Unit 4: Technology and Communication

Intro Tech and Communication
  1. Show cover image from book, Alone Together. Students discuss what title and image mean.
  2. Read article about technology from Guardian. Identify pros and cons about technology from article. Pair share, then review as class.
  3. Discuss whether issues with technology are just with kids or adults, too. What effect does it have with adults?

Alone Together Listening
  1. Watch video of Alone Together’s author, Sherry Turkle, from the Colbert Report. Analyze it for message, vocabulary, and tone.

  1. Show sample opinion essay. Students label parts.
  2. Introduce homework opinion essay question: “Is social media affecting people’s ability to effectively communicate with each other?”

Group Oral Presentation Projects
  1. Intro oral presentations on social movements that have been affected by social media: Pussy Riot, Yo Soy 132, Arab Spring and Occupy Wallstreet.
  2. Students choose groups and topics, then research topic.
  3. In a later class, students present topics and the other students create a Venn Diagram for the similarities and differences of social media’s effect on their group’s social movement and the presenters’ social movement. Review similarities and differences as a class.

Internet and Communication/TOK
  1. Give students example of writing from internet with many abbreviations, lack of periods, etc. and a piece of “normal” writing. Elicit the differences between how people write for internet and other more formal settings.
  2. Pose discussion questions. Students can brainstorm individually first, then have a Socratic circle or Fishbowl discussion.
    1. Does how you write on the internet matter? Why? What does it tell people about you? How does it affect communication?
    2. Is knowledge as valid if you don’t use the conventions of forma writing)
    3. Since writing is becoming more informal in everyday life, does punctuation and other formal conventions matter?

Online Music Opinions
  1. Discussion questions about students habits listening to music online and then, specifically, Spotify.
    1. What is it?
    2. Where and when did you first hear about it?
    3. What do people think about this product? Do you like it? Why or why not?
    4. Read article about Thom Yorke from Radiohead and his opinion of Spotify. Students give it a title that captures ideas in article. Review. Then they identify 2 arguments for and against Spotify. Review any vocabulary.
    5. Sum up reasons why people are for and against online music. Ask students to talk about their own music listening habits.

Online Music Role Play
  1. In pairs, students write a role play between Thom Yorke and a Spotify representative that captures each side’s views of providing online music.
  2. Students peer edit, then present to class.

Music Review
  1. Students discuss whether they read music reviews or not. What type of information do they expect to find in one?
  2. Give students example of music review, such as from Radiohead or Thom Yorke’s recent side project, Ultraista. Students read one time to identify whether it’s a positive or negative review. Then read again to identify parts of review (INTRO - name of singer/band, background information about singer/band, type of music, overall opinion; BODY- description of music, comparison to other artists, examples of lyrics; CONCLUSION – overall opinion, possible rating system)
  3. Listen to a sample song and pairs discuss their opinion of it, then the type of information they would put in a review.
  4. Give homework assignment to write a music review of at least 400 words about an album that they love or hate.

Comparison of New Technology
  1. Students brainstorm inventions other than internet that have changed the world.
  2. They order them from 1-5 in order of importance, then compare answers with a group.
  3. Watch Ted Talk about comparing new technology of internet and its effect on society, as compared with how other previous new forms of society have affected society. They answer listening questions
  4. They develop survey questions to ask an older person how they initially responded to new technology in their lives (TV, cell phones, etc.)