-human contact than ever before and more opportunities for biases to be embedded and codified in our technological systems in ways we may not even be able to identify or recognize. Bioengineering advances are opening up new terrain for challenging philosophical, political, and economic questions regarding human-natural relations. Additionally, the management of these large and small devices and systems is increasingly done through the cloud, so that control over them is both very remote and removed from direct human or social control. The study of how to make technologies like artificial intelligence or the Internet of Things “explainable” has become its own area of research because it is so difficult to understand how they work or what is at fault when something goes wrong (Gunning and Aha 2019) .

This growing complexity makes it more difficult than ever—and more imperative than ever—for scholars to probe how technological advancements are altering life around the world in both positive and negative ways and what social, political, and legal tools are needed to help shape the development and design of technology in beneficial directions. This can seem like an impossible task in light of the rapid pace of technological change and the sense that its continued advancement is inevitable, but many countries around the world are only just beginning to take significant steps toward regulating computer technologies and are still in the process of radically rethinking the rules governing global data flows and exchange of technology across borders.

These are exciting times not just for technological development but also for technology policy—our technologies may be more advanced and complicated than ever but so, too, are our understandings of how they can best be leveraged, protected, and even constrained. The structures of technological systems as determined largely by government and institutional policies and those structures have tremendous implications for social organization and agency, ranging from open source, open systems that are highly distributed and decentralized, to those that are tightly controlled and closed, structured according to stricter and more hierarchical models. And just as our understanding of the governance of technology is developing in new and interesting ways, so, too, is our understanding of the social, cultural, environmental, and political dimensions of emerging technologies. We are realizing both the challenges and the importance of mapping out the full range of ways that technology is changing our society, what we want those changes to look like, and what tools we have to try to influence and guide those shifts.

Technology can be a source of tremendous optimism. It can help overcome some of the greatest challenges our society faces, including climate change, famine, and disease. For those who believe in the power of innovation and the promise of creative destruction to advance economic development and lead to better quality of life, technology is a vital economic driver (Schumpeter 1942) . But it can also be a tool of tremendous fear and oppression, embedding biases in automated decision-making processes and information-processing algorithms, exacerbating economic and social inequalities within and between countries to a staggering degree, or creating new weapons and avenues for attack unlike any we have had to face in the past. Scholars have even contended that the emergence of the term technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries marked a shift from viewing individual pieces of machinery as a means to achieving political and social progress to the more dangerous, or hazardous, view that larger-scale, more complex technological systems were a semiautonomous form of progress in and of themselves (Marx 2010) . More recently, technologists have sharply criticized what they view as a wave of new Luddites, people intent on slowing the development of technology and turning back the clock on innovation as a means of mitigating the societal impacts of technological change (Marlowe 1970) .

At the heart of fights over new technologies and their resulting global changes are often two conflicting visions of technology: a fundamentally optimistic one that believes humans use it as a tool to achieve greater goals, and a fundamentally pessimistic one that holds that technological systems have reached a point beyond our control. Technology philosophers have argued that neither of these views is wholly accurate and that a purely optimistic or pessimistic view of technology is insufficient to capture the nuances and complexity of our relationship to technology (Oberdiek and Tiles 1995) . Understanding technology and how we can make better decisions about designing, deploying, and refining it requires capturing that nuance and complexity through in-depth analysis of the impacts of different technological advancements and the ways they have played out in all their complicated and controversial messiness across the world.

These impacts are often unpredictable as technologies are adopted in new contexts and come to be used in ways that sometimes diverge significantly from the use cases envisioned by their designers. The internet, designed to help transmit information between computer networks, became a crucial vehicle for commerce, introducing unexpected avenues for crime and financial fraud. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, designed to connect friends and families through sharing photographs and life updates, became focal points of election controversies and political influence. Cryptocurrencies, originally intended as a means of decentralized digital cash, have become a significant environmental hazard as more and more computing resources are devoted to mining these forms of virtual money. One of the crucial challenges in this area is therefore recognizing, documenting, and even anticipating some of these unexpected consequences and providing mechanisms to technologists for how to think through the impacts of their work, as well as possible other paths to different outcomes (Verbeek 2006) . And just as technological innovations can cause unexpected harm, they can also bring about extraordinary benefits—new vaccines and medicines to address global pandemics and save thousands of lives, new sources of energy that can drastically reduce emissions and help combat climate change, new modes of education that can reach people who would otherwise have no access to schooling. Regulating technology therefore requires a careful balance of mitigating risks without overly restricting potentially beneficial innovations.

Nations around the world have taken very different approaches to governing emerging technologies and have adopted a range of different technologies themselves in pursuit of more modern governance structures and processes (Braman 2009) . In Europe, the precautionary principle has guided much more anticipatory regulation aimed at addressing the risks presented by technologies even before they are fully realized. For instance, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation focuses on the responsibilities of data controllers and processors to provide individuals with access to their data and information about how that data is being used not just as a means of addressing existing security and privacy threats, such as data breaches, but also to protect against future developments and uses of that data for artificial intelligence and automated decision-making purposes. In Germany, Technische Überwachungsvereine, or TÜVs, perform regular tests and inspections of technological systems to assess and minimize risks over time, as the tech landscape evolves. In the United States, by contrast, there is much greater reliance on litigation and liability regimes to address safety and security failings after-the-fact. These different approaches reflect not just the different legal and regulatory mechanisms and philosophies of different nations but also the different ways those nations prioritize rapid development of the technology industry versus safety, security, and individual control. Typically, governance innovations move much more slowly than technological innovations, and regulations can lag years, or even decades, behind the technologies they aim to govern.

In addition to this varied set of national regulatory approaches, a variety of international and nongovernmental organizations also contribute to the process of developing standards, rules, and norms for new technologies, including the International Organization for Standardization­ and the International Telecommunication Union. These multilateral and NGO actors play an especially important role in trying to define appropriate boundaries for the use of new technologies by governments as instruments of control for the state.

At the same time that policymakers are under scrutiny both for their decisions about how to regulate technology as well as their decisions about how and when to adopt technologies like facial recognition themselves, technology firms and designers have also come under increasing criticism. Growing recognition that the design of technologies can have far-reaching social and political implications means that there is more pressure on technologists to take into consideration the consequences of their decisions early on in the design process (Vincenti 1993; Winner 1980) . The question of how technologists should incorporate these social dimensions into their design and development processes is an old one, and debate on these issues dates back to the 1970s, but it remains an urgent and often overlooked part of the puzzle because so many of the supposedly systematic mechanisms for assessing the impacts of new technologies in both the private and public sectors are primarily bureaucratic, symbolic processes rather than carrying any real weight or influence.

Technologists are often ill-equipped or unwilling to respond to the sorts of social problems that their creations have—often unwittingly—exacerbated, and instead point to governments and lawmakers to address those problems (Zuckerberg 2019) . But governments often have few incentives to engage in this area. This is because setting clear standards and rules for an ever-evolving technological landscape can be extremely challenging, because enforcement of those rules can be a significant undertaking requiring considerable expertise, and because the tech sector is a major source of jobs and revenue for many countries that may fear losing those benefits if they constrain companies too much. This indicates not just a need for clearer incentives and better policies for both private- and public-sector entities but also a need for new mechanisms whereby the technology development and design process can be influenced and assessed by people with a wider range of experiences and expertise. If we want technologies to be designed with an eye to their impacts, who is responsible for predicting, measuring, and mitigating those impacts throughout the design process? Involving policymakers in that process in a more meaningful way will also require training them to have the analytic and technical capacity to more fully engage with technologists and understand more fully the implications of their decisions.

At the same time that tech companies seem unwilling or unable to rein in their creations, many also fear they wield too much power, in some cases all but replacing governments and international organizations in their ability to make decisions that affect millions of people worldwide and control access to information, platforms, and audiences (Kilovaty 2020) . Regulators around the world have begun considering whether some of these companies have become so powerful that they violate the tenets of antitrust laws, but it can be difficult for governments to identify exactly what those violations are, especially in the context of an industry where the largest players often provide their customers with free services. And the platforms and services developed by tech companies are often wielded most powerfully and dangerously not directly by their private-sector creators and operators but instead by states themselves for widespread misinformation campaigns that serve political purposes (Nye 2018) .

Since the largest private entities in the tech sector operate in many countries, they are often better poised to implement global changes to the technological ecosystem than individual states or regulatory bodies, creating new challenges to existing governance structures and hierarchies. Just as it can be challenging to provide oversight for government use of technologies, so, too, oversight of the biggest tech companies, which have more resources, reach, and power than many nations, can prove to be a daunting task. The rise of network forms of organization and the growing gig economy have added to these challenges, making it even harder for regulators to fully address the breadth of these companies’ operations (Powell 1990) . The private-public partnerships that have emerged around energy, transportation, medical, and cyber technologies further complicate this picture, blurring the line between the public and private sectors and raising critical questions about the role of each in providing critical infrastructure, health care, and security. How can and should private tech companies operating in these different sectors be governed, and what types of influence do they exert over regulators? How feasible are different policy proposals aimed at technological innovation, and what potential unintended consequences might they have?

Conflict between countries has also spilled over significantly into the private sector in recent years, most notably in the case of tensions between the United States and China over which technologies developed in each country will be permitted by the other and which will be purchased by other customers, outside those two countries. Countries competing to develop the best technology is not a new phenomenon, but the current conflicts have major international ramifications and will influence the infrastructure that is installed and used around the world for years to come. Untangling the different factors that feed into these tussles as well as whom they benefit and whom they leave at a disadvantage is crucial for understanding how governments can most effectively foster technological innovation and invention domestically as well as the global consequences of those efforts. As much of the world is forced to choose between buying technology from the United States or from China, how should we understand the long-term impacts of those choices and the options available to people in countries without robust domestic tech industries? Does the global spread of technologies help fuel further innovation in countries with smaller tech markets, or does it reinforce the dominance of the states that are already most prominent in this sector? How can research universities maintain global collaborations and research communities in light of these national competitions, and what role does government research and development spending play in fostering innovation within its own borders and worldwide? How should intellectual property protections evolve to meet the demands of the technology industry, and how can those protections be enforced globally?

These conflicts between countries sometimes appear to challenge the feasibility of truly global technologies and networks that operate across all countries through standardized protocols and design features. Organizations like the International Organization for Standardization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and many others have tried to harmonize these policies and protocols across different countries for years, but have met with limited success when it comes to resolving the issues of greatest tension and disagreement among nations. For technology to operate in a global environment, there is a need for a much greater degree of coordination among countries and the development of common standards and norms, but governments continue to struggle to agree not just on those norms themselves but even the appropriate venue and processes for developing them. Without greater global cooperation, is it possible to maintain a global network like the internet or to promote the spread of new technologies around the world to address challenges of sustainability? What might help incentivize that cooperation moving forward, and what could new structures and process for governance of global technologies look like? Why has the tech industry’s self-regulation culture persisted? Do the same traditional drivers for public policy, such as politics of harmonization and path dependency in policy-making, still sufficiently explain policy outcomes in this space? As new technologies and their applications spread across the globe in uneven ways, how and when do they create forces of change from unexpected places?

