Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Virtual Revolution (Episode 4) - BBC Series about the internet (for Upper Int EFL or IELTS)

Do you think the invention of the internet has been a revolution? Watch some Youtube clips from the BBC series The Virtual Revolution and answer the questions below.

This is a  useful topic if you are doing the IELTS exam and there are some typical IELTS writng questions to follow up the activity.

1) Before you watch - Introduction / Discussion. What do you think?
  • What effects has the internet had on modern life?
  • Do you think the internet has caused a revolution?
  • What do you think Homo Interneticus means?
  • Are we changing from Home Sapiens to Homo Interneticus?
  • Who is Generation Web?
  • Is the internet trivializing our relationships and rotting our brains?
  • Does the web distort or enrich our humanity?

2) Watch  clips 1-3 and take notes on these questions. (You may find the information useful for the writing actvities which follow)

  1. What do you learn about the Gutenberg Bible and why is it compared to the internet?
  2. What do you find out about South Korea?
  3. What do you find out about Internet addiction?
  4. What are the consequences of computer use on children?
  5. What do you find out about online social networks?
  6. What do you find out about facebook?
  7. What is its relationship with fast food?
  8. What does this say about facebook "friends"?
  9. What is the Dunbar number?
  10. What is the average number of friends facebook users interact with?

If you want you can watch the rest of the program here

The Virtual Revolution episode 4
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

3) Writing topics -  You can use some of the ideas in the program to help you. Look at the notes you took from the questions on the video clips

1) Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?

2) We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. They are used in businesses, hospitals, crime detection and even to fly planes. What things will they be used for in future?.Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits? Use specific details and examples in your answer.

3) Technology is making communication easier in today's world, but at the expense of personal contact as many people choose to work at home in front of a computer screen. What dangers are there for a society which depends on computer screens rather than face-to-face contact for its main means of communication?

4) Some people say that computers have made life easier and more convenient. Other people say that computers have made life more complex and stressful.What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

5) Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Modern technology is creating a single world culture. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

6) Some people say that the Internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to so much information creates problems. Which view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

7) Some say that the internet is making the world smaller by bringing people together. To what extent do to you agree that the internet is making it easier for people to communicate with one another.

8) As computers are being used more and more in education, there will be soon no role for teachers in the classroom.
• You should give reasons for your answer using your own ideas and experience.

9) Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology, students nowadays can learn more information and learn it more quickly. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


Now watch the CEOP film Exposed to learn about some of the dangers of social networking

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