1. What is it?
2. Why do we use it?
3. Where does it come from?
4. How does it work?
5. How does it change?
6. How does it change us?
7. How do we change it?
8. What are its costs & benefits?
9. How do we evaluate it?
Why do we use technology? For the same reasons we always have.
For food, shelter, communication, transportation, commerce, art,
religion, health, entertainment, organization, conflict, exploration,
and more. One way to understand a technology is to figure out why
we use it.
The Transformers Are Coming
Going to the Bathroom
Changing the World
The Eyes & Ears of Science
invites a guest (or the teacher playing a role) from 200 years ago to
ask students for help in understanding modern technology. Each
student group has to explain a different technology, from cell phones to
cameras and computer mice (anything newer than 200 years).
Students discover that the easiest way to explain is to tell why we use
Trees of Why
has students diagram ever more specific reasons we use technology.
In the form of a tree, which can be colored or adorned with magazine
photos as a collage, students start from a major reason we use
technology, such as communication, and branch it into more specific
reasons, such as communicating over distance (phone) or time (tape) or
broadcasting to many people simultaneously (radio or TV).
Standards (click for details)
History - Social Science
Grade 6 World History & Geography:
Ancient Civilizations 6.7.8
Grade 12 Principles of American
Democracy 12.8.2, Principles of Economics 12.6.3
Grades 8 - 12 Calculus 21.0
Grade 5 Investigation & Experimentation 6f
Grade 6 Earth Science 4.0, Investigation
& Experimentation 7b
Grade 7 Investigation & Experimentation 7a