Integrative Education: Focus on Technology and Cultures
Kaluf, Kevin J., Children's Technology and Engineering
Here's a curious question: Have you used at least one Apple[TM] product today? The innovations and ideas of Steve Jobs and Apple[TM] have permeated our modern-day culture so extensively that it would be challenging for most people to avoid contact with an Apple[TM] creation during the course of the day. As consumers and users of information technology, these Apple[TM] products have altered how humans interact with the computer innovations developed by Jobs and the Apple[TM] team. The cultural influence we are experiencing today through the integration of these new technologies is similar to the cultural influences early civilizations experienced through construction technologies. Similar to innovations introduced by Jobs, the ancient Egyptians and the Teotihuacanos of Mexico both utilized innovative practices for their time to construct amazing pyramids that influenced their respective daily practices and culture.
modern-day culture and technological influence
Many people look at the late Steve Jobs as one of the most--if not the most--influential architects of our modern culture this century. His work and leadership at Apple[TM] revolutionized how people interact with the electronic technologies used daily. There are five very important ways that Jobs changed the way people work, play, and socialize in the 21st century. The first of these was changing the way people look at design. Jobs was a perfectionist who always cared about how a product looked, in addition to how it performed. In addition to the functionality of the device, Jobs contemplated minimalist design and his customers' aesthetic desires.
Second, Jobs changed the way we listen to music. In 2003, Jobs wanted to help curb piracy by launching iTunes, the digital content service that charged fees for music bought online or via Apple's[TM] digital music player, the iPod. Today, iTunes is the largest online music retailer in the world, with over 200 million users and 15 billion downloaded songs.
Third, Jobs redefined the usage of the personal computer for the average consumer. Jobs revolutionized the way people work, communicate, and create through the use of Mac personal computers. Macs made it easy for everyone to become a "techie."
Fourth, through the creation of the iPhone in 2007, Jobs introduced a device that pioneered the smartphone while utilizing a minimalist design, a sleek case, and a touchscreen operating system.
Finally, with the launch of the iPad, Jobs combined both smartphone technology and personal computing in a powerful, yet mobile, device. Steve Jobs was an expert at understanding our culture's busy lifestyles, and he was able to assist in the managing of those lifestyles through his technologies.
Two video resources can be used to show students how the utilization of technology can envelop and integrate two distant cultures in the same period of history. Egyptian Pyramids, a History Channel Modern Marvel video, provides students with an inside look into the history and culture of ancient Egypt and its pyramids. The culture of Egypt revolved around the ruler, called the Pharaoh, as the people's supreme ruler and god. The Pharaohs wanted to be remembered by their people, so they had them construct large structures to serve as tombs for their "journey to the afterlife." These structures were designed and built as square pyramids, and their measurements were extremely accurate, both in size and in their locations directionally. While no one is certain of the methods the builders used, it is surmised that the pyramids were either constructed by an extensive slave labor force, or the average Egyptian had to give years of service to the Pharaoh's building project. As a result of this focus on construction as lasting memorials, hundreds of pyramids of various sizes can be found throughout Egypt, and the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians were altered by their work on them. …