These are some of the questions that we hope to address in the Technology and Global Change section through articles that tackle new dimensions of the global landscape of designing, developing, deploying, and assessing new technologies to address major challenges the world faces. Understanding these processes requires synthesizing knowledge from a range of different fields, including sociology, political science, economics, and history, as well as technical fields such as engineering, climate science, and computer science. A crucial part of understanding how technology has created global change and, in turn, how global changes have influenced the development of new technologies is understanding the technologies themselves in all their richness and complexity—how they work, the limits of what they can do, what they were designed to do, how they are actually used. Just as technologies themselves are becoming more complicated, so are their embeddings and relationships to the larger social, political, and legal contexts in which they exist. Scholars across all disciplines are encouraged to join us in untangling those complexities.

Josephine Wolff is an associate professor of cybersecurity policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her book You’ll See This Message When It Is Too Late: The Legal and Economic Aftermath of Cybersecurity Breaches was published by MIT Press in 2018.

Recipient(s) will receive an email with a link to 'How Is Technology Changing the World, and How Should the World Change Technology?' and will not need an account to access the content.

Subject: How Is Technology Changing the World, and How Should the World Change Technology?

(Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters.)

Citing articles via

Email alerts, affiliations.

  • Special Collections
  • Review Symposia
  • Info for Authors
  • Info for Librarians
  • Editorial Team
  • Emerging Scholars Forum
  • Open Access
  • Online ISSN 2575-7350
  • Copyright © 2024 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

Stay Informed

Disciplines.

  • Ancient World
  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Film & Media Studies
  • Food & Wine
  • Browse All Disciplines
  • Browse All Courses
  • Book Authors
  • Booksellers
  • Instructions
  • Journal Authors
  • Journal Editors
  • Media & Journalists
  • Planned Giving

About UC Press

  • Press Releases
  • Seasonal Catalog
  • Acquisitions Editors
  • Customer Service
  • Exam/Desk Requests
  • Media Inquiries
  • Print-Disability
  • Rights & Permissions
  • UC Press Foundation
  • © Copyright 2024 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Privacy policy    Accessibility

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Encyclopedia Britannica

  • Games & Quizzes
  • History & Society
  • Science & Tech
  • Biographies
  • Animals & Nature
  • Geography & Travel
  • Arts & Culture
  • On This Day
  • One Good Fact
  • New Articles
  • Lifestyles & Social Issues
  • Philosophy & Religion
  • Politics, Law & Government
  • World History
  • Health & Medicine
  • Browse Biographies
  • Birds, Reptiles & Other Vertebrates
  • Bugs, Mollusks & Other Invertebrates
  • Environment
  • Fossils & Geologic Time
  • Entertainment & Pop Culture
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Visual Arts
  • Demystified
  • Image Galleries
  • Infographics
  • Top Questions
  • Britannica Kids
  • Saving Earth
  • Space Next 50
  • Student Center
  • Introduction
  • Social involvement in technological advances
  • Modes of technological transmission
  • Earliest communities
  • Tools and weapons
  • Building techniques
  • Manufacturing
  • Craftsmen and scientists
  • Copper and bronze
  • Urban manufacturing
  • Transmitting knowledge
  • The mastery of iron
  • Mechanical contrivances
  • Agriculture
  • Military technology
  • Power sources
  • Agriculture and crafts
  • Architecture
  • Communications
  • The Renaissance
  • The steam engine
  • Metallurgy and mining
  • New commodities
  • Land reclamation
  • Military fortifications
  • Transport and communications
  • Steam engines

Electricity

  • Internal-combustion engine
  • Iron and steel
  • Low-grade ores
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Steam locomotive
  • Road locomotive
  • Steamboats and ships
  • Printing and photography
  • Telegraphs and telephones

Gas-turbine engine

  • Atomic power
  • Improvements in iron and steel
  • Building materials
  • Synthetic fibres
  • Synthetic rubber
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical technology
  • Food and agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Alternatives to fossil fuels
  • Gas turbine
  • Automation and the computer
  • Food production
  • Space exploration
  • Science and technology
  • Criticisms of technology
  • Nuclear technology
  • Population explosion
  • Ecological balance
  • Interactions between society and technology
  • The putative autonomy of technology
  • Technology and education
  • The quality of life

International Space Station

  • Is Internet technology "making us stupid"?
  • What is the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) technology on society?
  • Where and when did the Industrial Revolution take place?
  • How did the Industrial Revolution change economies?
  • How did the Industrial Revolution change society?

Abstract vector hi speed internet technology background

The 20th and 21st centuries

Technology from 1900 to 1945.

Recent history is notoriously difficult to write, because of the mass of material and the problem of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant among events that have virtually the power of contemporary experience. In respect to the recent history of technology , however, one fact stands out clearly: despite the immense achievements of technology by 1900, the following decades witnessed more advance over a wide range of activities than the whole of previously recorded history. The airplane, the rocket and interplanetary probes, electronics, atomic power , antibiotics, insecticides, and a host of new materials have all been invented and developed to create an unparalleled social situation, full of possibilities and dangers, which would have been virtually unimaginable before the present century.

In venturing to interpret the events of the 20th century, it will be convenient to separate the years before 1945 from those that followed. The years 1900 to 1945 were dominated by the two World Wars, while those since 1945 were preoccupied by the need to avoid another major war. The dividing point is one of outstanding social and technological significance: the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico , in July 1945.

There were profound political changes in the 20th century related to technological capacity and leadership. It may be an exaggeration to regard the 20th century as “the American century,” but the rise of the United States as a superstate was sufficiently rapid and dramatic to excuse the hyperbole . It was a rise based upon tremendous natural resources exploited to secure increased productivity through widespread industrialization, and the success of the United States in achieving this objective was tested and demonstrated in the two World Wars. Technological leadership passed from Britain and the European nations to the United States in the course of these wars. This is not to say that the springs of innovation went dry in Europe. Many important inventions of the 20th century originated there. But it was the United States that had the capacity to assimilate innovations and take full advantage from them at times when other countries were deficient in one or other of the vital social resources without which a brilliant invention cannot be converted into a commercial success. As with Britain in the Industrial Revolution , the technological vitality of the United States in the 20th century was demonstrated less by any particular innovations than by its ability to adopt new ideas from whatever source they come.

The two World Wars were themselves the most important instruments of technological as well as political change in the 20th century. The rapid evolution of the airplane is a striking illustration of this process, while the appearance of the tank in the first conflict and of the atomic bomb in the second show the same signs of response to an urgent military stimulus. It has been said that World War I was a chemists’ war, on the basis of the immense importance of high explosives and poison gas. In other respects the two wars hastened the development of technology by extending the institutional apparatus for the encouragement of innovation by both the state and private industry . This process went further in some countries than in others, but no major belligerent nation could resist entirely the need to support and coordinate its scientific-technological effort. The wars were thus responsible for speeding the transformation from “little science,” with research still largely restricted to small-scale efforts by a few isolated scientists, to “big science,” with the emphasis on large research teams sponsored by governments and corporations, working collectively on the development and application of new techniques. While the extent of this transformation must not be overstated, and recent research has tended to stress the continuing need for the independent inventor at least in the stimulation of innovation, there can be little doubt that the change in the scale of technological enterprises had far-reaching consequences . It was one of the most momentous transformations of the 20th century, for it altered the quality of industrial and social organization. In the process it assured technology, for the first time in its long history, a position of importance and even honour in social esteem.

Fuel and power

There were no fundamental innovations in fuel and power before the breakthrough of 1945, but there were several significant developments in techniques that had originated in the previous century. An outstanding development of this type was the internal-combustion engine , which was continuously improved to meet the needs of road vehicles and airplanes. The high-compression engine burning heavy-oil fuels, invented by Rudolf Diesel in the 1890s, was developed to serve as a submarine power unit in World War I and was subsequently adapted to heavy road haulage duties and to agricultural tractors. Moreover, the sort of development that had transformed the reciprocating steam engine into the steam turbine occurred with the internal-combustion engine, the gas turbine replacing the reciprocating engine for specialized purposes such as aero-engines, in which a high power-to-weight ratio is important. Admittedly, this adaptation had not proceeded very far by 1945, although the first jet-powered aircraft were in service by the end of the war. The theory of the gas turbine, however, had been understood since the 1920s at least, and in 1929 Sir Frank Whittle , then taking a flying instructor’s course with the Royal Air Force , combined it with the principle of jet propulsion in the engine for which he took out a patent in the following year. But the construction of a satisfactory gas-turbine engine was delayed for a decade by the lack of resources, and particularly by the need to develop new metal alloys that could withstand the high temperatures generated in the engine. This problem was solved by the development of a nickel-chromium alloy, and, with the gradual solution of the other problems, work went on in both Germany and Britain to seize a military advantage by applying the jet engine to combat aircraft.

The principle of the gas turbine is that of compressing and burning air and fuel in a combustion chamber and using the exhaust jet from this process to provide the reaction that propels the engine forward. In its turbopropeller form, which developed only after World War II , the exhaust drives a shaft carrying a normal airscrew (propeller). Compression is achieved in a gas-turbine engine by admitting air through a turbine rotor. In the so-called ramjet engine, intended to operate at high speeds, the momentum of the engine through the air achieves adequate compression. The gas turbine has been the subject of experiments in road, rail, and marine transport, but for all purposes except that of air transport its advantages have not so far been such as to make it a viable rival to traditional reciprocating engines.

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

As far as fuel is concerned, the gas turbine burns mainly the middle fractions (kerosene, or paraffin) of refined oil, but the general tendency of its widespread application was to increase still further the dependence of the industrialized nations on the producers of crude oil , which became a raw material of immense economic value and international political significance. The refining of this material itself underwent important technological development. Until the 20th century it consisted of a fairly simple batch process whereby oil was heated until it vaporized, when the various fractions were distilled separately. Apart from improvements in the design of the stills and the introduction of continuous-flow production, the first big advance came in 1913 with the introduction of thermal cracking . This process took the less volatile fractions after distillation and subjected them to heat under pressure, thus cracking the heavy molecules into lighter molecules and so increasing the yield of the most valuable fuel, petrol or gasoline. The discovery of this ability to tailor the products of crude oil to suit the market marks the true beginning of the petrochemical industry. It received a further boost in 1936, with the introduction of catalytic cracking. By the use of various catalysts in the process, means were devised for still further manipulating the molecules of the hydrocarbon raw material. The development of modern plastics followed directly on this ( see below Plastics ). So efficient had the processes of utilization become that by the end of World War II the petrochemical industry had virtually eliminated all waste materials.

All the principles of generating electricity had been worked out in the 19th century, but by its end these had only just begun to produce electricity on a large scale. The 20th century witnessed a colossal expansion of electrical power generation and distribution. The general pattern has been toward ever-larger units of production, using steam from coal- or oil-fired boilers. Economies of scale and the greater physical efficiency achieved as higher steam temperatures and pressures were attained both reinforced this tendency. Experience in the United States indicates the trend: in the first decade of the 20th century, a generating unit with a capacity of 25,000 kilowatts with pressures up to 200–300 pounds per square inch at 400–500 °F (about 200–265 °C) was considered large, but by 1930 the largest unit was 208,000 kilowatts with pressures of 1,200 pounds per square inch at a temperature of 725 °F, while the amount of fuel necessary to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity and the price to the consumer had fallen dramatically. As the market for electricity increased, so did the distance over which it was transmitted, and the efficiency of transmission required higher and higher voltages. The small direct-current generators of early urban power systems were abandoned in favour of alternating-current systems, which could be adapted more readily to high voltages. Transmission over a line of 155 miles (250 km) was established in California in 1908 at 110,000 volts, and Hoover Dam in the 1930s used a line of 300 miles (480 km) at 287,000 volts. The latter case may serve as a reminder that hydroelectric power , using a fall of water to drive water turbines, was developed to generate electricity where the climate and topography make it possible to combine production with convenient transmission to a market. Remarkable levels of efficiency were achieved in modern plants. One important consequence of the ever-expanding consumption of electricity in the industrialized countries has been the linking of local systems to provide vast power grids, or pools, within which power can be shifted easily to meet changing local needs for current.

