Category Archives: Technology

Twitter Essay: Environment and Technology

Your Specific Tasks:

The Discussion:
Form a discussion group of about 5 students(invite a staff member, too, if you want).
Start your discussion in Twitter (use a new/unique #hashtag and avoid spamming existing hashtags). One of you picks the discussion starter from any of the “Environment and Technology” prompts from my iblog. Post follow-up responses to each other so the discussion is “two-way”.

The Proof:

  1. Add a #hashtag widget to your blog of your discussion.
  2. Create a “Twitter essay” in your blog highlighting the main points in your discussion, try to embed a tweet or two from each contributing group member.

Demonstrate these “I can…” outcomes:
“I can … Explore your thoughts, ideas, understandings and ask your discussion group members to do the same.
“I can … Respect each others opinions, but work together towards building a discussion thread that is perceptive, insightful, engaging and unified.

Assessment:
Once each member of the group is satisfied that they have completed the discussion task, and met the more general “I can…” outcomes, assign your discussion thread a score using this “Personal response” rubric:

Use this rubric for scoring your “Twitter Essay”:

Rubric for a “Twitter Essay”

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Instant Communications Technology

“Our embrace of high-tech gadgetry could turn life into a series of rushed encounters and clipped exchanges, producing ideas of diminishing depth.” – Langdon Winner

What effect does “instant communication” have on you? What effect does “instant communication” have on your relationships with other people?

Corners of our lives once sheltered from direct technological intervention are now bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages … However, people text-message alone. It is mainly an isolating experience in society … Of its role in the future only one thing is certain: it will be larger than ever before. – S.D. Robinson

Film Creation Idea:
Write a script for a text messaging dialogue between two friends (they are not face-to-face) for one of the following scenarios:

  • two friends discuss running against each other in the student council election
  • two friends argue about an environmental issue
  • a person tells a friend who has taken a part-time job that he/she is upset that they are spending less time together.

Film your script while paying particular attention to your actors non-verbal behaviour, watch out for various types of body language. Add the “dialogue” – the text messages – as titles to each scene in iMovie. It is not necessary to have any audio captured with the video at all.

  • What is the person doing with his or her hands? Is the individual tapping a finger on a table? Are the arms crossed?
  • What is the position of the individual’s body? Is the person leaning forward? Leaning back? Is the body turned away from another person?
  • What is the position of the individual’s legs? Are they crossed? Is the person tapping his/her foot?
  • Where are the eyes looking?
  • Does the person smile? frown? yawn? cough?

Consider these and other questions in your planning:

  • Who are my 2 friends? Describe their emotional and psychological states, too.
  • Where are they? Remember that the video you shoot will be shot at school.
  • What is the issue? What point are you trying to make?
  • How will you show that their conversation is rushed, incomplete, frustrating?
  • How can you show that their responses to each other lack depth?
  • How can you show or demonstrate how alone they really are?
  • How can you demonstrate how texting is an isolating experience?
  • How can you show them being “bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages”

Consider capturing/grabbing your iPhone/iPod message screen and then get those pics into an iMovie.

iPhone spell-checker frustration.

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About Technology

Write a post on one of the following topics about technology:

  • technological change in schools
  • technology both shapes and is shaped by society
  • the need for public policy that controls technological change
  • genetic engineering
  • determine a plan of action to address a technological problem that your class or school has
  • look at how a television program or modern movie treats the issue of technology
  • create a bulletin board display or electronic collage about technology and society
  • create a 3-5 minute digital recording of you reading an interesting news story about technology
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No Cell Phones!

Pretend that the members of your community have decided to turn off their cell phones, televisions, computers, consoles, hand held devices, game gadgets, etc. for a week. Write a persuasive letter to the editor of your local newspaper as part of the publicity campaign that would be used to inform the public, enlist their support, and provide them with alternatives to their electronics.

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High-Tech Invention

Choose one high-tech invention that you have used, and write an inductive essay that praises or condemns it.

First freewrite on your subject for at least five minutes – automatically, never letting your pencil or keyboard stop – then look over what you have produced in order to learn your point of view.

Now, take more notes, gathering examples. Arrange these in order from least to most important, and from this rough outline write a draft.

In the second draft adjust your tone: Is your whole argument serious or objective? Is it argumentative? Or is it more humorous, subjective, and therefore persuasive? Whichever it is, be consistent.

Now read your argument aloud to family members or classmates, revise any part that fails to work on your audience, then write the final version.

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