Expository Writing: Access and Privacy in the Technological Age

Cooperative Learning Activity Idea

New technologies bring changes, not all of them unquestionably good. With more of the world run by computers, is there any way to keep privacy? With popular social networks like MySpace and Facebook, should someone be responsible for protecting its users? Given existing technology, is there any ways to stop surveillance via cell phones? Do we have the technology to create national identification cards that are not easily faked by black market? Even we have
the technology, do we want to have national IDs that may provide others with even more information about us that is already collected, thanks to computer technology? Technology and homeland security and privacy issues all bump into one another in this new, wired century.
In groups of four, you will read articles on one of these issues and discuss the claims, the use of appeals and value of the articles. Then, as a group, you will summarize the articles for the class, discuss their merit, and then make up THREE questions to ask the class about access and privacy that you want to discuss with the class. You should use the articles as a springboard for
presenting to the class. EACH GROUP MEMBER MUST SPEAK to receive participation points.
Group 1– Will Privacy and Technology Ever Get Along?
Group 2 – The Last Days of Privacy
Group 3 – National IDs Won’t Work and Carlson’s The Case for National ID Card
Group 4 – MySpace and Sex Offenders: What’s the Problem? and Alexander’s
MySpace is Not Responsible for Predators
Group 5 –NPR’s transcript of Conan’s Talk of the Nation: Surveillance via Cell Phones
For the first part of class, your group will read and digest the articles and its relevancy to homeland security and privacy issues as well choose your three discussion questions. Toward the end of class, your group will present your articles, findings, and discussion questions to the class as practice for your research presentation. We will finish presenting next class.