Oxford Martin School logo

Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the world can change within a lifetime

It is easy to underestimate how much the world can change within a lifetime. considering how dramatically the world has changed can help us see how different the world could be in a few years or decades..

Technology can change the world in ways that are unimaginable until they happen. Switching on an electric light would have been unimaginable for our medieval ancestors. In their childhood, our grandparents would have struggled to imagine a world connected by smartphones and the Internet.

Similarly, it is hard for us to imagine the arrival of all those technologies that will fundamentally change the world we are used to.

We can remind ourselves that our own future might look very different from the world today by looking back at how rapidly technology has changed our world in the past. That’s what this article is about.

One insight I take away from this long-term perspective is how unusual our time is. Technological change was extremely slow in the past – the technologies that our ancestors got used to in their childhood were still central to their lives in their old age. In stark contrast to those days, we live in a time of extraordinarily fast technological change. For recent generations, it was common for technologies that were unimaginable in their youth to become common later in life.

The long-run perspective on technological change

The big visualization offers a long-term perspective on the history of technology. 1

The timeline begins at the center of the spiral. The first use of stone tools, 3.4 million years ago, marks the beginning of this history of technology. 2 Each turn of the spiral represents 200,000 years of history. It took 2.4 million years – 12 turns of the spiral – for our ancestors to control fire and use it for cooking. 3

To be able to visualize the inventions in the more recent past – the last 12,000 years – I had to unroll the spiral. I needed more space to be able to show when agriculture, writing, and the wheel were invented. During this period, technological change was faster, but it was still relatively slow: several thousand years passed between each of these three inventions.

From 1800 onwards, I stretched out the timeline even further to show the many major inventions that rapidly followed one after the other.

The long-term perspective that this chart provides makes it clear just how unusually fast technological change is in our time.

You can use this visualization to see how technology developed in particular domains. Follow, for example, the history of communication: from writing to paper, to the printing press, to the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, all the way to the Internet and smartphones.

Or follow the rapid development of human flight. In 1903, the Wright brothers took the first flight in human history (they were in the air for less than a minute), and just 66 years later, we landed on the moon. Many people saw both within their lifetimes: the first plane and the moon landing.

This large visualization also highlights the wide range of technology’s impact on our lives. It includes extraordinarily beneficial innovations, such as the vaccine that allowed humanity to eradicate smallpox , and it includes terrible innovations, like the nuclear bombs that endanger the lives of all of us .

What will the next decades bring?

The red timeline reaches up to the present and then continues in green into the future. Many children born today, even without further increases in life expectancy, will live well into the 22nd century.

New vaccines, progress in clean, low-carbon energy, better cancer treatments – a range of future innovations could very much improve our living conditions and the environment around us. But, as I argue in a series of articles , there is one technology that could even more profoundly change our world: artificial intelligence (AI).

One reason why artificial intelligence is such an important innovation is that intelligence is the main driver of innovation itself. This fast-paced technological change could speed up even more if it’s driven not only by humanity’s intelligence but also by artificial intelligence. If this happens, the change currently stretched out over decades might happen within a very brief time span of just a year. Possibly even faster. 4

I think AI technology could have a fundamentally transformative impact on our world. In many ways, it is already changing our world, as I documented in this companion article . As this technology becomes more capable in the years and decades to come, it can give immense power to those who control it (and it poses the risk that it could escape our control entirely).

Such systems might seem hard to imagine today, but AI technology is advancing quickly. Many AI experts believe there is a real chance that human-level artificial intelligence will be developed within the next decades, as I documented in this article .

legacy-wordpress-upload

Technology will continue to change the world – we should all make sure that it changes it for the better

What is familiar to us today – photography, the radio, antibiotics, the Internet, or the International Space Station circling our planet – was unimaginable to our ancestors just a few generations ago. If your great-great-great grandparents could spend a week with you, they would be blown away by your everyday life.

What I take away from this history is that I will likely see technologies in my lifetime that appear unimaginable to me today.

In addition to this trend towards increasingly rapid innovation, there is a second long-run trend. Technology has become increasingly powerful. While our ancestors wielded stone tools, we are building globe-spanning AI systems and technologies that can edit our genes.

Because of the immense power that technology gives those who control it, there is little that is as important as the question of which technologies get developed during our lifetimes. Therefore, I think it is a mistake to leave the question about the future of technology to the technologists. Which technologies are controlled by whom is one of the most important political questions of our time because of the enormous power these technologies convey to those who control them.

We all should strive to gain the knowledge we need to contribute to an intelligent debate about the world we want to live in. To a large part, this means gaining knowledge and wisdom on the question of which technologies we want.

Acknowledgments: I would like to thank my colleagues Hannah Ritchie, Bastian Herre, Natasha Ahuja, Edouard Mathieu, Daniel Bachler, Charlie Giattino, and Pablo Rosado for their helpful comments on drafts of this essay and the visualization. Thanks also to Lizka Vaintrob and Ben Clifford for the conversation that initiated this visualization.

Appendix: About the choice of visualization in this article

The recent speed of technological change makes it difficult to picture the history of technology in one visualization. When you visualize this development on a linear timeline, then most of the timeline is almost empty, while all the action is crammed into the right corner:

Linear version of the spiral chart

In my large visualization here, I tried to avoid this problem and instead show the long history of technology in a way that lets you see when each technological breakthrough happened and how, within the last millennia, there was a continuous acceleration of technological change.

The recent speed of technological change makes it difficult to picture the history of technology in one visualization. In the appendix, I show how this would look if it were linear.

It is, of course, difficult to assess when exactly the first stone tools were used.

The research by McPherron et al. (2010) suggested that it was at least 3.39 million years ago. This is based on two fossilized bones found in Dikika in Ethiopia, which showed “stone-tool cut marks for flesh removal and percussion marks for marrow access”. These marks were interpreted as being caused by meat consumption and provide the first evidence that one of our ancestors, Australopithecus afarensis, used stone tools.

The research by Harmand et al. (2015) provided evidence for stone tool use in today’s Kenya 3.3 million years ago.

References:

McPherron et al. (2010) – Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia . Published in Nature.

Harmand et al. (2015) – 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya . Published in Nature.

Evidence for controlled fire use approximately 1 million years ago is provided by Berna et al. (2012) Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa , published in PNAS.

The authors write: “The ability to control fire was a crucial turning point in human evolution, but the question of when hominins first developed this ability still remains. Here we show that micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (mFTIR) analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context.”

This is what authors like Holden Karnofsky called ‘Process for Automating Scientific and Technological Advancement’ or PASTA. Some recent developments go in this direction: DeepMind’s AlphaFold helped to make progress on one of the large problems in biology, and they have also developed an AI system that finds new algorithms that are relevant to building a more powerful AI.

Cite this work

Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this article, please also cite the underlying data sources. This article can be cited as:

BibTeX citation

Reuse this work freely

All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license . You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

The data produced by third parties and made available by Our World in Data is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.

All of our charts can be embedded in any site.

Our World in Data is free and accessible for everyone.

Help us do this work by making a donation.

Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context

  • Published: 27 August 2011
  • Volume 44 , pages 209–213, ( 2011 )

Cite this article

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  • John H. Marburger III 1  

23k Accesses

8 Citations

3 Altmetric

Explore all metrics

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.

This editorial essay was prepared by John H. “Jack” Marburger for a workshop on the “science of science and innovation policy” held in 2009 that was the basis for this special issue. It is published posthumously .

Linking the words “science,” “technology,” and “innovation,” may suggest that we know more about how these activities are related than we really do. This very common linkage implicitly conveys a linear progression from scientific research to technology creation to innovative products. More nuanced pictures of these complex activities break them down into components that interact with each other in a multi-dimensional socio-technological-economic network. A few examples will help to make this clear.

Science has always functioned on two levels that we may describe as curiosity-driven and need-driven, and they interact in sometimes surprising ways. Galileo’s telescope, the paradigmatic instrument of discovery in pure science, emerged from an entirely pragmatic tradition of lens-making for eye-glasses. And we should keep in mind that the industrial revolution gave more to science than it received, at least until the last half of the nineteenth century when the sciences of chemistry and electricity began to produce serious economic payoffs. The flowering of science during the era, we call the enlightenment owed much to its links with crafts and industry, but as it gained momentum science created its own need for practical improvements. After all, the frontiers of science are defined by the capabilities of instrumentation, that is, of technology. The needs of pure science are a huge but poorly understood stimulus for technologies that have the capacity to be disruptive precisely because these needs do not arise from the marketplace. The innovators who built the World Wide Web on the foundation of the Internet were particle physicists at CERN, struggling to satisfy their unique need to share complex information. Others soon discovered “needs” of which they had been unaware that could be satisfied by this innovation, and from that point the Web transformed the Internet from a tool for the technological elite into a broad platform for a new kind of economy.

Necessity is said to be the mother of invention, but in all human societies, “necessity” is a mix of culturally conditioned perceptions and the actual physical necessities of life. The concept of need, of what is wanted, is the ultimate driver of markets and an essential dimension of innovation. And as the example of the World Wide Web shows, need is very difficult to identify before it reveals itself in a mass movement. Why did I not know I needed a cell phone before nearly everyone else had one? Because until many others had one I did not, in fact, need one. Innovation has this chicken-and-egg quality that makes it extremely hard to analyze. We all know of visionaries who conceive of a society totally transformed by their invention and who are bitter that the world has not embraced their idea. Sometimes we think of them as crackpots, or simply unrealistic about what it takes to change the world. We practical people necessarily view the world through the filter of what exists, and fail to anticipate disruptive change. Nearly always we are surprised by the rapid acceptance of a transformative idea. If we truly want to encourage innovation through government policies, we are going to have to come to grips with this deep unpredictability of the mass acceptance of a new concept. Works analyzing this phenomenon are widely popular under titles like “ The Tipping Point ” by Gladwell ( 2000 ) or more recently the book by Taleb ( 2007 ) called The Black Swan , among others.

What causes innovations to be adopted and integrated into economies depends on their ability to satisfy some perceived need by consumers, and that perception may be an artifact of marketing, or fashion, or cultural inertia, or ignorance. Some of the largest and most profitable industries in the developed world—entertainment, automobiles, clothing and fashion accessories, health products, children’s toys, grownups’ toys!—depend on perceptions of need that go far beyond the utilitarian and are notoriously difficult to predict. And yet these industries clearly depend on sophisticated and rapidly advancing technologies to compete in the marketplace. Of course, they do not depend only upon technology. Technologies are part of the environment for innovation, or in a popular and very appropriate metaphor—part of the innovation ecology .

This complexity of innovation and its ecology is conveyed in Chapter One of a currently popular best-seller in the United States called Innovation Nation by the American innovation guru, Kao ( 2007 ), formerly on the faculty of the Harvard Business School:

“I define it [innovation],” writes Kao, “as the ability of individuals, companies, and entire nations to continuously create their desired future. Innovation depends on harvesting knowledge from a range of disciplines besides science and technology, among them design, social science, and the arts. And it is exemplified by more than just products; services, experiences, and processes can be innovative as well. The work of entrepreneurs, scientists, and software geeks alike contributes to innovation. It is also about the middlemen who know how to realize value from ideas. Innovation flows from shifts in mind-set that can generate new business models, recognize new opportunities, and weave innovations throughout the fabric of society. It is about new ways of doing and seeing things as much as it is about the breakthrough idea.” (Kao 2007 , p. 19).

