Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WHAT MAKES US INTELLIGENT?



“…and does Google and Wikipedia make it better or worse? Studies show that other people and tools influence our brain power as much as our own minds”
By: Tom Stafford
Level of difficulty: *
BEFORE YOU READ
·         What factors determine intelligence?
·         Do you think the changing environment with all the modern technology makes a difference?
·         Do you think this effect is negative or positive?

WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY; IT IS IN 5 SHORT PARTS
 What makes us clever? Horizon guide to intelligence 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFw-o_NuDwY
Horizon guide to intelligence 2 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVoLLVtb24k
   Horizon guide to intelligence 3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gpXm2qzw2I
   Horizon guide to intelligence 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GdoJCtSvJw
Horizon guide to intelligence 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zysSnAALc1E

QUESTIONS
1.       Which sentence in paragraph 1 best expresses the main idea?
2.       Experts state that intelligence is closely linked to …………………………………………………………………..
3.       Shopping at a certain mall because most people you know shop there makes a person a ………………………………………………., which basically means that this person ……………………………….
4.       If the cashier at your local supermarket is replaced and you don’t notice it you are exhibiting ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
5.       What is the reason for the above?
6.       Why does Andy Clark call humans natural born cyborgs?
7.       Read the experiment Wegner conducted. What was the result of the experiment?
8.       What was the reason for the above result?
9.       What does “this way” in the phrase “Having minds that work this way…” refer to?
10.   The latest player in what Wegner calls “transactive memory” is ………………………………………
11.   Wikipedia is provided as an example of ……………………………………………………………………………..
12.   What is the function of the last sentence of the text?
WRITING TASK
Write a brief summary of about 150 words of the text. Remember a good summary must have the following qualities: it needs to be short yet complete with all the main ideas covered and none of the details included; it needs to be written in your words. If you are not sure of how to do this, check out the tasks in the file marked “Summaries” on this blog.
WHAT MAKES US INTELLIGENT KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This relatively straightforward yet interesting text is another of Tom Stafford’s brilliant articles. Being topical and having a wow factor it should interest students. I have also taken a stab at introducing some real comprehension questions albeit at a simple level. The writing task is a summary; an invaluable writing and reading activity and a must have in any decent program. This might be a good opportunity to work with the students on what should and what shouldn’t be included in a summary. The Cornell method remains my preferred method, exercises relating to which you will find in the file marked “Summaries”.
1.       But the rise of Google, Wikipedia and other online tools has made many people question the impact of these technologies on our brains.
2.       How we coordinate ourselves with other people and the environment.
3.       Cognitive miser; we are reluctant to do mental work unless we have to.
4.       Change blindness
5.       People don’t tend to rely on their memories for things they can easily access.
6.       Because they have minds that naturally incorporate new tools, ideas and abilities.
7.       The pairs that were made up of couples in a relationship could remember…
8.       Because couples in a relationship had a good understanding of their partners, they would tacitly divide up the work between them.
9.       Developing a shared system for committing items to memory and bringing them out again; OR transactively
10.   Technology
11.   A system of knowledge that serves the needs of society as a whole; OR a potential to share knowledge.
12.   It is the concluding statement and ties back to paragraph one and the main idea, all of which makes the article very well organized.

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