tech•nol•o•gy: noun /tekˈnäl’ə’jē/
According to technologists, technology is any thing, electrical, mechanical, or digital that has been designed to help solve problems and therefore supposedly make our lives more efficient, easier and hopefully more enjoyable. On the other hand, some people question the long-term benefits of technology arguing that one of the biggest contributors to our environmental and social problems is related to technological advancements.
VOCABULARY ACTIVITY ONE: Kitchen Appliances
Do you know the vocabulary for these common kitchen appliances?
- Food Processor
Which devices are labour-saving and which are useless?
In your opinion, are any life-saving? Personally, I couldn’t live without my kettle and my food processor.
VOCABULARY ACTIVITY TWO: Household Appliances
Do you know the vocabulary for these common household appliances?
- Sewing Machine
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Washing Machine
If you had to get rid of three, which three would you choose? Personally, I could easily live without an iron, a vacuum cleaner (although not in the UK) and a sewing machine. Truth be told, the only appliance I couldn’t live without is a washing machine, and a fan in the summer.
VOCABULARY ACTIVITY THREE: Gadgets
A gadget is often a small mechanical or electronic device which is designed to have a practical use but many people argue that the majority are just useless and a waste of money. Often, I have mixed feelings about opinions because I can usually see both sides of the story. BUT COME ON!! I can not believe anyone has bought any of the following gadgets. Can you?
VOCABULARY ACTIVITY FOUR: Vocabulary Collocations
Complete the gaps with these verbs: Try, pay, do , take, book, save
With more and more people now________ the computer for granted, it is possible to avoid shopping as people do everything online, from ________bills to ________holidays. It can ________a lot of time if you are busy, and a lot of money, too. Going to the library might also become a thing of the past as young people usually ________research for their studies on the web. However, many people still prefer to go shopping for their own clothes as they prefer to ________them on and see what they look like before they buy.
READING CHALLENGE ONE:
Technological advancements can be amazing; seriously how difficult would modern life be without access to the internet?! And, for all those fitness fanatics out there, what would you life be like without the new fitness and activity trackers? Not to mention the fact that we now have 3D printing, Smart Phones, and wearing technology like Smart Watches and those X Ray glasses that you wear so you can see what people look like without their clothes on. OK, yes, I made up the last one, but you have to concede that some technological inventions are obviously just BONKERS and a complete waste of money; in fact many of the most stupid ones cost an arm and leg.
READING CHALLENGE TWO:
Technology is about moving forward, creating innovative technology to improve our lives, and providing solutions for all of life’s inconveniences and problems. Affordable, efficient and useful are the three key qualities we want when we are selecting our devices. So, what do you think? Would you get your purse out and buy any of the following items?
LISTENING ACTIVITY ONE: Is Technology Killing Your Memory?
It is often alleged by experts that we are killing our ability to remember things because we rely too much on technology to find out, process, retain and recall information. Unfortunately, this is true for me, since I started using technological devices to remind me of birthdays, telephone numbers, what food to buy and when I should phone my mother, I don’t remember a thing. I even have my home address saved in my mobile just in case I can’t remember where I live. On the other hand, I always forget to take it out with me.
However, surprisingly, this research study suggests that technology is not frying our memories. Rather, they suggest we are actively choosing NOT TO REMEMBER facts and information, instead, we are choosing to remember where to locate the information if we need it in the future. This is what they call the: Google Effect.
Listen to the video and make up your own mind. Don’t forget you can follow the typescript if you can’t understand a word the narrator is saying.
LISTENING ACTIVITY TWO: Living Tomorrow: The House of the Future- It’s a steal at 22 million Euros!
Despite the fact that I’m not that into technology, I can’t stand wasting time so I really liked the fact that in this house I can order and pay for food from a kitchen smart board, I can immediately find out more information about what I’m eating and I can watch the news and check the weather forecast in an intelligent mirror while I’m brushing my teeth. However, on the other hand, all the cool and high-tech gadgets would just collect dust as I’d rather talk, touch, and smell people than get jiggy with a touch screen. Furthermore, 22 million Euros, are they pulling my leg? I could buy a small island for the same money. Click here to check out this technology driven house. What are your feelings? Are you a techno-junkie? Or, are you more like me, a techno-avoider?
LISTENING ACTIVITY THREE: Futuristic Technologies You Might Live To See
Don’t believe me, well check out this video
SPEAKING CHALLENGE ONE: Fancy Dress and Technology
Imagine you are going to a fancy dress party and you have been asked to wear a costume which represents an outdated piece of technology that you have fond memories of. Prepare a two minute presentation describing your chosen piece of technology and explain the reason for your choice.