This is not your standard government-type definition. Gurus, of course, do not have to worry about leading indicators and predictive measures of policy success. Nevertheless, some policy guidance can be drawn from this high level “definition,” and I will do so later.

The first point, then, is that the structural aspects of “science, technology, and innovation” are imperfectly defined, complex, and poorly understood. There is still much work to do to identify measures, develop models, and test them against actual experience before we can say we really know what it takes to foster innovation. The second point I want to make is about the temporal aspects: all three of these complex activities are changing with time. Science, of course, always changes through the accumulation of knowledge, but it also changes through revolutions in its theoretical structure, through its ever-improving technology, and through its evolving sociology. The technology and sociology of science are currently impacted by a rapidly changing information technology. Technology today flows increasingly from research laboratories but the influence of technology on both science and innovation depends strongly on its commercial adoption, that is, on market forces. Commercial scale manufacturing drives down the costs of technology so it can be exploited in an ever-broadening range of applications. The mass market for precision electro-mechanical devices like cameras, printers, and disk drives is the basis for new scientific instrumentation and also for further generations of products that integrate hundreds of existing components in new devices and business models like the Apple iPod and video games, not to mention improvements in old products like cars and telephones. Innovation is changing too as it expands its scope beyond individual products to include all or parts of systems such as supply chains and inventory control, as in the Wal-Mart phenomenon. Apple’s iPod does not stand alone; it is integrated with iTunes software and novel arrangements with media providers.

With one exception, however, technology changes more slowly than it appears because we encounter basic technology platforms in a wide variety of relatively short-lived products. Technology is like a language that innovators use to express concepts in the form of products, and business models that serve (and sometimes create) a variety of needs, some of which fluctuate with fashion. The exception to the illusion of rapid technology change is the pace of information technology, which is no illusion. It has fulfilled Moore’s Law for more than half a century, and it is a remarkable historical anomaly arising from the systematic exploitation of the understanding of the behavior of microscopic matter following the discovery of quantum mechanics. The pace would be much less without a continually evolving market for the succession of smaller, higher capacity products. It is not at all clear that the market demand will continue to support the increasingly expensive investment in fabrication equipment for each new step up the exponential curve of Moore’s Law. The science is probably available to allow many more capacity doublings if markets can sustain them. Let me digress briefly on this point.

Many science commentators have described the twentieth century as the century of physics and the twenty-first as the century of biology. We now know that is misleading. It is true that our struggle to understand the ultimate constituents of matter has now encompassed (apparently) everything of human scale and relevance, and that the universe of biological phenomena now lies open for systematic investigation and dramatic applications in health, agriculture, and energy production. But there are two additional frontiers of physical science, one already highly productive, the other very intriguing. The first is the frontier of complexity , where physics, chemistry, materials science, biology, and mathematics all come together. This is where nanotechnology and biotechnology reside. These are huge fields that form the core of basic science policy in most developed nations. The basic science of the twenty-first century is neither biology nor physics, but an interdisciplinary mix of these and other traditional fields. Continued development of this domain contributes to information technology and much else. I mentioned two frontiers. The other physical science frontier borders the nearly unexploited domain of quantum coherence phenomena . It is a very large domain and potentially a source of entirely new platform technologies not unlike microelectronics. To say more about this would take me too far from our topic. The point is that nature has many undeveloped physical phenomena to enrich the ecology of innovation and keep us marching along the curve of Moore’s Law if we can afford to do so.

I worry about the psychological impact of the rapid advance of information technology. I believe it has created unrealistic expectations about all technologies and has encouraged a casual attitude among policy makers toward the capability of science and technology to deliver solutions to difficult social problems. This is certainly true of what may be the greatest technical challenge of all time—the delivery of energy to large developed and developing populations without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The challenge of sustainable energy technology is much more difficult than many people currently seem to appreciate. I am afraid that time will make this clear.

Structural complexities and the intrinsic dynamism of science and technology pose challenges to policy makers, but they seem almost manageable compared with the challenges posed by extrinsic forces. Among these are globalization and the impact of global economic development on the environment. The latter, expressed quite generally through the concept of “sustainability” is likely to be a component of much twenty-first century innovation policy. Measures of development, competitiveness, and innovation need to include sustainability dimensions to be realistic over the long run. Development policies that destroy economically important environmental systems, contribute to harmful global change, and undermine the natural resource basis of the economy are bad policies. Sustainability is now an international issue because the scale of development and the globalization of economies have environmental and natural resource implications that transcend national borders.

From the policy point of view, globalization is a not a new phenomenon. Science has been globalized for centuries, and we ought to be studying it more closely as a model for effective responses to the globalization of our economies. What is striking about science is the strong imperative to share ideas through every conceivable channel to the widest possible audience. If you had to name one chief characteristic of science, it would be empiricism. If you had to name two, the other would be open communication of data and ideas. The power of open communication in science cannot be overestimated. It has established, uniquely among human endeavors, an absolute global standard. And it effectively recruits talent from every part of the globe to labor at the science frontiers. The result has been an extraordinary legacy of understanding of the phenomena that shape our existence. Science is the ultimate example of an open innovation system.

Science practice has received much attention from philosophers, social scientists, and historians during the past half-century, and some of what has been learned holds valuable lessons for policy makers. It is fascinating to me how quickly countries that provide avenues to advanced education are able to participate in world science. The barriers to a small but productive scientific activity appear to be quite low and whether or not a country participates in science appears to be discretionary. A small scientific establishment, however, will not have significant direct economic impact. Its value at early stages of development is indirect, bringing higher performance standards, international recognition, and peer role models for a wider population. A science program of any size is also a link to the rich intellectual resources of the world scientific community. The indirect benefit of scientific research to a developing country far exceeds its direct benefit, and policy needs to recognize this. It is counterproductive to base support for science in such countries on a hoped-for direct economic stimulus.

Keeping in mind that the innovation ecology includes far more than science and technology, it should be obvious that within a small national economy innovation can thrive on a very small indigenous science and technology base. But innovators, like scientists, do require access to technical information and ideas. Consequently, policies favorable to innovation will create access to education and encourage free communication with the world technical community. Anything that encourages awareness of the marketplace and all its actors on every scale will encourage innovation.

This brings me back to John Kao’s definition of innovation. His vision of “the ability of individuals, companies, and entire nations to continuously create their desired future” implies conditions that create that ability, including most importantly educational opportunity (Kao 2007 , p. 19). The notion that “innovation depends on harvesting knowledge from a range of disciplines besides science and technology” implies that innovators must know enough to recognize useful knowledge when they see it, and that they have access to knowledge sources across a spectrum that ranges from news media and the Internet to technical and trade conferences (2007, p. 19). If innovation truly “flows from shifts in mind-set that can generate new business models, recognize new opportunities, and weave innovations throughout the fabric of society,” then the fabric of society must be somewhat loose-knit to accommodate the new ideas (2007, p. 19). Innovation is about risk and change, and deep forces in every society resist both of these. A striking feature of the US innovation ecology is the positive attitude toward failure, an attitude that encourages risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

All this gives us some insight into what policies we need to encourage innovation. Innovation policy is broader than science and technology policy, but the latter must be consistent with the former to produce a healthy innovation ecology. Innovation requires a predictable social structure, an open marketplace, and a business culture amenable to risk and change. It certainly requires an educational infrastructure that produces people with a global awareness and sufficient technical literacy to harvest the fruits of current technology. What innovation does not require is the creation by governments of a system that defines, regulates, or even rewards innovation except through the marketplace or in response to evident success. Some regulation of new products and new ideas is required to protect public health and environmental quality, but innovation needs lots of freedom. Innovative ideas that do not work out should be allowed to die so the innovation community can learn from the experience and replace the failed attempt with something better.

Do we understand innovation well enough to develop policy for it? If the policy addresses very general infrastructure issues such as education, economic, and political stability and the like, the answer is perhaps. If we want to measure the impact of specific programs on innovation, the answer is no. Studies of innovation are at an early stage where anecdotal information and case studies, similar to John Kao’s book—or the books on Business Week’s top ten list of innovation titles—are probably the most useful tools for policy makers.

I have been urging increased attention to what I call the science of science policy —the systematic quantitative study of the subset of our economy called science and technology—including the construction and validation of micro- and macro-economic models for S&T activity. Innovators themselves, and those who finance them, need to identify their needs and the impediments they face. Eventually, we may learn enough to create reliable indicators by which we can judge the health of our innovation ecosystems. The goal is well worth the sustained effort that will be required to achieve it.

Gladwell, M. (2000). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference . Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Google Scholar  

Kao, J. (2007). Innovation nation: How America is losing its innovation edge, why it matters, and what we can do to get it back . New York: Free Press.

Taleb, N. N. (2007). The black swan: The impact of the highly improbable . New York: Random House.

Download references

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

John H. Marburger III

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Additional information

John H. Marburger III—deceased

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Marburger, J.H. Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context. Policy Sci 44 , 209–213 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11077-011-9137-3

Download citation

Published : 27 August 2011

Issue Date : September 2011

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11077-011-9137-3

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Find a journal
  • Publish with us
  • Track your research

Talk to our experts

1800-120-456-456

  • Technology Essay

ffImage

Essay on Technology

The word "technology" and its uses have immensely changed since the 20th century, and with time, it has continued to evolve ever since. We are living in a world driven by technology. The advancement of technology has played an important role in the development of human civilization, along with cultural changes. Technology provides innovative ways of doing work through various smart and innovative means. 

Electronic appliances, gadgets, faster modes of communication, and transport have added to the comfort factor in our lives. It has helped in improving the productivity of individuals and different business enterprises. Technology has brought a revolution in many operational fields. It has undoubtedly made a very important contribution to the progress that mankind has made over the years.

The Advancement of Technology:

Technology has reduced the effort and time and increased the efficiency of the production requirements in every field. It has made our lives easy, comfortable, healthy, and enjoyable. It has brought a revolution in transport and communication. The advancement of technology, along with science, has helped us to become self-reliant in all spheres of life. With the innovation of a particular technology, it becomes part of society and integral to human lives after a point in time.

Technology is Our Part of Life:

Technology has changed our day-to-day lives. Technology has brought the world closer and better connected. Those days have passed when only the rich could afford such luxuries. Because of the rise of globalisation and liberalisation, all luxuries are now within the reach of the average person. Today, an average middle-class family can afford a mobile phone, a television, a washing machine, a refrigerator, a computer, the Internet, etc. At the touch of a switch, a man can witness any event that is happening in far-off places.  

Benefits of Technology in All Fields: 

We cannot escape technology; it has improved the quality of life and brought about revolutions in various fields of modern-day society, be it communication, transportation, education, healthcare, and many more. Let us learn about it.

Technology in Communication:

With the advent of technology in communication, which includes telephones, fax machines, cellular phones, the Internet, multimedia, and email, communication has become much faster and easier. It has transformed and influenced relationships in many ways. We no longer need to rely on sending physical letters and waiting for several days for a response. Technology has made communication so simple that you can connect with anyone from anywhere by calling them via mobile phone or messaging them using different messaging apps that are easy to download.

