Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"A silicon forest grows"
- The emergence of high technology has changed our lives, our region and our economy. Track your own history with high tech, from early experiences (maybe an Atari video game or a microwave oven) to the present (cell phone, computer or digital camera?). How savvy have you become? How has technology changed your job and your personal life? Which high-tech products could you give up? What does your technology future hold?
- Our region has prospered from the development of high-tech industry. What has the success of Aldus, Microsoft, Immunex, etc. meant for the quality of life in the Puget Sound? How have these companies changed how people work and what they expect from their jobs? Has high tech opportunity affected your own employability or that of your children?
- High tech products require a lot of new learning and in some cases, relearning of tasks. Have you ever had trouble making technology work, from programming your VCR to loading a new piece of software? Are our high-tech possessions more clever than we are? Do you know someone who retired rather than learn new technology? Will our society become divided into those who can or cannot function in the high tech world? What are the consequences of this kind of division? How does the technology revolution impact education?
- A problem with exploding technology is the rapid pace of change and need to stay current. Does this prevent or encourage you to purchase the latest in high-tech products? In the early '90s, it was predicted that most families would have personal computers in their homes. Has this in fact happened? Do you think most Americans will be linked to the Internet by the year 2000? What are some social benefits, consequences and ethical issues which are arising over the technological revolution?
- The diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of medicine have changed dramatically due to technology, driving up the cost of healthcare. Do benefits outweigh the high cost of development and use? For example, ultrasounds on pregnant women have become fairly routine. Is this a frivolous or necessary use of expensive technology? Does high tech medicine change access to healthcare for the less affluent?
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