Tag Archives: technology

Digital Cloning

B1 – Intermediate

Cloning has long been a subject of debate since the year dot. Supporters of cloning claim that it is the answer to preventing endangered species from disappearing as well as allowing human beings to live healthier lives. But just recently, another form of cloning has come to rise – digital cloning, wherein a copy of your “self” will be created online.

http://fullspate.digitalcounterrevolution.co.uk/english-articles-advanced/digital-heaven.html

Discussion questions:

1. What do you think of this ‘digital cloning’?
2. Would you like to be cloned and/or digitally cloned?
3. With this technological advancement, how do you see the future of humanity?
4. What can you say about the the last statement-question ‘Who needs faith when you’ve got broadband’?

Can a Computer Teach Children to Read and Write?

B1 – Intermediate

Global XPrize aims to help the poorest children of the world to learn how to read and write by developing a user-friendly app.  They will test the winning app with thousands of children in Africa by using a tablet to learn.

Let us know your opinion after reading the full article and watching the video.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/can-a-computer-teach-children-to-read-and-write/4055194.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on the Global XPrize competition?
2. Do you think that children will be able to teach themselves basic educational skills with only a tablet? Why? Why not?
3. Would you describe the U.N.’s goal to provide “universal primary and secondary education by 2030” as realistic? Why? Why not?
4. Do you think that computers will play a major role in education in the near future? Why? Why not?
5. Would you say that teachers are an essential part of the education system? Why? Why not?

6. Do you think it’s necessary to use tablets and apps to teach children how to read and write?

 

Shoppers Start Paying by Fingerprint

B2 – Upper Intermediate

There’s a lot of talk these days about biometric-enabled systems for time and attendance and security access systems. Fingerprints are the most commonly known biometric. The store, at Brunel University in London, enables students to pay without using cash, cards or their phone, as they can simply  scan their finger in a fingerprint scanner.

Read the article below to find out more about this identity recognition technologies and be ready to answer the discussion questions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/future-of-money/shoppers-start-paying-fingerprint-changes-lie-ahead-banking/

Discussion Questions:

1. What payment system do you use in purchasing things?

2. Do you think consumer security is guaranteed using fingerprint?

3. Would you like to continue using the traditional payment methods?

4. Is biometric system the future of identity verification?

Artificial Intelligence

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Artificial Intelligence or AI is everywhere.  As a matter of fact, we use and deal with them every day. It may seem like science fiction is starting to become reality due to these machines’ ability to assimilate our behavior.

Let’s listen to Neil and Tim talk about artificial intelligence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-170928 

Let’s Talk:

1. What sorts of things do we take for granted that are cutting edge for machines? (Machines’ limitation)

2. What other cutting-edge machines can you name?

3. How is artificial intelligence helping us today?

4. What are the dangers of artificial intelligence?

5. What would our life be like without artificial intelligence?

6. What are the differences between artificial intelligence and human intelligence?

7. What will artificial intelligence be like in the future?

8. Will robots ever control the world?

9. What movies have you seen about artificial intelligence?

A Day Without Internet

B2 – Upper Intermediate

We are living an “always-connected lifestyle”. This means that we are constantly connected to the internet. With this level of dependency, try to imagine a day without it.

Read the article and find out what it would be like if the internet would be shut down for one day.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170207-what-if-the-internet-stopped-for-a-day

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think would happen if the internet stopped for a day? According to the article, what would happen if the internet stopped for a day?
2. How much do you use the internet?
3. What uses do you have for it?
4. What may be the advantages and disadvantages of a “kill switch”?
5. What do you do alternatively when you’re not online?

Robot Police Officer

“RoboCop” is a 2014 film about a crime-fighting cyborg. Dubai Police have revealed their first robot officer, giving it the task of patrolling the city’s malls and tourist attractions. Now, this is real-life RoboCop!

Read more about the first robot police here:

http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1705/170530-robot-police-officer.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What is your general opinion about robot police officers?

2. Some see robots as menacing, some see them as helpful – how about you?

3. What do you expect from a police officer? Do you think this robot will be a better alternative?

4. Do you think your government needs to spend money on employing more police officers, or availing robot police?

5. What other roles will robots play in our society later this century?

Emails – Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Mail

B1 – Intermediate

Email is much older than ARPANet or the Internet. It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings.

Early email was just a small advancement from what we know these days as a file directory – it just put a message in another user’s directory in a spot where they could see it when they logged in. As simple as that. Just like leaving a note on someone’s desk.

Read more on the advantages and disadvantages of using e-mails.

http://www.english-online.at/media/emails/advantages-disadvantages-of-electronic-mail.htm

Let’s talk:
1. Do you agree with the all the advantages and disadvantages of emails as stated in the article?
2. How does email messaging improve your communication with others especially in the field of business?
3. How do you think you can protect yourself from phishing?

 

 

 

Guyana Tribe Goes Hi-Tech

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Perhaps never in our wildest imagination would we associate the jungle with cutting-edge technology. The Wai-wais, members of the smallest tribe in South America, are defying technology barriers in order to continue being the stewards of the rainforests in this nation.

Guyana tribe goes hi-tech to protect its land

Discuss:

1. Why is it necessary for the Wai-wais to learn the use of technology?
2. What do you think of this drastic change? How would this impact their old way of life?
3. Are there any tribes/indigenous groups in your country? Share what you know about them.

Virtual Reality In The Classroom

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Virtual reality used to be just something out of a movie. Now, it is widely used in different industries, whether it be in entertainment or in technical training. But is it as effective if it is used in classrooms? Are there any physical side effects to using virtual reality?

Click the link below and read the article to know more of the advantages and disadvantages of using virtual reality.

The Pros And Cons Of Using Virtual Reality In The Classroom

Discuss:

1. Do you think that this technology can benefit students in their learning environment? Why or why not?

2. In the article, cite one advantage and one disadvantage of virtual reality in the classroom that you agree with. Explain why.

3. In your own personal opinion, do you think the advantages outweigh the drawbacks of Virtual Reality?

4. Would you like virtual reality to be applied in the classroom for your child or children? Or, would you rather have them be taught in a traditional way? Explain your answer.

App Targets Fake ‘Made in Italy’ Labels

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B2 – Upper Intermediate

Have you ever seen or bought products that looked genuine but they really aren’t? There’s an a mobile app that helps you spot fraudulent Italian products.

Read more about this app and how it works and what it can do.

Smartphone app targets fake ‘made in Italy’ labels

Discuss:

1. What do you think about this app? What other features would you add to it?
2. How prevalent is counterfeiting in your country?
3. Is it really possible to lessen the spread and sale of counterfeit items?
4. Are you guilty of buying counterfeit items such as shoes, bags or clothes?