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The usage of the term "technology" has actually changed significantly over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was unusual in English, and it was utilized either to describe the description or study of the helpful arts or to mention technical education, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Innovation (chartered in 1861). The term "innovation" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the Second Industrial Transformation. The term's meanings changed in the early 20th century when American social scientists, beginning with Thorstein Veblen, translated ideas from the German principle of into "technology." In German and other European languages, a difference exists between technik and technologie that is absent in English, which usually equates both terms as "technology." By the 1930s, "innovation" referred not just to the study of the commercial arts however to the commercial arts themselves.
Scientists and engineers typically prefer to define innovation as applied science, instead of as the things that people make and use. More just recently, scholars have obtained from European thinkers of "technique" to extend the meaning of innovation to different forms of critical reason, as in Foucault's deal with innovations of the self (strategies de soi). Dictionaries and scholars have actually offered a range of meanings. The offers a definition of the term: "the usage of science in industry, engineering, etc., to create beneficial things or to solve problems" and "a maker, piece of devices, approach, and so on, that is produced by technology." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, gave another meaning of the concept; it is "practice, the way we do things around here." The term is typically used to suggest a specific field of technology, or to refer to high technology or just consumer electronic devices, instead of technology as a whole.