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Soft and Hard Technologies in Technology Education

Soft and Hard Technologies in Technology Education
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Author(s): Kin Wai Michael Siu (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Yi Lin Wong (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 14
Source title: Curriculum Design and Classroom Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8246-7.ch022

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Abstract

There is a common misconception that technology is limited to physical devices (i.e., hard technology). However, technology also includes soft technology, which is concerned with human and social factors. The emphasis on hard technology has prevented technology education from widening its scope and thus catering to the needs of a changing society. This chapter first briefly identifies the common definitions of soft and hard technologies. It then argues that technology education should emphasize both hard and soft technologies. Through a case study of Hong Kong, the chapter identifies the issues surrounding the inclusion of soft technology in the technology curriculum. The issues comprise the outdated perceptions of the government and schools with respect to technology, teachers' backgrounds, and students' abilities. The chapter then proposes recommendations and suggestions for resolving these issues. The future trend of an all-round and balanced approach toward hard and soft technology in technology education is discussed.

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