This blog post was based on an activity I did with my class last week.
As we shift into an industrial age, it seems that we are more intimate than ever with technology. While one used to spend the day connected to the land, toiling in hopes for a better crop, we now spend the days connected to the assembly line, a mere cog in the machinery. With that in mind, I had students write letters to personified technology.
At first, the class seemed skeptical, but over time they warmed up to the idea. Many of them chose to write multiple letters. Something about the personal tone of a friendly letter allowed the students to think more creatively about the pros and cons of technology. While we have analyzed media before, I noticed that the letter format encouraged my students to think deeper about the human side of technology in society.
You will never replace the horse. Although you might be faster, I can't imagine that mankind will choose convenience over relationships. Besides, our city might be crowded, but where would you possibly need to go that you couldn't access on horse back?
Dear Light Bulb,
You have replaced the sun in providing warmth and illumination. Your small filiment might be weak, but you have already managed to fade our sense of seasons. I stood outside last night and stared at the stars and the universe felt small and manageable. Although I appreciate you, I wish you would take a few nights off so that I could have an evening of awe.
Maybe I am too hopeful, but I think you have the ability to spread information instantly around the world. I'm hoping we can have a more democratic world. Perhaps there is something we can learn from other countries and they can learn from us.