Soft and hard technologies in technology education

Kin Wai Michael Siu (Corresponding Author), Yi Lin Wong

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


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 The issues comprise the outdated perceptions of the government and schools with respect to technology, teachers' backgrounds, and students' abilities.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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Education and Technology in a Changing Society
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781466660489
ISBN (Print)9781466660472
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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