Innovation in communication technology has had an immense influence on social life. Human socialising has become easier by using social networking sites, dating, and even matrimonial services available on mobile applications and websites.

Today, the Internet is used for shopping, paying utility bills, credit card bills, admission fees, e-commerce, and online banking. In the world of marketing, many companies are marketing and selling their products and creating brands over the internet. 

In the field of travel, cities, towns, states, and countries are using the web to post detailed tourist and event information. Travellers across the globe can easily find information on tourism, sightseeing, places to stay, weather, maps, timings for events, transportation schedules, and buy tickets to various tourist spots and destinations.

Technology in the Office or Workplace:

Technology has increased efficiency and flexibility in the workspace. Technology has made it easy to work remotely, which has increased the productivity of the employees. External and internal communication has become faster through emails and apps. Automation has saved time, and there is also a reduction in redundancy in tasks. Robots are now being used to manufacture products that consistently deliver the same product without defect until the robot itself fails. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology are innovations that are being deployed across industries to reap benefits.

Technology has wiped out the manual way of storing files. Now files are stored in the cloud, which can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. With technology, companies can make quick decisions, act faster towards solutions, and remain adaptable. Technology has optimised the usage of resources and connected businesses worldwide. For example, if the customer is based in America, he can have the services delivered from India. They can communicate with each other in an instant. Every company uses business technology like virtual meeting tools, corporate social networks, tablets, and smart customer relationship management applications that accelerate the fast movement of data and information.

Technology in Education:

Technology is making the education industry improve over time. With technology, students and parents have a variety of learning tools at their fingertips. Teachers can coordinate with classrooms across the world and share their ideas and resources online. Students can get immediate access to an abundance of good information on the Internet. Teachers and students can access plenty of resources available on the web and utilise them for their project work, research, etc. Online learning has changed our perception of education. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a paradigm shift using technology where school-going kids continued their studies from home and schools facilitated imparting education by their teachers online from home. Students have learned and used 21st-century skills and tools, like virtual classrooms, AR (Augmented Reality), robots, etc. All these have increased communication and collaboration significantly. 

Technology in Banking:

Technology and banking are now inseparable. Technology has boosted digital transformation in how the banking industry works and has vastly improved banking services for their customers across the globe.

Technology has made banking operations very sophisticated and has reduced errors to almost nil, which were somewhat prevalent with manual human activities. Banks are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase their efficiency and profits. With the emergence of Internet banking, self-service tools have replaced the traditional methods of banking. 

You can now access your money, handle transactions like paying bills, money transfers, and online purchases from merchants, and monitor your bank statements anytime and from anywhere in the world. Technology has made banking more secure and safe. You do not need to carry cash in your pocket or wallet; the payments can be made digitally using e-wallets. Mobile banking, banking apps, and cybersecurity are changing the face of the banking industry.

Manufacturing and Production Industry Automation:

At present, manufacturing industries are using all the latest technologies, ranging from big data analytics to artificial intelligence. Big data, ARVR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality), and IoT (Internet of Things) are the biggest manufacturing industry players. Automation has increased the level of productivity in various fields. It has reduced labour costs, increased efficiency, and reduced the cost of production.

For example, 3D printing is used to design and develop prototypes in the automobile industry. Repetitive work is being done easily with the help of robots without any waste of time. This has also reduced the cost of the products. 

Technology in the Healthcare Industry:

Technological advancements in the healthcare industry have not only improved our personal quality of life and longevity; they have also improved the lives of many medical professionals and students who are training to become medical experts. It has allowed much faster access to the medical records of each patient. 

The Internet has drastically transformed patients' and doctors’ relationships. Everyone can stay up to date on the latest medical discoveries, share treatment information, and offer one another support when dealing with medical issues. Modern technology has allowed us to contact doctors from the comfort of our homes. There are many sites and apps through which we can contact doctors and get medical help. 

Breakthrough innovations in surgery, artificial organs, brain implants, and networked sensors are examples of transformative developments in the healthcare industry. Hospitals use different tools and applications to perform their administrative tasks, using digital marketing to promote their services.

Technology in Agriculture:

Today, farmers work very differently than they would have decades ago. Data analytics and robotics have built a productive food system. Digital innovations are being used for plant breeding and harvesting equipment. Software and mobile devices are helping farmers harvest better. With various data and information available to farmers, they can make better-informed decisions, for example, tracking the amount of carbon stored in soil and helping with climate change.

Disadvantages of Technology:

People have become dependent on various gadgets and machines, resulting in a lack of physical activity and tempting people to lead an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Even though technology has increased the productivity of individuals, organisations, and the nation, it has not increased the efficiency of machines. Machines cannot plan and think beyond the instructions that are fed into their system. Technology alone is not enough for progress and prosperity. Management is required, and management is a human act. Technology is largely dependent on human intervention. 

Computers and smartphones have led to an increase in social isolation. Young children are spending more time surfing the internet, playing games, and ignoring their real lives. Usage of technology is also resulting in job losses and distracting students from learning. Technology has been a reason for the production of weapons of destruction.

Dependency on technology is also increasing privacy concerns and cyber crimes, giving way to hackers.

arrow-right

FAQs on Technology Essay

1. What is technology?

Technology refers to innovative ways of doing work through various smart means. The advancement of technology has played an important role in the development of human civilization. It has helped in improving the productivity of individuals and businesses.

2. How has technology changed the face of banking?

Technology has made banking operations very sophisticated. With the emergence of Internet banking, self-service tools have replaced the traditional methods of banking. You can now access your money, handle transactions, and monitor your bank statements anytime and from anywhere in the world. Technology has made banking more secure and safe.

3. How has technology brought a revolution in the medical field?

Patients and doctors keep each other up to date on the most recent medical discoveries, share treatment information, and offer each other support when dealing with medical issues. It has allowed much faster access to the medical records of each patient. Modern technology has allowed us to contact doctors from the comfort of our homes. There are many websites and mobile apps through which we can contact doctors and get medical help.

4. Are we dependent on technology?

Yes, today, we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Computers, smartphones, and modern technology have helped humanity achieve success and progress. However, in hindsight, people need to continuously build a healthy lifestyle, sorting out personal problems that arise due to technological advancements in different aspects of human life.

Feb 13, 2023

200-500 Word Example Essays about Technology

Got an essay assignment about technology check out these examples to inspire you.

Technology is a rapidly evolving field that has completely changed the way we live, work, and interact with one another. Technology has profoundly impacted our daily lives, from how we communicate with friends and family to how we access information and complete tasks. As a result, it's no surprise that technology is a popular topic for students writing essays.

But writing a technology essay can be challenging, especially for those needing more time or help with writer's block. This is where Jenni.ai comes in. Jenni.ai is an innovative AI tool explicitly designed for students who need help writing essays. With Jenni.ai, students can quickly and easily generate essays on various topics, including technology.

This blog post aims to provide readers with various example essays on technology, all generated by Jenni.ai. These essays will be a valuable resource for students looking for inspiration or guidance as they work on their essays. By reading through these example essays, students can better understand how technology can be approached and discussed in an essay.

Moreover, by signing up for a free trial with Jenni.ai, students can take advantage of this innovative tool and receive even more support as they work on their essays. Jenni.ai is designed to help students write essays faster and more efficiently, so they can focus on what truly matters – learning and growing as a student. Whether you're a student who is struggling with writer's block or simply looking for a convenient way to generate essays on a wide range of topics, Jenni.ai is the perfect solution.

The Impact of Technology on Society and Culture

Introduction:.

Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives and has dramatically impacted how we interact, communicate, and carry out various activities. Technological advancements have brought positive and negative changes to society and culture. In this article, we will explore the impact of technology on society and culture and how it has influenced different aspects of our lives.

Positive impact on communication:

Technology has dramatically improved communication and made it easier for people to connect from anywhere in the world. Social media platforms, instant messaging, and video conferencing have brought people closer, bridging geographical distances and cultural differences. This has made it easier for people to share information, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Positive impact on education:

Students and instructors now have access to a multitude of knowledge and resources because of the effect of technology on education . Students may now study at their speed and from any location thanks to online learning platforms, educational applications, and digital textbooks.

Negative impact on critical thinking and creativity:

Technological advancements have resulted in a reduction in critical thinking and creativity. With so much information at our fingertips, individuals have become more passive in their learning, relying on the internet for solutions rather than logic and inventiveness. As a result, independent thinking and problem-solving abilities have declined.

Positive impact on entertainment:

Technology has transformed how we access and consume entertainment. People may now access a wide range of entertainment alternatives from the comfort of their own homes thanks to streaming services, gaming platforms, and online content makers. The entertainment business has entered a new age of creativity and invention as a result of this.

Negative impact on attention span:

However, the continual bombardment of information and technological stimulation has also reduced attention span and the capacity to focus. People are easily distracted and need help focusing on a single activity for a long time. This has hampered productivity and the ability to accomplish duties.

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies has been one of the most significant technological developments of the past several decades. These cutting-edge technologies have the potential to alter several sectors of society, including commerce, industry, healthcare, and entertainment. 

As with any new and quickly advancing technology, AI and ML ethics must be carefully studied. The usage of these technologies presents significant concerns around privacy, accountability, and command. As the use of AI and ML grows more ubiquitous, we must assess their possible influence on society and investigate the ethical issues that must be taken into account as these technologies continue to develop.

What are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence in machines designed to think and act like humans. Machine learning is a subfield of AI that enables computers to learn from data and improve their performance over time without being explicitly programmed.

The impact of AI and ML on Society

The use of AI and ML in various industries, such as healthcare, finance, and retail, has brought many benefits. For example, AI-powered medical diagnosis systems can identify diseases faster and more accurately than human doctors. However, there are also concerns about job displacement and the potential for AI to perpetuate societal biases.

The Ethical Considerations of AI and ML

A. Bias in AI algorithms

One of the critical ethical concerns about AI and ML is the potential for algorithms to perpetuate existing biases. This can occur if the data used to train these algorithms reflects the preferences of the people who created it. As a result, AI systems can perpetuate these biases and discriminate against certain groups of people.

B. Responsibility for AI-generated decisions

Another ethical concern is the responsibility for decisions made by AI systems. For example, who is responsible for the damage if a self-driving car causes an accident? The manufacturer of the vehicle, the software developer, or the AI algorithm itself?

C. The potential for misuse of AI and ML

AI and ML can also be used for malicious purposes, such as cyberattacks and misinformation. The need for more regulation and oversight in developing and using these technologies makes it difficult to prevent misuse.

The developments in AI and ML have given numerous benefits to humanity, but they also present significant ethical concerns that must be addressed. We must assess the repercussions of new technologies on society, implement methods to limit the associated dangers, and guarantee that they are utilized for the greater good. As AI and ML continue to play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives, we must engage in an open and frank discussion regarding their ethics.

The Future of Work And Automation

Rapid technological breakthroughs in recent years have brought about considerable changes in our way of life and work. Concerns regarding the influence of artificial intelligence and machine learning on the future of work and employment have increased alongside the development of these technologies. This article will examine the possible advantages and disadvantages of automation and its influence on the labor market, employees, and the economy.

The Advantages of Automation

Automation in the workplace offers various benefits, including higher efficiency and production, fewer mistakes, and enhanced precision. Automated processes may accomplish repetitive jobs quickly and precisely, allowing employees to concentrate on more complex and creative activities. Additionally, automation may save organizations money since it removes the need to pay for labor and minimizes the danger of workplace accidents.

