Human Connection & Digital Technology

Human Connection & Digital Technology

Digital Connection Quick Write


We now live in a digital world that allows for instantaneous connection.

The strict definition of connected is “joined together so as to provide access and communication.” Does that definition accurately reflect your own thoughts about what it means to be connected?

Complete a Quick Write on the question of what it means to be connected. You can use these questions to spur your thinking.

  • What people and information do you connect with using technology?
  • Where are you when you are connected?
  • What are you doing when you are connected?
  • How do you interact with other people around you when you are connected?

Open Notebook

Share your initial ideas with the class.


Work Time

Read Chapter 5 of Henry David Thoreau’s nonfiction work Walden . This chapter is entitled “Solitude.”

As you read, annotate and answer the following questions.

  • Have you ever felt the need to separate yourself from others and seek solitude?
  • What similarities do you see between Thoreau’s time and your own?
    • What are the differences?
  • According to Thoreau, what is the difference between loneliness and being alone?
    • Has technology made it impossible, or at least more challenging, to achieve either state? Explain.

Solitude Small Group Work

Work Time

Share your responses within your small group.

  • As you listen, add your classmates’ ideas to the notes you began in the previous task.

Solitude Whole Group Discussion

Work Time

  • As you listen carefully to other groups’ responses, be sure to add to your notes. You’ll want to develop and record your personal perspectives on these issues because you’ll need strong, well-developed thoughts for the unit project.

Guiding Questions


Consider the Guiding Questions for this unit and discuss them with your class.

  • What does it mean to be digitally connected?
  • What are the implications of living in a world where everyone is digitally connected?
  • How does the availability of instant connectivity shape our relationships?
  • What does our Internet use reveal about people's needs as humans?

You will revisit these questions at the end of the unit.

Snapshots of Technology


  • Your job for homework is to observe the way people use digital technology in your world.
  • Look for people in public spaces, and take a snapshot with a device or in writing. Try to capture a sense of the way a piece of technology can shape a person’s experience of the world.
  • Find at least three different scenes and people of different ages.
  • Share your written or visual snapshots with your teacher.

Open Notebook