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0. Introduction 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?

 

0. Introduction
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?

 

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California Content Standards

 

 

4. How does
it work?

Lesson

How does technology work?  One pattern common to many technologies is that simple parts can form a complex whole.  The Game of Life shows that surprising behaviors emerge from simple rules.  Mystery Boxes shows that we can design complex systems from simple building blocks.  Two reasons this is important: (1) we need understand only simple components to make powerful technologies and (2) dangerous technologies can be hard to predict, even if we understand the components.  Our book gives more answers.

Hook stories

Building computers with stone tools

The most important invention

Activities

Game of Life gives students graph paper and simple rules to determine if a "cell" in a square will be born, continue to live, or die.  But the cells interact so the results can be surprising.  An online simulator can be used after the graph paper.

 

Mystery Boxes shows students the basic logic gates that are the building blocks of all digital technology.  An online simulator lets them test behavior of individual blocks and combinations.

Content Standards (click for details)

Mathematics

Grades 8 - 12 Algebra 1 24.1

Science

Grades 9 - 12 Physics 5d

 

 2010 KnowledgeContext

 

Teaching Young People to Think About Technology