H800 Glossary


  • Generation X – born between 1960s and 1982 – again, dates vary
  • Generation Y – born between 1982 and 1994 (according to BL & JISC 2010) – dates vary from context to context.
  • Generation Z – born after early 1990s (also called Generation I or Internet Generation or Google Generation) – and referred to as ‘digital natives’ Prensky 2001)

Gutenberg Galaxy, The

‘The Making of Typographic Man is a book by Marshall McLuhan [written in 1962], in which he analyzes the effects of mass media, especially the printing press, on European culture and human consciousness. It popularized the term global village,[1] which refers to the idea that mass communication allows a village-like mindset to apply to the entire world; and Gutenberg Galaxy,[2] which we may regard today to refer to the accumulated body of recorded works of human art and knowledge, especially books.’ Wikipedia (nd)

Kranzberg’s six laws of technology

  1. Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral (Kranzberg 1986 cited in Kranzberg 1991)
  2. Invention is the mother of necessity.
  3. Technology comes in packages, big and small.
  4. Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.
  5. All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.
  6. Technology is a very human activity – and so is the history of technology.

Original source: Kranzberg, M. (1986) Technology and History: “Kranzberg’s Laws”, Technology and Culture, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 544-560.


BL and JISC (2010) Researchers of Tomorrow: Annual Report 2009-2010, British Library / JISC Study, [online] Available from: http://explorationforchange.net/attachments/056_RoT%20Year%201%20report%20final%20100622.pdf
(Accessed 30 January 2011).

Wikipedia (n.d.) ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy’, Wikipedia, [online] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gutenberg_Galaxy (Accessed 30 January 2011).

Kranzberg, M. (1991) ‘Science-Technology-Society: it’s as easy as XYZ!’, Theory into Practice, 30(4), pp. 234-242, [online] EBSCOHOST, Available from: http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=5199651&site=eds-live&scope=site (Accessed 30 January 2011).

Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’, On the Horizon, 9(5), [online] Available from: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf (Accessed 30 January 2011).

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