The Role of Technology

The Role of Technology

Snapshots Small Group Work

Opening

In small groups, share your snapshots and discuss them. As you discuss, consider the following questions.

  • Do people of different ages use technology in different ways? How so?
  • What common elements do you see across all the different snapshots?
  • Are the people in your snapshots connecting to others? How so?
  • Where do you see yourself fitting into these snapshots?
  • Do you sit in a group of peers and look at your phone?
  • Do you prefer to shut off your devices or put them away when you’re with others in person?
  • Do you let calls or text messages interrupt personal conversations?

Digital Divide Quick Write

Work Time

  • Write about a time in which you’ve felt like you and another person were speaking differently about technology, almost like you both come from different cultures. Maybe you were the knowledgeable one, or maybe you were the one who needed help.
  • What did it feel like to be in your particular part of digital culture?

Open Notebook

Medieval Help Desk

Work Time

In your small groups, watch the Medieval Help Desk video and then spend a few minutes talking with your group about it. The video is silly, but most people have found themselves on one side or the other of a conversation like this. Your familiarity with technology can put you on one side or the other of a big cultural divide.

As you talk with your small group, make notes on the questions below.

  • Do you ever feel like the technician in that video? When?
  • Do you ever feel like you have to explain something absurdly basic to somebody who’s unfamiliar with a piece of technology? How does that feel?
  • Do you ever feel like the man who doesn’t understand how to use the book? When?
  • Do you ever feel like somebody is explaining something absurdly basic to you, but you just don’t get it? How does that feel?
  • Do you ever feel like you speak one language when it comes to technology and a person you’re interacting with speaks another? Or like you come from two very different cultures?
  • What does it feel like to be in your particular part of digital culture?

Open Notebook

Digital Native Reading and Annotation

Work Time

Continuing in your small groups, read “Are you a Digital Native?”

Read the article individually. When you finish, begin writing your response to the following questions until every member of your group finishes.

Once you’re all finished reading, discuss your responses to the questions and continue updating your notes on your place in digital culture.

  • How does Small think using technology may change our brains?
  • Do his findings surprise you? Why?
  • What is a Digital Native?
  • What is a Digital Immigrant?
  • Are the two categories completely separate, or do you see places where they overlap?

Open Notebook

Digital Divide Entry

Closing

Over the last two lessons, you’ve collected a series of notes and impressions concerning your understanding of the effect of technology on the ways we connect to each other. You’ve also begun to construct some ideas on your own place in the culture of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants.

You may answer any or all of the following questions as you write.

  • Do you think of yourself as a Digital Native? Why or why not?
  • You are probably more familiar with certain technologies than many of the adults in your life. How does that feel?
  • How does your relationship with technology make you more effective or less effective in achieving your goals?
  • Many people aren’t totally Natives or totally Immigrants when it comes to digital issues.
    • Where do you think you fall?
    • How much of a Native are you?
    • How much are you an Immigrant?

Open Notebook

Digital Connection Log

Homework

  • Finish and polish the writing you started in the previous task and share it according to your teacher’s instructions.
  • Make a log of the digital connections you make from 6 p.m. until you go to bed.
    • Keep track of the approximate number of text messages you send and receive, the amount of time you spend on social sites, and the kinds of connections you make there.
    • Also keep track of how many people you connect with over the course of the evening.
    • Keep your log in your Notebook; it will serve as an interesting point of comparison to the evening on which you disconnect.

Open Notebook