The Potential Disadvantages of Automation

However, automation has significant disadvantages, including job loss and income stagnation. As robots and computers replace human labor in particular industries, there is a danger that many workers may lose their jobs, resulting in higher unemployment and more significant economic disparity. Moreover, if automation is not adequately regulated and managed, it might lead to stagnant wages and a deterioration in employees' standard of life.

The Future of Work and Automation

Despite these difficulties, automation will likely influence how labor is done. As a result, firms, employees, and governments must take early measures to solve possible issues and reap the rewards of automation. This might entail funding worker retraining programs, enhancing education and skill development, and implementing regulations that support equality and justice at work.

IV. The Need for Ethical Considerations

We must consider the ethical ramifications of automation and its effects on society as technology develops. The impact on employees and their rights, possible hazards to privacy and security, and the duty of corporations and governments to ensure that automation is utilized responsibly and ethically are all factors to be taken into account.

Conclusion:

To summarise, the future of employment and automation will most certainly be defined by a complex interaction of technological advances, economic trends, and cultural ideals. All stakeholders must work together to handle the problems and possibilities presented by automation and ensure that technology is employed to benefit society as a whole.

The Role of Technology in Education

Introduction.

Nearly every part of our lives has been transformed by technology, and education is no different. Today's students have greater access to knowledge, opportunities, and resources than ever before, and technology is becoming a more significant part of their educational experience. Technology is transforming how we think about education and creating new opportunities for learners of all ages, from online courses and virtual classrooms to instructional applications and augmented reality.

Technology's Benefits for Education

The capacity to tailor learning is one of technology's most significant benefits in education. Students may customize their education to meet their unique needs and interests since they can access online information and tools. 

For instance, people can enroll in online classes on topics they are interested in, get tailored feedback on their work, and engage in virtual discussions with peers and subject matter experts worldwide. As a result, pupils are better able to acquire and develop the abilities and information necessary for success.

Challenges and Concerns

Despite the numerous advantages of technology in education, there are also obstacles and considerations to consider. One issue is the growing reliance on technology and the possibility that pupils would become overly dependent on it. This might result in a lack of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, as students may become passive learners who only follow instructions and rely on technology to complete their assignments.

Another obstacle is the digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not. This division can exacerbate the achievement gap between pupils and produce uneven educational and professional growth chances. To reduce these consequences, all students must have access to the technology and resources necessary for success.

In conclusion, technology is rapidly becoming an integral part of the classroom experience and has the potential to alter the way we learn radically. 

Technology can help students flourish and realize their full potential by giving them access to individualized instruction, tools, and opportunities. While the benefits of technology in the classroom are undeniable, it's crucial to be mindful of the risks and take precautions to guarantee that all kids have access to the tools they need to thrive.

The Influence of Technology On Personal Relationships And Communication 

Technological advancements have profoundly altered how individuals connect and exchange information. It has changed the world in many ways in only a few decades. Because of the rise of the internet and various social media sites, maintaining relationships with people from all walks of life is now simpler than ever. 

However, concerns about how these developments may affect interpersonal connections and dialogue are inevitable in an era of rapid technological growth. In this piece, we'll discuss how the prevalence of digital media has altered our interpersonal connections and the language we use to express ourselves.

Direct Effect on Direct Interaction:

The disruption of face-to-face communication is a particularly stark example of how technology has impacted human connections. The quality of interpersonal connections has suffered due to people's growing preference for digital over human communication. Technology has been demonstrated to reduce the usage of nonverbal signs such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and other indicators of emotional investment in the connection.

Positive Impact on Long-Distance Relationships:

Yet there are positives to be found as well. Long-distance relationships have also benefited from technological advancements. The development of technologies such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and social media has made it possible for individuals to keep in touch with distant loved ones. It has become simpler for individuals to stay in touch and feel connected despite geographical distance.

The Effects of Social Media on Personal Connections:

The widespread use of social media has had far-reaching consequences, especially on the quality of interpersonal interactions. Social media has positive and harmful effects on relationships since it allows people to keep in touch and share life's milestones.

Unfortunately, social media has made it all too easy to compare oneself to others, which may lead to emotions of jealousy and a general decline in confidence. Furthermore, social media might cause people to have inflated expectations of themselves and their relationships.

A Personal Perspective on the Intersection of Technology and Romance

Technological advancements have also altered physical touch and closeness. Virtual reality and other technologies have allowed people to feel physical contact and familiarity in a digital setting. This might be a promising breakthrough, but it has some potential downsides. 

Experts are concerned that people's growing dependence on technology for intimacy may lead to less time spent communicating face-to-face and less emphasis on physical contact, both of which are important for maintaining good relationships.

In conclusion, technological advancements have significantly affected the quality of interpersonal connections and the exchange of information. Even though technology has made it simpler to maintain personal relationships, it has chilled interpersonal interactions between people. 

Keeping tabs on how technology is changing our lives and making adjustments as necessary is essential as we move forward. Boundaries and prioritizing in-person conversation and physical touch in close relationships may help reduce the harm it causes.

The Security and Privacy Implications of Increased Technology Use and Data Collection

The fast development of technology over the past few decades has made its way into every aspect of our life. Technology has improved many facets of our life, from communication to commerce. However, significant privacy and security problems have emerged due to the broad adoption of technology. In this essay, we'll look at how the widespread use of technological solutions and the subsequent explosion in collected data affects our right to privacy and security.

Data Mining and Privacy Concerns

Risk of Cyber Attacks and Data Loss

The Widespread Use of Encryption and Other Safety Mechanisms

The Privacy and Security of the Future in a Globalized Information Age

Obtaining and Using Individual Information

The acquisition and use of private information is a significant cause for privacy alarm in the digital age. Data about their customers' online habits, interests, and personal information is a valuable commodity for many internet firms. Besides tailored advertising, this information may be used for other, less desirable things like identity theft or cyber assaults.

Moreover, many individuals need to be made aware of what data is being gathered from them or how it is being utilized because of the lack of transparency around gathering personal information. Privacy and data security have become increasingly contentious as a result.

Data breaches and other forms of cyber-attack pose a severe risk.

The risk of cyber assaults and data breaches is another big issue of worry. More people are using more devices, which means more opportunities for cybercriminals to steal private information like credit card numbers and other identifying data. This may cause monetary damages and harm one's reputation or identity.

Many high-profile data breaches have occurred in recent years, exposing the personal information of millions of individuals and raising serious concerns about the safety of this information. Companies and governments have responded to this problem by adopting new security methods like encryption and multi-factor authentication.

Many businesses now use encryption and other security measures to protect themselves from cybercriminals and data thieves. Encryption keeps sensitive information hidden by encoding it so that only those possessing the corresponding key can decipher it. This prevents private information like bank account numbers or social security numbers from falling into the wrong hands.

Firewalls, virus scanners, and two-factor authentication are all additional security precautions that may be used with encryption. While these safeguards do much to stave against cyber assaults, they are not entirely impregnable, and data breaches are still possible.

The Future of Privacy and Security in a Technologically Advanced World

There's little doubt that concerns about privacy and security will persist even as technology improves. There must be strict safeguards to secure people's private information as more and more of it is transferred and kept digitally. To achieve this goal, it may be necessary to implement novel technologies and heightened levels of protection and to revise the rules and regulations regulating the collection and storage of private information.

Individuals and businesses are understandably concerned about the security and privacy consequences of widespread technological use and data collecting. There are numerous obstacles to overcome in a society where technology plays an increasingly important role, from acquiring and using personal data to the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches. Companies and governments must keep spending money on security measures and working to educate people about the significance of privacy and security if personal data is to remain safe.

In conclusion, technology has profoundly impacted virtually every aspect of our lives, including society and culture, ethics, work, education, personal relationships, and security and privacy. The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning has presented new ethical considerations, while automation is transforming the future of work. 

In education, technology has revolutionized the way we learn and access information. At the same time, our dependence on technology has brought new challenges in terms of personal relationships, communication, security, and privacy.

Jenni.ai is an AI tool that can help students write essays easily and quickly. Whether you're looking, for example, for essays on any of these topics or are seeking assistance in writing your essay, Jenni.ai offers a convenient solution. Sign up for a free trial today and experience the benefits of AI-powered writing assistance for yourself.

Try Jenni for free today

Create your first piece of content with Jenni today and never look back

21st Century Communication Technology Essay

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment

The changing communication technology and the presence of the internet have greatly impacted the way firms conduct business. It is now possible to conduct business using resources that are virtual in nature while still earning a reasonable revenue of profit and revenue from the operations with minimal investments. The communications technology has dramatically changed the way people in a company interact and communicate with each other for business as well as personal purposes.

The most common forms of technology that have been used over the period of time for communication in a company pertain to face to face communication, memos, letters, bulletin boards as well as financial reports. The selection of type of media is based on the purpose of the communication and the audience being targeted. Face to face communication is personal in nature and an immediate form of communication where a two way flow of ideas is possible.

On the other hand, communication media like bulletin boards and financial reports are drawn up for a certain audience targeting mass reach. In the 21st century however it is now possible to conduct business and communicate with the employees using innovative technologies like email, SMS, video conferencing and hand held devices like PDA’s and BlackBerry (Lengel & Daft, 1988) The use of this technology can also help the company increase two way communication in the management making way for an efficient flow of ideas. Strategic implementation of the media can help in connecting with the lower management and performing any conflict resolution that would otherwise go untreated leading to increase in employee dissatisfaction (‘Whispering Class Must Be Heard’, 2008)

A firm that works on the tax returns for clients needs to communicate with the clients and their staff in an efficient and immediate manner for resolving any issues that may come up during the drawing of papers and the pre[parathion of tax returns. In this regard it is beneficial for the fri9mtomake use of modern communication technology for communicating with their clients and their staff. The firm can make use of SMS to communicate with their staff and inform of any urgent meetings to them.

The SMS option can also be used to inform the clients about any sudden change in plans or to schedule a meeting with them where direct communication at the moment is not possible. Aside from this Email is a option that can be employed to provide the clients with updates in their tax returns and inform of any discrepancies and issues that may come up. The staff can also be delegated work and kept in the work loop using detailed emails with attachments for tax return evidence etc.

The video conferencing option can be used to establish a communication link between the client and the staff working on the tax returns for face to face meetings where a direct face to face meeting is not possible due to geographic or time constraints.

While the modern communication media can be expensive to acquire and use in the firm, it is important to note as well, that its use and implementation can help the firm attain competitive advantage in operations through greater efficiency and increased personal services that it can offer to its customers. The 21st century communication media can be used to strategically motivate and reward the employees where instead of providing them with cash bonus or raise, a BlackBerry or an iPod can be provided. (‘Rewarding a Job Well Done’, 2008) This helps increase the motivation of the employees with returns that are substantial in nature and can be used for business purposes as well.

‘Rewarding a Job Well Done’, LW , 2008.

‘Whispering Class Must Be Heard’, 2008.

Lengel, R.H., Daft, R.L., ‘The Selection of Communication Media as an Executive Skill’, Academy of Management Executive , 1998, 2, no. 3, pp. 225-32.

  • Video Conferencing: How It Has Transformed Lives
  • Blackberry's Organizational Prospects
  • SMS Traffic Jam Alert for Drives Across UAE
  • Resistance in the Transition Stage
  • Roots and Fruits of Happiness
  • Peer Pressure: Issue Review
  • Two Friends Who Are Not Speaking to Each Other
  • "The Effects of Sexual Harassment on Job Satisfaction" by Laband and Lentz
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2021, November 10). 21st Century Communication Technology. https://ivypanda.com/essays/21st-century-communication-technology/

"21st Century Communication Technology." IvyPanda , 10 Nov. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/21st-century-communication-technology/.

