Link of the Week: Technological Progress

Why do we talk about technology so often in our links of the week?  Because technology is such a popular topic for SAT prompts. 

Consider these prompts that have appeared within the past few years:   

     Does a strong commitment to technological progress cause a society to neglect other    
     values, such as education and the protection of the environment?
     Are there benefits to be gained from avoiding the use of modern technology, even when
     using it would make life easier?
     Is the most important purpose of technology today different from what it was in the
     Have modern advancements truly improved the quality of people's lives?

Technology is integrated into most aspects of our lives, so you probably have ample personal experience to draw upon in discussing the role of technology in society.  Then again, so does pretty much every other student, and if you merely write about tablets, smartphones, apps, etc., your essay probably will not stand out from the crowd.  What will make your essay shine is if you find ways to apply scholarly examples to the issue of modern technology.  

Isaac Asimov, one of the best known science fiction writers of all time, considered both the promise and the potential dangers of technological advancement in his works.  This week, his article “Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014,” published in The New York Times in 1964, has appeared in the news as journalists consider whether his predictions from 50 years ago ring true today.  Check out this article, which links to Asimov’s original work and discusses some of the eerily accurate forecasts he makes therein.  Judge for yourself whether life in 2014 is comparable to Asimov’s vision, and consider adding this article to your current event examples.  

Check back here next week for a new link!

SAT Link of the Week: Education and Technology

 This week's link is an article that discusses the right (and wrong) ways to use a popular new tool in education: online classrooms. 

At first glance, it might seem like this article has a very narrow application.  You could easily use the facts in this article to discuss how technology is changing our lives or how we must be careful when we put our faith in technology over traditional methods.  However, there are broader and more abstract ways to apply this current event as well.  You could use this article to talk about the differences between doing something for a profit and working for the good of humanity,  or you could cite this article to prove that ideas that are failures at first can become successful with some tweaking.  The possibilities go on and on. 

When you gather your SAT examples, be sure to consider more than just the obvious applications.  Practicing this skill will ensure that you can think of relevant examples no matter what essay topic you encounter on the test.  Hone your ability to apply examples to a variety of prompts by writing body paragraphs for the three the prompts listed below.   Use information from the Link of the Week article to write each paragraph. 

1.  Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better?  

2.  Is there always another explanation or point of view?  

3.  Should people change their decisions when circumstances change, or is it best for them to stick with their original decisions?

Be sure that you not only give pertinent details from the article but also clearly state the link between the example and the point of view that you have taken on the prompt.  


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