Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. (2005). Do technologies make us smarter? Intellectual amplification with, of and through technology. In R. J. Sternberg, & D. D. Preiss (Eds). Intelligence and technology: The impact of tools on the nature and development of human abilities (pp. 71-86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
In this article, the authors discuss the effects of cognitive technologies on individuals’ cognition and abilities. They categorize these effects into three groupings: effects with the technology, effects of the technology, and effects through the technology. Differences between these categories are discussed as well as suggestions on how others might measure the effects and categorize them. It pulls from various studies conducted including previous studies done by Salomon in order to share examples of effects and thought expansions on those studies.
Salomon and Perkins setup their question and premise thoroughly. They lay out the specifics of their meaning of “technology” by explaining they do not intend to explore technology as a whole as other previous researchers may have, but to look specifically at technical tools that assist cognition such as word processors. They also clearly define what they mean by “smarter” (smarter performance). Also, concrete examples of the effects with, effects of, and effects through technology are shared which assist with truly understanding the difference between these. The authors also share some responses to possible arguments and critiques they might receive.
I find this article applicable to my personal interests because of the discussion surrounding the effects with and of cognitive technologies, or what I think of as “technical tools”. I believe many assistive technology tools would fall into this category and I think the authors’ discussion directly relates to the effects of these technologies for individuals with special needs. I also appreciate that the authors mention the possibility of negative “effects of” as well such as the loss of a previously acquired skill, as I think this will probably need to be an area I evaluate as well. It is also interesting to consider how studies might be developed to truly evaluate effects through the use of assistive technologies over time.