Report 38 The Pros and Cons of Living in a Technological Age

Writer: Ariela  Editor:Bingmei Yan   Photographer:Wang Jin

AI,Blockchain,Cloud Computing,Big Data…

Welcome to the English Salon

  On April 17, 2019 at 6:30pm an English salon was hosted on the fifthfloor of the library on the North Campus at Inner Mongolia University. Thesalon was hosted by Rosa, a deputy research librarian of the Inner MongoliaUniversity Library. Ariela, an American and a foreign English teacher in theSchool of Foreign Languages at the University, was the invited guest. The topicof this English Salon was about the pros and cons of living in a technologicalage and related content. 

1

Giving Self Introduction

         To begin the session, Ariela introduced herself
and invited the students to also introduce themselves by sharing their
English/Chinese/Mongolian name a   nd answering the question, “Who is your
favorite singer?”. After introductions, the foreign teacher invited the
participants to engage with an ice-breaker called “Two Truths and One Life”.
The students were divided into three groups and each student had to share three
facts about themselves. However, the twist of this icebreaker is that one of
the “facts” is actually a lie. The other students in the group must guess which
fact is actually a lie. This exercise allows the students to get to know each
other as they laugh and joke with each other. It is a great way to allow
students to relax and feel comfortable speaking to each other in English. 

Ariela, Foreign Teacher of Foreign Language Department of Inner Mongolia University

2

Ice Breaking Challenge

2

Discussion

        After the ice-breaker, the foreign English
teacher introduced the theme of the discussion. She invited the students to
engage with the topic by posing the following questions: What do you use your
phone for every day? How many times did you use your phone today? Can you life
for one day without your phones? These questions guided the students to explore
the ways in which they personally use technology and how they are dependent on
technology in so many aspects of their lives. They noted that technology can
greatly enhance their life in a number of ways such as: phones as payment
methods, GPS navigation, online shopping, convenient travel, social media,
communicating with family and friends, etc. However, they also noted a number
of drawbacks with social media such as: inspiring laziness in people, fraud,
lowering people’s self esteem, etc. 

3

Pros and Cons of Cellphone

        Following this, Ariela showed an animated video
that showed some of the negative aspects of technology in today’s world. She
invited the students interact with the video by saying, “Some people think too
much technology is bad for society. Others disagree. What do YOU think?” The
students were invited to make a list of pros and cons of living in a digital
age. 

4

Idea Sharing

5

Debate 

        The students were then divided into two groups
in order to form a proper debate. One group had to argue the pros of living in
a digital world. The other group had to argue the cons of living in a digital
age. Ariela acted as the mediator. The two groups met separately to discuss
their arguments for their respective points and to anticipate any rebuttals
that the opposing side might present. Each group then elected a group member to
present their opening statements and proceed with the debate. Each side was
only given up to 1 minute to speak. They were given a 10 second warning before
Ariela, the mediator, cut them off. Because of the time limit, and the passion
that the students had in arguing their sides of the discussion, the debate was
very heated and intense. All students spoke at least one time during the debate
and some were so passionate they could barely wait their turn to speak.
Overall, the debate was a great success and Ariela could not pick a single side
as a winner. Both sides wont the argument!

  The salon was concluded after the debate. The
foreign teacher summed up the topic and previewed the theme for the following
week: The 996 policy in China. 

Pictures of Previous Salons

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