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Miguel Aznar talks about technological literacy at Santa Clara County Office of Education

Rock group Daft Punk talks about technological competency in music video Technologic



Competency is... Literacy is...

Typical computer classes

(for example)

ICE-9 curriculum

(for example)

Vocational Conceptual
Designing, manufacturing, repairing Critical thinking
Knowing which buttons to push

Knowing why we push buttons and what impact that has


Not teaching how to operate computersTechnological literacy complements technological competency by providing a context in which learning how to use a specific technology makes sense.  A classroom unit on technological literacy, such as our curriculum, is an important introduction (some describe it as an "umbrella") to classes on technological competency.  When you are learning how to do something, don't you want to know where that skill fits in the big picture?


As rapidly as technology is changing, there are concepts that endure.  Applying these concepts and recognizing new ones is basic to understanding and evaluating technology. They also provide a cross-disciplinary thread to connect core content areas, which may stimulate student interest in those areas (understanding a video game or a music system will take you through history, science, math, and more).

  • Learn more in our book.

  • Watch a short speech about technological literacy.

  • Read what the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has to say in their report Technically Speaking.

  • Or look at a newspaper or magazine for issues that are influenced by technologies and consider how you understand and evaluate those technologies.



 2010 KnowledgeContext


Teaching Young People to Think About Technology