Today's posting was submitted by "Guest Blogger" Dr. William E. Dugger, Jr., DTE
Dr. Dugger is a Senior Fellow at ITEA and was instrumental in the creation of the technological literacy standards.
There appears to be widespread confusion today between technological literacy and technical competency. They are NOT the same. Technological literacy is defined in ITEA's Standards for Technical Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA 2000, 2002,
2007, p.9) as a person's ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology. According to the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council in its publication: Technically Speaking, Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology (NAE, NRC, 2002, p. 22), technological literacy is more a capacity to understand the broader technological world than an ability to work with specific processes of it. On the other hand, technical competency is one's ability to have a high degree of knowledge and skill related to one or more specific technologies or technical areas. Literacy focuses on breadth of understanding of the technological world while competence is concerned with depth of understanding and skills in a specific technical area(s). Having technical skills do not guarantee technological literacy. Literacy is what all people need while competency is what some people need in a technical a career.