IvyPanda . (2021) '21st Century Communication Technology'. 10 November.

IvyPanda . 2021. "21st Century Communication Technology." November 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/21st-century-communication-technology/.

1. IvyPanda . "21st Century Communication Technology." November 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/21st-century-communication-technology/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "21st Century Communication Technology." November 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/21st-century-communication-technology/.

Logo

Essay on Life In 21st Century

Students are often asked to write an essay on Life In 21st Century in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Life In 21st Century

Introduction.

Life in the 21st century is marked by rapid changes and advancements. It’s a time of technology, innovation, and global connections. We have seen improvements in many areas, from communication to healthcare.

Globalization

Our world has become a global village. We can communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This has increased our understanding and appreciation of diversity.

Advancements in healthcare have improved our lives. New treatments and medicines have been developed. Diseases that were once deadly can now be cured or managed.

Life in the 21st century is exciting but also challenging. We must use the advancements wisely and work together to overcome the challenges.

250 Words Essay on Life In 21st Century

The 21st century lifestyle.

The 21st century is a time of rapid change and progress. We live in a world where technology is at our fingertips, making our lives easier and more comfortable.

Technology and Communication

One of the most significant changes in the 21st century is the advancement in technology. Today, we can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in just a few seconds. Smartphones, the internet, and social media platforms have transformed the way we interact.

Education and Learning

Education has also seen a massive transformation. Online learning is now a reality, allowing students to learn at their own pace from anywhere. This has made education more accessible to everyone, regardless of their location or circumstances.

Health and Medicine

The field of health and medicine has also evolved. New treatments and medicines have been developed, increasing the average lifespan. People are now more aware of their health and are taking steps to lead healthier lives.

Challenges of the 21st Century

In conclusion, life in the 21st century is a mix of advancements and challenges. We have the tools to make our lives better, but we also have the responsibility to use them wisely for the benefit of all.

500 Words Essay on Life In 21st Century

Life in the 21st century is full of excitement and challenges. It is a time of rapid change and amazing progress. We live in an era where technology has become a key part of our lives.

One of the most important parts of life in the 21st century is technology. It has made our lives easier in many ways. We can now talk to friends and family who live far away by using our phones or computers. We can also use the internet to learn new things and find information quickly. But, it’s important to remember that too much screen time can be bad for our health. We need to balance our use of technology with other activities.

Health and Lifestyle

Life in the 21st century is also different because of changes in our health and lifestyle. We now know more about how to take care of our bodies. We understand the importance of eating healthy food and exercising regularly. But, the busy pace of life can make it hard to find time for these things.

Environment

Life in the 21st century is full of both challenges and opportunities. We have amazing technology and access to information. But, we also face problems like taking care of our health and the environment. It’s an exciting time to be alive, and we all have a part to play in shaping the future.

Remember, the 21st century is our time. Let’s make the most of it!

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

Happy studying!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

Essay Service Examples Technology Digital Literacy

The Importance of Digital Literacy in the 21st Century

  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee

document

All About Science

10 Greatest Scientific Discoveries and Inventions of 21st Century

For the past centuries, there have been countless developments and advancements in the world. Scientists and researchers have continued to discover new things and expand our understanding and knowledge of the natural phenomena happening around us.

In the 21st century , there are thousands of scientific breakthroughs. These have helped in improving our way of living while some are the key to greater innovation in the future.

In this article, we ranked the greatest scientific discoveries and inventions of the 21st century.

Detection of Gravitational Waves

Scientists considered this the greatest discovery of the 21st century . Let us go back to the time when Albert Einstein first predicted in his theory of relativity that time travel will be possible. Now, it has been proven by the recent findings. The LIGO project based in the United States has detected gravitational waves that could allow scientists to develop a time machine and travel to the earliest and darkest parts of the universe. This was the first time that they witnessed the “ripples in the fabric of space-time.”

Evidence of Water on Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed last September 2015 that there is evidence proving the existence of liquid water on Mars. Using the imaging spectrometer of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), scientists detected hydrated salts in different locations on Mars. During the warm season, the hydrated salts darken and flow down steep. However, they fade in cooler seasons. The detection of hydrated salts means that water plays a vital role in their formation.

Robotic Body Parts

Through the help of  biomechanics  and engineering, scientists have devised robotic body parts. The University of Twente has developed robotic arms that can aid those individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This will allow patients to amplify residual function in the arm. They also applied Darpa’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics project of creating prosthetics to wounded US military personnel, in developing robotic limbs. Today, scientists are studying the viability of making these robotic body parts or exoskeletons controlled by the mind to help disabled individuals, survivors of stroke, and elderly people.

T. Rex Tissue

Paleontologists have discovered a partially fossilized and decomposing femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was believed to be 70 million years old already or a date closer to the biblical date of creation. Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and Montana State University found out flexible and transparent vessels. This soft tissue discovered is preserved because of the iron between the leg bones. The T.Rex tissue is very essential in determining the physiology of dinosaurs and studying their cellular and molecular structures. They have found out that dinosaurs are closely related to big birds, like the ostrich.

Advancement in HIV Cure

According to HIV.gov, there are over 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, of which 1.8 million it is children. HIV/AIDS remains to be one of the deadliest diseases in the world. On the other hand, HIV treatment has been available in Germany for more than two decades already. Antiretroviral therapy allows HIV/AIDS patients to live longer. However, no definite cure is still discovered. In 2007, Dr. GeroHütter was the first one to successfully cure an HIV/AIDS patient named Timothy Ray Brown by transplanting bone marrow from an HIV-immune patient.

Existence of Dark Matter

In 2006, a team of researchers has found evidence that proves the existence of dark matter. They inferred the presence of dark matter by measuring the bullet clusters or the location of mass in the collision of galaxies. According to Maxim Markevitch of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, dark matter can be proven by the bulk of visible matter in the clusters that have been disconnected from the rest of the mass. According to NASA, it is still a complete mystery. What they can prove for now is that 68% of the universe is composed of dark energy.

Sequencing Genome of Cancer Patient

In 2003, scientists completed the sequencing of the human genome or genetic blueprint that points out the mutations leading to cancer. It took three years for them to finish drafting the three billion letters that compose the human DNA. The Human Genome Project helped scientists in treating a deadly type of skin cancer and understanding the genes involved in leukemia, eczema, and diabetes. Now, cancer genome sequencing is integrated into medical care facilities. It characterizes and identifies DNA or RNA sequences of cancer cells.

Creation of Human Organs

Stem Cell research has paved the way to greater access to organs, instead of waiting for donors or taking harsh medications. Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have discovered how to regenerate the function of human heart tissue through adult skin cells. Through stem cells, humans can grow another organ. This is associated with the regenerative nature of living organisms. Recently, various research all around the world enables the growth of fallopian tubes, the heart, the brain, lung, and kidneys, among others through stem cells.

Water as Fuel

German Cleantech Company has developed a futuristic machine that converts water into fuel.  Through Power-to-Liquid Technology, they can convert water and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons which take the form of synthetic diesel, petrol, and kerosene. This technology was based on the Fischer-Tropsch process and solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOECs) which convert electricity to steam. In 2017, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) and Berkeley Lab’s Materials Project also devised a technology that turns sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into fuel which can be a viable source of power, replacing coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

Face Transplants

A face transplant is a medical procedure that replaces a person’s face using the tissues of a dead person. In 2005, Isabelle Dinoire of France was the first person to have a partial face transplant while the first full-face transplant happened in Spain in 2010. Face transplants have been popularly carried out in the United States, Spain, France, and Turkey. This is applicable for people with birth defects or disfigures caused by burns, disease, and trauma.

  • latest-news

Recent Posts

  • Why Technology Is Important In Our Daily Life?
  • The Evolution and Importance of Science Education in the 21st Century
  • Role of Science and Technology in the 21st Century
  • The role of science in the 21st century
  • The Greatest Scientists of the 21st Century
  • February 2024
  • December 2023
  • November 2023
  • October 2023
  • September 2023
  • January 2023
  • August 2022
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • November 2018

About Us !!!

Times are changing. In the earlier days, we used to go to the library, today we search and archive our papers online. We have collaborations per email, hold telephone seminars, organize virtual networks, write blogs, and make our seminars available on the internet.

Popular Posts

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

© 2024 Science 21st Century

Theme by Anders Noren — Up ↑

24/7 writing help on your phone

To install StudyMoose App tap and then “Add to Home Screen”

Impact of Communication Technology on Society

Save to my list

Remove from my list

Communication Technology's Influence on Public Life

Prof. Finch

Challenges in Private Life

Development of communication and information technology, advantages and disadvantages of communication technology, legislation concerning communication technology, conclusion: navigating the future with communication technology.

Impact of Communication Technology on Society. (2016, Oct 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay

"Impact of Communication Technology on Society." StudyMoose , 22 Oct 2016, https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay

StudyMoose. (2016). Impact of Communication Technology on Society . [Online]. Available at: https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay [Accessed: 10 Jun. 2024]

"Impact of Communication Technology on Society." StudyMoose, Oct 22, 2016. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay

"Impact of Communication Technology on Society," StudyMoose , 22-Oct-2016. [Online]. Available: https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay. [Accessed: 10-Jun-2024]

StudyMoose. (2016). Impact of Communication Technology on Society . [Online]. Available at: https://studymoose.com/communication-technology-in-the-21st-century-essay [Accessed: 10-Jun-2024]

  • Technology and Society: How Technology Changed Our Lives Pages: 8 (2111 words)
  • Impact Of Computer Technology On Communication Pages: 7 (1827 words)
  • The Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Our Lives Pages: 9 (2510 words)
  • The Impact of Technology on Global Communication Pages: 12 (3505 words)
  • The Impact that Information Technology has on Society Pages: 5 (1305 words)
  • The Impact of Technology on Society in Fahrenheit 451 Pages: 3 (709 words)
  • Assessing the Impact of Technology on Society: An Argumentative Study Pages: 4 (1129 words)
  • Negative Impact of Technology on Society Pages: 4 (1019 words)
  • Science, Technology, and Society: Impact and Progress Pages: 16 (4754 words)
  • The Impact of Technology on Society: A Comprehensive Analysis Pages: 3 (725 words)

Impact of Communication Technology on Society essay

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

write an essay about technology in the 21st century

It’s Time To Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom

writing in the classroom

Let’s Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom

by Terry Heick

Among the biggest changes in modern academic standards is the shift in the burden of general literacy. Rather than only ‘writing teachers,’ teaching reading and writing, now all teachers across all content areas are being asked to do so (something we’ve talked about before).

In the past, literacy—the ability to read, write, and understand—has been the domain of English-Language Arts teachers (and elsewhere in the world, Literature, and Composition teachers).

And this has levied untold damage to student academic progress.

Limiting the craft of writing to a single content area has altered the landscape of students’ minds in ways that are only now being revealed as math teachers are told to teach writing. Students are now used to flinging rudimentary understandings on exit slips in broken sentence fragments, taking notes that neatly curate other people’s ideas, and otherwise ducking the responsibility to craft compelling arguments that synthesize multiple perspectives on a daily basis.

See also An Alternative To Grading Student Writing

So we—English-Language Arts teachers—respond by handing them fill-in-the-blank graphic organizers that coax them to give reason 1 reason 2 and reason 3 in clear sentences that shun complexity or intellectual endurance, provided their ‘writing’ adheres to an expected form.

