The 5 Habits Framework

1) Evidence (How do I know what's true?)

2) Perspective (Who might think differently?)

3) Connections (What other areas of knowledge are connected?)

4) Supposition (How might it be different if..?)

5) Significance (Is this important?)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

3 Men Get Bionic Hands

Advances in Prosthetics

Milorad Marinkovic shows his bionic arm as he poses for a photograph at his home in Vienna earlier this week.
 (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

1)  How do we know what is true in science?  Is there evidence that this is a promising treatment for many amputees?  What percentage of a body can be replaced before questions of humanity arise?

2)  Why might a person in thee military view this differently than someone who is related to a person born with no arms?  Can I look at it from the recipient's viewpoint?  How is my own experience limited in this story?  How is it related?

3)  How is this connected to sports?  To the military?  Video Games?

4)  How would history change if famous amputees had bionic prostheses?  What if our government banned these prostheses?  What if the government diverted massive funding to researchers studying this?  

5)  Why is this significant?  Is there something more important I should be considering?  If this doesn't affect my life, whose will it impact?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can outline the development of prosthetics and predict future trends and their social impact.

2)  Students can consider "The Ship of Theseus" and draw connections to prostheitcs and ideas in transhumanism.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What Happens When You Stop Checking Your Phone? (Video)

Creativity Happens When You Stop Checking Your Phone

Image result for mobile phone

-The Atlantic

1)  How many times is "too many times" to check your phone in a day?  How do you know?  What other relevant numbers would help us understand this issue?  Is boredom good?  How could you prove boredom and creativity are correlated?

2)  Why might parents feel differently about this than students?  Why might Nigerians feel differently about this than Canadians?  Whose perspective is most relevant in instituting a school-wide policy on mobile phone use?

3)  How is this connected to science?  How is this connected to math?  In what ways is this issue similar to the rise in popularity of printed materials?  How is it different?  Are doodling and checking Instagram related?

4)  What would happen if your school instituted a policy of "no mobile phones" in your school?  What if parents were held legally responsible for their  child's boredom levels?  What would happen if a "pro-boredom" campaign was instituted at your school?

5)  In what ways is this relevant in your life?  Do you think about your own phone use?  Do others comment on your phone use?

Extension Activities:

1)  Students monitor, chart and present their mobile phone use.  They develop plans for increasing or decreasing their current use as they see fit.

2)  Students write "alarmist" articles about older technologies where where they warn users of the potential effects of over-use (i.e. microwave, automobile, internet)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Man Growing an Ear on Own Arm...for Art

Man Growing an Ear on Own Arm...for Art

Image by Nina Sellars, courtesy Stelarc 

1)  What evidence is most convincing that this is art?  What proof do we have that he is an artist?  

2)  Why might his artist friend feel differently about this than a deaf person?  Why might a Chinese person view this differently than an American?  How is my own experience limited in this story?  How is it related?

3)  How is this connected to the GMO food debate?  How is this connected to plastic surgery? Van Gogh?

4)  What would happen if we banned this for art?  Medical use?    

5)  Is this relevant more now or will it be in the future?  What is the long term effect of this modification?  Who is most affected by this?  

Extension Activities

1)  Students can research body modification through time or through cultures and propose future modification trends.

2)  Students can research about the limits of art and defend a policy limit to art or support for unrestricted freedom of expression.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Office Puts Chip in Workers' Skin

Office Puts Chip in Workers' Skin

Stock image.
Stock image.   (Shutterstock)

1)  What evidence is convincing enough for you to trust the company that makes these?  What medical evidence would you look for?

2)  Why might the Swiss view this differently than Americans?  Would I change my opinion about this if I was 35?

3)  How is this connected to religion?  How is this connected to sports?  Crime?

4)  What if this was banned?  What if you could implant your phone?

5)  What are the long term effects of wearbale technology?  What are the larger impacts on the issue of Privacy.

Extension Activities:

1)  Students can research wearable technology through time.
2)  Students can debate the ethics of Google Glass.