In Understanding the Common Essential Learnings — A Handbook for Teachers, technological literacy is comprehensively described as:

The intellectual processes, abilities and dispositions needed for students to understand the link between technology, themselves and society in general.

Technological Literacy is concerned with developing students' awareness of how technology is related to the broader social system, and how technological systems cannot be fully separated from the political, cultural and economic frameworks which shape them.

In order to achieve an informed, balanced and comprehensive analysis of the technological influences on their lives and then be able to act on the basis of their analysis, students require certain levelsof knowledge, skills and abilities.

These include:

  • understanding that technology includes hardware, know-how, cultural needs and desires, and economic and political decision making
  • understanding how technology shapes and is shaped by society
  • understanding that technological issues involve conflicting assumptions, interpretations and options
  • having the necessary data collection and decision making skills to make intelligent choices
  • having the ability and desire to take responsible action on social issues

The text concludes that a technologically literate person is someone who is able to critically examine and question technological progress and innovation, and use his/her knowledge to shape and influence his/her environment.

For information about Technological Literacy in the New Zealand Curriculum (2007)