And handing those same graphic organizers out when other content area teachers ask for resources.

Now, generations later, the idea of writing about math or science seems not just challenging, but forced and awkward. Science and Math, properly taught, are more akin to philosophies and ways of making sense of the world than “content areas,” offering an infinite number of prompts to spur students to write.

Are patterns important in the world today?

How do we create, test, and validate a model?

How do spatial relationships change over time? 

In any learning, writing is a seamless fit.

The Erosion Of Content Areas

In our pursuit of efficiency, we have reduced math to a series of equation-solving steps and extended arithmetic. Science has become a perhaps overly-micro study of  stuff  rather than a system for acquiring knowledge and moving from theory to data.

And here we are, and new standards and expectations are asking all teachers to teach writing. (Perhaps we could make ELA teachers teach Social Studies, and Science teachers teach Math and sufficiently confuse the situation once and for all.)

But worried math and science (or STEM at large) teachers struggling to cover their own academic standards are missing the incredible learning potential that writing has. Few things place the cognitive load on a student that the process of crafting a piece of writing can. And you might notice the idea of craft has shown up a couple of times already—a mix of art and science that’s (not coincidentally) perfectly parallel to the learning process itself.

Dirt and metal.

Color and shape.

Culture and industry.

Learning and education.

Writing is simply thinking with that idea of craft.

It needn’t be some blank, sterile, and academic form that makes students wail and teachers squirm. It’s just a commitment of what you think to paper.

While writing, students are required to put their fingers in their ears and try to wrap their heads around something in a way that not even close-reading can demand. It also has built-in personalization; done well, in writing students make their own hills to climb. 

The Problem of Appearance

Sadly, the poor essay has been abused in classrooms for generations, to the point where students think they hate to write.

This is among the most significant barriers to true academic progress schools will have to make in the digital age: Convincing students accustomed to streaming YouTube while texting about an instagram thread on reddit and snarking later about it all on twitter while only burdening themselves with coming up with the most clever of #hashtags that sitting and dwelling with a single media is worth their time.

While English-Language Arts and general writing teachers will still be tasked with the teaching of the parts itself–including the writing process and grammar–spreading the burden of teaching writing across content areas will do a lot of things: increase formal and informal PD resources for all teachers and decrease the jargon that can obscure the teaching of quality writing as it becomes more commonplace.

But more than anything else, by spreading the practice of writing-to-learn and writing-to-demonstrate learning activities across content areas, there will now be the opportunity to reconsider the essay, re-frame the idea of authorship, and re-contextualize what it means to think and write deeply about something.

This is the 21st-century, and 21st-century thinking is different .

While it is full of connectivity and collaboration and stunning possibility, the 21st-century learning era is one of infatuation with image, visual spectacle, flashing alerts, endlessly accessible whimsy, and cognitively stunted communication patterns.

And in capable response, writing could be the answer we’ve been looking for, right beneath our noses the whole time.

About The Author

Terrell heick.

IMAGES

  1. Argumentative Essay On TechnologyStudy Paragraphs

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  2. Q1 (a) digital technology essay

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  3. Tech In 21st Cen

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  4. Everything You Need To Know About Technology Essay

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  5. Impact of technology on youth Essay Example

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

  6. Write a short essay on Technology

    write an essay about technology in the 21st century

VIDEO

  1. Information Technology Essay writing in English..Short Essay on Technology Information in 150 words

  2. 21st Century Tools for Teachers Lesson Preview

  3. (REMAKE) India in the 21st Century

  4. Technology essay in English 5 lines/Importance of Technology/Technology definition/Technology speech

  5. Technology 21st Century Context

  6. Essay on 21st century//Essay about 21st century

COMMENTS

  1. Technology: 21 of the most important inventions of the 21st century

    3D printing, E-cigarettes among the most important inventions of the 21st century. The human race has always innovated, and in a relatively short time went from building fires and making stone ...

  2. Here's how technology has changed the world since 2000

    Since the dotcom bubble burst back in 2000, technology has radically transformed our societies and our daily lives. From smartphones to social media and healthcare, here's a brief history of the 21st century's technological revolution. Just over 20 years ago, the dotcom bubble burst, causing the stocks of many tech firms to tumble.

  3. Technology In 21st Century Essay Sample 2023

    The paper views technology in the 21st century. Technology has played a crucial role towards enhancement of globalization in the 21st century. Globalization had huge impacts on the economic world, through an array of merits and demerits arising from globalization acts. New technological trends have played a fundamental role in making a rapid ...

  4. How Is Technology Changing the World, and How Should the World Change

    Technology can be a source of tremendous optimism. It can help overcome some of the greatest challenges our society faces, including climate change, famine, and disease. For those who believe in the power of innovation and the promise of creative destruction to advance economic development and lead to better quality of life, ...

  5. Technology In The 21st Century Essay

    Technology in the 21st century is not a separate subject to teach therefore technology is a tool to aid education and learning. Skills are very significant in daily lives of the people, to change a better competitive in every aspect of life. Also, skills have become very important with the growing competitive environment and peer pressure.

  6. History of technology

    The 20th and 21st centuries Technology from 1900 to 1945. Recent history is notoriously difficult to write, because of the mass of material and the problem of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant among events that have virtually the power of contemporary experience. In respect to the recent history of technology, however, one fact stands out clearly: despite the immense ...

  7. Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the

    You can use this visualization to see how technology developed in particular domains. Follow, for example, the history of communication: from writing to paper, to the printing press, to the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, all the way to the Internet and smartphones. Or follow the rapid development of human flight.

  8. Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context

    Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context. This editorial essay was prepared by John H. "Jack" Marburger for a workshop on the "science of science and innovation policy" held in 2009 that was the basis for this special issue. It is published posthumously. Linking the words "science," "technology," and ...

  9. Technology Essay for Students in English

    Essay on Technology. The word "technology" and its uses have immensely changed since the 20th century, and with time, it has continued to evolve ever since. We are living in a world driven by technology. The advancement of technology has played an important role in the development of human civilization, along with cultural changes.

  10. PDF Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context

    Science, technology and innovation in a 21st century context John H. Marburger III Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011 This editorial essay was prepared by John H. ''Jack'' Marburger for a workshop on the ''science of science and innovation policy'' held in 2009 that was the basis for this special issue.

  11. Technology in the 21st Century: Informative Essay

    Thereby, the aim and motive of my essay are to explore the areas of advancement, to differentiate the technology of the 21st century and that of primitive times, and to make people aware that how their lives revolve around technology. ... We will write an essay sample crafted to your needs. In-time submission and academic quality guaranteed.

  12. 200-500 Word Example Essays about Technology

    But writing a technology essay can be challenging, especially for those needing more time or help with writer's block. This is where Jenni.ai comes in. Jenni.ai is an innovative AI tool explicitly designed for students who need help writing essays. With Jenni.ai, students can quickly and easily generate essays on various topics, including ...

  13. 21st Century Communication Technology

    21st Century Communication Technology Essay. The changing communication technology and the presence of the internet have greatly impacted the way firms conduct business. It is now possible to conduct business using resources that are virtual in nature while still earning a reasonable revenue of profit and revenue from the operations with ...

  14. Role of Science and Technology in the 21st Century

    But it was in the 17th century that modern science was really born, and the world began to be examined more closely, using instruments such as the telescope, microscope, dock and barometer.

  15. Advancement of Technology Essay

    Introduction to Emerging Technologies in the 21st Century. Technology is all around us and part of our daily lives. We use a variety of technology from cell phones, computers, smart TVs, radio, etc, and in various fields such as healthcare, education, and productivity. ... We will write an essay sample crafted to your needs. In-time submission ...

  16. Essay on Growing Up In The 21st Century

    In conclusion, growing up in the 21st Century is a unique journey. With technology, new ways of learning, and global connections, it's a time full of opportunities and challenges. 250 Words Essay on Growing Up In The 21st Century Introduction. Growing up in the 21st century is a unique experience. It's like living in two worlds at the same ...

  17. Essay on Life In 21st Century

    Students are often asked to write an essay on Life In 21st Century in their schools and colleges. And if you're also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic. ... Technology. The 21st century is known as the digital age. We use smartphones, laptops, and the internet daily. These tools have ...

  18. The Importance of Digital Literacy in the 21st Century

    The Importance of Digital Literacy in the 21st Century. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Increasing developments in technology and digital communication continuously affects learners in both contemporary educational contexts, and ...

  19. 10 Greatest Scientific Discoveries and Inventions of 21st Century

    T. Rex Tissue. Paleontologists have discovered a partially fossilized and decomposing femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex which was believed to be 70 million years old already or a date closer to the biblical date of creation. Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and Montana State University found out flexible and transparent vessels.

  20. Impact of Communication Technology on Society Free Essay Example

    The 21st century has ushered in a profound transformation in the way individuals communicate, primarily driven by the emergence and widespread adoption of communication technology. This technological revolution encompasses an array of mediums, such as telephone, radio, television, internet, and social media, reshaping both public and private ...

  21. PDF A report from the National Council of Teachers of English

    Study and Teaching of the Writing Process Writing in the 21st Century Conclusion Image Credits For in this time and in this place we want References A Call to Support 21st Century Writing Today, in the 21st century, people write as never before—in print and online. We thus face three challenges that are also opportunities: develop-

  22. Essay on Information Technology in the 21st Century

    In the 21 st century the technology has a variety of uses. The IT sector has helped people in many ways. This sector is benefiting everyone. First, in the field of education there has been a major change. People now can easily gain new information even if they are not physically present.

  23. Essay: Technology in the 21st Century

    Thulitoots n-cube. Technology occupies an important role in the 21st century. Modern advancements have made life on earth much easier for the human race. In the last one-hundred years, progress in astrophysics has resulted in man's ability to give an approximation of the age of the universe. Advances in the medical sciences have extended the ...

  24. Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment in

    The integration of emerging technology is widely available and affordable in 21st-century classrooms. Teachers can ask students questions for clarification through technology-enhanced formative assessment (TEFA) and promote student participation by using smartphones as a student response system (SRS) in-class activities ( Alawadhi & Abu-Ayyash ...

  25. Writing In The Classroom: It's Time to Think Differently

    by Terry Heick. Among the biggest changes in modern academic standards is the shift in the burden of general literacy. Rather than only 'writing teachers,' teaching reading and writing, now all teachers across all content areas are being asked to do so (something we've talked about before).. In the past, literacy—the ability to read, write, and understand—has been the domain of ...

  26. Opinion

    We need to begin a national conversation today on how we achieve a peaceful, prosperous and American-led 21st century. The first step is a generational investment in the U.S. military.

  27. What Does George Orwell's '1984' Mean in 2024?

    In 1984, three totalitarian states rule the world in a détente achieved by constant war. The all-seeing Party dominates a grimly uniform society in the bloc called Oceania. As a low-level Party ...

  28. Browse journals and books

    Academic Libraries and Public Engagement with Science and Technology. Book • 2019. Academic Libraries and Toxic Leadership. Book • 2017. ... Accounting Education for the 21st Century. The Global Challenges. Book • 1994. Accounting and Finance for the International Hospitality Industry. Book • 1998.

  29. We tested Turnitin's ChatGPT-detector for teachers. It got some wrong

    It flagged an innocent student. Five high school students helped our tech columnist test a ChatGPT detector coming from Turnitin to 2.1 million teachers. It missed enough to get someone in trouble ...