Do you need some inspiration?
Well, I would go dressed up as a rotary phone. A what?
Ok, I know that I don’t have a smart phone and all that swishing and sliding that most people do when they use their mobile brings me out in a rash, not to mention the constant ping, ping, and ping, ping of text messages, Facebook messages and WhatsApp messages which give me a migraine. I also understand that most people think I’m a technological moron. However, I nearly fell off my chair from shock when I watched this video. Most of the kids on this video had never seen a rotary phone before, they had no idea how to use one and more importantly they couldn’t understand the concept of not being able to write and send an SMS.
OMG, I feel SO old! Having said that, it’s hilarious! My favourite part is when they all try and make a phone call. If you do one thing today, check out this video and laugh your pants off!
SPEAKING CHALLENGE TWO: Technological and Electrical Devices
- First talk about how these things can improve our lives.
- Then decide which 2 you think are the most useful. My money is on the laptop and the electric toothbrush. How about you?
SPEAKING CHALLENGE THREE: Interview: Technology and the Internet
Imagine you are being interviewed by a reporter for a Technology Magazine. Can you answer the following questions with more words than: yes or no?
- Do you use the Internet? What for? What would your life be like without the internet
- Do you think the Internet is dangerous?
- Do you think children spend too much time on the Internet?
- Do you think the Internet is good for education?
- What do you think about online shopping
- What do you think about online dating?
- What do you think about online banking?
- Do you think Internet crime is increasing?
- What do you think about social networking sites, such as Facebook?
- Can you imagine a life without mobile phones?
- Is it important that everyone knows how to use a computer
- Is it important that everyone knows how to access the internet?
- Which household appliances get used the most in your house?
- What item of technology would you like to get rid off?
- Would you like to have a personal robot?
- Are there any disadvantages about new technologies?
WRITING ACTIVITY ONE: Technology Marketing
Write an advert for your favourite piece of technology: Explain: What it does, why it’s fantastic, how much it costs and why it’s a must buy for any sane person.
Do you need some inspiration? Here’s how Apple marketed the gorgeous, the sexy, the complete full-package, yes, it’s the love of my life the iPod Nano.
Home, work and anyplace in between. Your iPod syncs easily with your life.
Listening to music has never been this easy. Not only that, it won’t break the bank. It’s a genuine bargain. The I-Pod Nano has been voted top of the range of all music portables by you, the users. You don’t even need to be a nerd to get to grips with it. It has automatic log off and a gizmo that will act as your personal DJ creating amazing mixes to suit your ever-changing moods. You’ll be hooked before the end of your jog. http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/
WRITING ACTIVITY TWO: Trusting Technology – The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ridiculous
The editor of a newspaper is asking readers to write an article about their experiences of technology when they have gone wrong. If you have had any problems with technology, then write in and share your story.
Do you need any inspiration? Why not read this description about Global Positioning Systems?
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have become one of the world’s most popular gadgets. Even I had one in England, and yes I talked to it, and yes I shouted at it, but no, I didn’t give it a name! The most common phrases I said to it were:
- Are you sure?
- I don’t believe this is the quickest route?
- Why are you directing me into rush-hour traffic, you idiot?
- Please stop telling me to turn right. There is no xxxxxx right turn.
- What the hell is 500 meters?
- OMG, shut up!
Truth be told, I was always a bit sceptical about its instructions and my knowledge of road terminology was always bad, so when it said: Turn Left at the next junction, I used to think: ‘Crap, what’s a junction? So thankfully, in the end I always used my own common sense when driving. Unfortunately, for some people they trust their GPS’s so much that:
- They drive into oceans, rivers, lakes…
- They drive into golf bunkers ( the sand pit)
- They drive up mountain paths and can’t reverse when the road stops
- They even drive into churches
So, once again, I ask the same question: Has technology made us more stupid? If you think the answer is no, as my Teckie Knight believes, then perhaps, it’s just made us think less??? What do you think: has technology enhanced our cognitive thinking or are we becoming dumb and dumber? Finally, do you have any funny stories about GPS journeys that have gone wrong? Come on, spill the beans!
WRITING ACTIVITY THREE: Text Messages
Why is it that I don’t understand at least 50% of the text messages I receive?I wonder is it because people use code like this: LOL, F2F, GMBO, HTH, or perhaps I’m never exactly sure what all the little emotion images mean.
Have you had this experience? Don’t be shy – share your text exchange with us.