I created this visualisation for my students as an example of how their work on the High Tech Stuff unit might come out. Feel free to use it under the Creative Commons license.
I just put the finishing touches on a new ICT unit looking into the past, present and future of ICT, and how technology made us the species we are today. My aim is to get students away from the idea that high-tech is the only tech. Technology is everywhere in our lives, and we only live the way we do because of it. In short, without technology we would most likely be just another species of primate.
All the files need to run the unit are listed below. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or just want to have a chat.
- ICT Unit – Y8 – High Tech Stuff
- ICT Unit – Y8 – High Tech Stuff – Rubric
- ICT Unit – Y8 – High Tech Stuff – Punched Cards
- Example Visualisation (this is not a “perfect answer”, but something to get students thinking.)
The way I run this unit allows students to use any number of tools to present their final answer to the four guiding questions. Whilst many students opt for a simple word processor or presentation application, others are more adventurous. In the past students have used tools as diverse as Tiki-Toki, EdCanvas, Storify and Prezi. The work below is a very strong piece of work submitted by one of my students, Adrien. What makes this work stand out is the excellent understanding Adrien shows for the big picture concepts covered in class, and his feeling for the effect of technology upon us. My feedback for improvements was for Adrien to include his sources and a Creative Commons license, and also to proof-read for minor errors.
Creidts: Thanks to marfis75 on Flickr for the thumbnail.
Ericsson, having been partly consumed by Sony, are no longer the mobile handset powerhouse they once were. However, they are still a force within other areas of the telecommunications industry, and as the video below shows, seem to have developed a powerful understanding of what high technology is doing to us as a species:
As inherently narcissistic creatures, we often believe that we are the summit of human evolution and achievement. Obsessed as we are with our sparkly mobile devices and lightening fast communications networks, we often simply fail to consider where the future might be taking us. This video provides the refreshing perspective that we are merely at a single point in a long journey, and as far as ICT goes, that journey has only just begun. In particular I found meaning in the suggestion that whilst we have all this technology, really we are only just learning what we can do with it and what it might do to us. I find many of my students, having grown up with ubiquitous computing power, simply have no idea that they are in the midst of a serious upheaval in the way that we live, work and play. At the same time, most teachers and parents have no idea either, simply because they are not equipped with a big picture view of technology. Just as with previous revolutions, be they industrial or political, we have unleashed an unstoppable force that is going to drag us kicking and screaming into a brave new world.
On a final note, comparing the video above with the one below (from a younger Ericsson) provides an interesting porthole into change over a short period of time. We see evolution in action, not only in the thinking at Ericson but also in our collective ability to comprehend and articulate what is happening to us.
This extremely dated video clip introduces video to a new craze sweeping the world: Internet. When you need something to remind students that there was life before the Net, this is the resource to use. It also provides a view of the Internet as it used to be: text only, giving students a path to understanding how technologies adapt and evolve over time. Students can be asked to consider how dependent they are on particular technologies, and how there school and home lives might be different if the Internet did not exist. How would these changes translate into the working world? What are the effects of the Internet on today’s globally connected economy?
Spurred on by the development of the OLPC project, ASUS created the EeePC, and in doing so created a whole new computing market: the Netbook. This development is interesting for many reasons, not least because it demonstrates the speed at which things can change for businesses and technologists. Students might be asked to consider the factors, both technical and social, that allowed Netbooks to become so popular.
Despite the comical voice over, this video provides some interesting material on the history of the Internet and the developments that lead to it, such as time-sharing and file sharing. This provides an interesting way to bust the myth that the Internet is a recent development.
If you are running Windows XP and are looking to improve performance, this site provides a long list of possible approaches. Useful as much for starting discussions on how computers work as it is for its practical uses.