Lake Superior State University has issued its 31st annual list of words and phrases they would like to see banned from the English language for misue, overuse or just plain general uselessness.

It’s certainly hard to argue with some of their choices: “hunker down”, “up or down vote”, “breaking news”, and especially “talking points”. However, I would like to propose one addition to the list.

Can we dump the general use of the word “technology”?

The term has certainly been way overused, to the point that it’s all but lost any meaning. Combining it with other words doesn’t help. What’s a “technology company”? General Motors uses computers and robots but no one is accusing them of being “high tech” – another phrase that needs to go.

Getting closer to my area of expertise, what is “educational technology”? And how is it different from other kinds of technology? Increasingly, there is no difference. We find learning happening through devices and systems that many wouldn’t file under the category of “ed tech”.

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything in mind to replace “technology” in the lexicon (I’m open to suggestions). But if we could just get rid of “technology” from education, people could look beyond the gee-wiz factor of the boxes and wires and focus on finding the best solution for helping kids learn. In that context, finger paints could be the appropriate “technology”.

banished word list, technology