What new problems might be created because we have solved this problem?

The final project is a presentation for an imaginary technology conference called in order to evaluate the impact of technology on culture. Students will pose questions of cultural concern in regard to new or emerging technologies and answer these questions in a multimedia presentation that uses scholarly research. The project will be completed in stages throughout the course and shared with the class in the final week. Students choose a new or emerging technology and ask the following questions about it (from Neil Postman, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century):

1. What is the problem for which this technology is the solution?

2. Whose problem is it?

3. Which people and what institutions might be most seriously harmed by a technological solution?

4. What new problems might be created because we have solved this problem?

5. What sort of people and institutions might acquire special economic and political power because of technological change?

6. What changes in language are being enforced by new technologies, and what is being gained and lost by such changes?

Students answer these questions by doing research online.  At least six scholarly sources must be employed to answer the questions.

Part 1: Project Topic

Choose a technology to question in your final project in preparation for your presentation at the Online Technology Conference and answer the following questions about it:

  • What is it?
  • Why did you choose it?
  • At this point, what do you think the answers to      the six questions that Postman asks will be? Why?
  • What steps will you take to answer the six questions?
  • What obstacles (if any) do you see in your way to      answering the six questions?

Reminder: Here are the six questions. 

1. What is the problem for which this technology is the solution?

2. Whose problem is it?

3. Which people and what institutions might be most seriously harmed by a technological solution?

4. What new problems might be created because we have solved this problem?

5. What sort of people and institutions might acquire special economic and political power because of technological change?

6. What changes in language are being enforced by new technologies, and what is being gained and lost by such changes?

Your responses should be at least 200 words, in total, adhere to MLA style guidelines (Times New Roman and size 12 font, 1 inch margins), and should be carefully edited and proofed for standard use of English.

 

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