Course Offerings

TECHNOLOGY 294: Technology and Cultural Relevance

2007-08 Catalog Data: TECH 294 Technology and Cultural Relevance (3 Credits)

Catalog Description: Development and current status of technology with attention given to developing an understanding of technology as it relates to various settings and assumptions. Critical examination of these assumptions with an effort at organizing facts and developing meanings of technology in a dynamic society

Prerequisites: None

Co-requisites: None

Textbooks: Cross, G., R. Szostak (2004)Technology and American Society, Prentice-Hall

Instructor: Joseph Bittorf

Learning Outcomes Relational ABET Learning Outcomes
The student will develop a definition of technology and it’s impact on societal change B. Students develop an ability to use modes of inquiry across a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the arts, the physical sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences.
The student will comprehend basic factual information about mechanization, science, and technology and their impact on society. C. Students develop an understanding of the interrelatedness of various disciplines by integrating knowledge from several disciplines and applying that knowledge to an understanding of problems and issues.
The student will develop an understanding of present-day technology and of likely futures. D. Students develop social responsibility and preparation for citizenship through global awareness, environmental sensitivity, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.
The student will use an interdisciplinary group approach to study the future. A. Students develop habits of writing, speaking, and reasoning necessary for continued learning.

Objectives: Technology is currently a major factor in our lives. It is evolving rapidly and choices are being made that will affect the future of every individual, group, nation, and –indeed—every life form on the planet. Every citizen is expected to understand the nature of the decisions made in government, research facilities, and private industry. The Baccalaureate experience at NIU is expected to have developed “an understanding of and ability to use technology”. This requires both an understanding of the role technology plays in our culture and the tools useful for utilizing and evaluating specific technological devices and concepts. Upon completing TECH 294 the student will:

  • develop a definition of technology and it’s impact on societal change
  • write three essays describing technology in the past, present, and future.
  • comprehend basic factual information about mechanization, science, and technology and their impact on society.
  • develop an understanding of present-day technology and of likely futures
  • use an interdisciplinary group approach to study the future.

The course requires the student to think about the impact of technology on various cultures in the past, present, and future. The course does not address the problems inherent in engineering design and implementation. Rather, it is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the effect that technology has on the way we work, play, act and think. It provides an opportunity to look at where our tools and toys come from and how we will possibly interface in the future.

Computer Usage:<> Students are expected to register for and utilize a university computer facility called Blackboard. An access line is available for home computer usage. Students utilize: Office suite software for presentation, documentation, and spreadsheet applications. Required for several assignments, including essays.