Paper 2: Turkle, Alone Together

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

Write a brief paper to answer the following questions. The paper should be typed and double-spaced and conform to basic rules of APA style. Be sure that the paper is double-spaced, with 1 inch margins, in a 12 point font, and with numbered pages. Under no circumstances should the entire paper be fewer than 5 pages or greater than 10 pages (page counts do not include your title page or an optional page dedicated to references). This paper should be submitted electronically.

1. On page 154, Turkle says, "In Part One we saw that when children grow up with fond feelings for sociable robots, they are prepared for the 'relationships with less' that the network provides. Now I turn to how the network prepares us for the 'relationships with less' that robots provide." What are these "relationships with less" that Turkle describes? How do robots prepare us for the network's "relationships with less," and how does the network prepare us for robots' "relationships with less"?

2. In ET680, we discussed the instrumentalist (technology is just a tool) vs. the determinist (technology itself creates social practices) view of technology (scroll about half-way through the paper to the section that discusses this). Discuss at least three technologies that Turkle describes that were created for instrumentalist purposes but have changed our social practices beyond what was anticipated. Do you believe that these technologies are changing who we are at a fundamental level? If so, is it possible to resist (not just individually, but as a society) the changes that these technologies are making in us? If not, describe how society has resisted these changes. As you answer this, be careful to remember technologies you couldn't imagine using just a few short years ago that have become integral to your life now and think about technologies that you, perhaps, don't use now but could become just as important to you in the future.


Return to ET690 Home Page.

This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: February 10, 2014