TED Talks: Our Digital Selves

To follow our initial conversations about what it means to be consumers of digital media, I wanted the students to do some thinking and writing on their own.  Over the weekend, they chose two of these three TED Talks to watch and think critically about.  I gave them some questions to answer to help them process the relevancy and meaning of the talks.

We talked about TED topics, conferences, and speakers, and I told them how nerdy I am because I watch these for fun and stream them on my mobile devices because it's cool like that.

Number of students who had heard of TED before last week:  four.

Number of students who downloaded the TED app on their phones over the weekend and actually admitted it: two.

Baby steps.

I thought I'd share the talks I selected for their introduction and the questions I asked.  I'll be reading their responses in the next few days, and will have more to report then.

Amber Case: We Are All Cyborgs Now

  1. What changes in our society has the speaker observed?
  2. Why is she concerned about our society, specifically adolescents?
  3. Do you think her talk ends on a hopeful tone?  Why or why not?
  4. Connect to self: How do you relate to the changes Ms. Case describes?  

Nicholas Christakis: The Hidden Influence of Social Networks
  1. How did Nicholas Christakis use social media?  What did he prove?
  2. How do clusters arise in social networks, according to the speaker?
  3. What implications do these results have?  In other words, what is the value of networks?  If we’re not focusing specifically on obesity or geography, what should people know or do to think about who is in their friend networks?
  4. Connect to self:  What kind of network do you want to be in?  Do you have control over this?  How?  What do you want your role in that network to be?

Sherry Turkle: Connected But Alone

  1. According to Turkle, how do our devices affect us psychologically?  Give examples.
  2. What does she argue is the bedrock of development for teens, and why does this make the Goldilocks Effect especially troubling for adolescents?
  3. What is Turkle asking her audience to consider/change/do?  Why?
  4. Connect to self:  How have the psychological effects of technology use affected you and those around you?  What do you think is the role of vulnerability and empathy in these effects?

I know their responses will bring a variety I haven't fully anticipated.  They're growing up in such an interesting time!  

No comments:

Post a Comment