What Is Human Technologies?
Time 60 mins

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites None
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Ross Parker
Groupings Individual
Pairs
Minimum Year Group None

Blurb

HT is a subject specific to ICHK. But what is it, and why do we study it? In short, HT is all about understanding the nature of being human, and our complex yet vital relationship to technology. By learning what technology is, and how it effects us, we can learn to be better at being human.

License

This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC

Outline

Resources
What is needed to run this unit?
  • ...
Cross-Curricular Links
Do not try and force this. What areas of other subjects might this reflect and/discuss language. For IB, links with ToK.
  • ...
Teacher Reflection
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
  • ...
Credits
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.
  • HT Venn diagram courtesy of Toby Newton, ICHK

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5 mins
Why Study HT?
The Pitch
  • HT is a subject invented at ICHK Secondary.
  • But what is it, and why do we study it?
  • In short, HT is all about understanding the nature of being human, and our complex yet vital relationship to technology.
  • By learning what technology is, and how it effects us, we can learn to be better at being human.
15 mins
The Venn Diagram
Getting Started
  • Often we think of "technology" as things like computers and cars...but really, technology is much broader.
  • We can think of technology as anything that is made by humans.
  • To really think broadly about technology, the HT Venn diagram shows us four overlapping categories of technology, contained within one over-arching category:

  • As you can see, technology is very broad and includes material "stuff" as well as many non-material technologies (such as spoken language).
  • The somatic category relates to those technologies that act in relation to our bodies (e.g. all technologies!)
10 mins
What Do We Want From You?
Learning
  • HT focuses on the following unifying questions:
    • What makes us human?
    • What skills and thought patterns will make us the most effective we can be?
    • How did the patterns of thought and organisation that characterise human language, culture and society develop and how do they work?  
  • These are really big questions, and can only be answered over a number of years of studying, reading, thinking and discussing.
  • You can learn about what Human Technologies is on our website page.
    • Remember that because HT is an ICHK-developed subject, Googling "human technologies" will yield a lot of unrelated and misleading information.
30 mins
Summing Up
Evidence
  • As evidence of your learning in this very short unit:
    • Write a short summary of what you think Human Technologies is
    • Include or draw the HT Venn diagram, and annotate (label) each different section, with a technology that you think fits there. For example, we can say that spoken language is both a cognitive and social technology:

 

    • Add a list of what you consider to be the 5 most important technologies of all time.
  • This should not be a huge piece of work, just a brief summary of a brief unit.
  • You can do this by hand, or on your computer.
  • Once you have completed the work, submit it as evidence of your learning.

Matthew . Shared on 24/08/2021

Student Work

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Student Comment

This is a Free Learning unit I did with my dad. My dad and I were hanging out and we decided to do it together. My dad was not there to do the work but he simply nudged me in the right direction.


Teacher Comment

Excellent work Matthew! You have given some great examples of important Human Technologies and also effectively classified them on the HT Venn Diagram to demonstrate your understanding that they could cross over many HT areas.

I like how you took some of your learning from Big History last year and identified Agriculture/Farming as an important HT, as it allowed the human civilisation to develop so many more technologies as they had more time and supply of labour.

Keep up the great work!

Amelie . Shared on 11/03/2021

Student Work

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Student Comment

I enjoyed reviewing what ht is :)


Teacher Comment

Approved. Well done. 

Daniel . Shared on 28/08/2016

Student Work

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Student Comment

I learned the true definition of "technology" and thought more deeply about the most important technologies (not computers, phones and such).


Teacher Comment

Daniel, well done on producing an excellent response to this piece of work. Your broader thinking of what technology is shows a deepening of your thinking, and your examples of important technologies give a glimpse into what it means to be human. All of this is very well written and formatted, making for a clear and accessible piece of work. I am going to add your work to the Free Learning Showcase, which means it will be available for other students to see as a piece of Exemplar Work.

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