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Age Range: 11-14
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Biology
  • D&T
  • Physics

How technology affects us classroom debate

Argue for and against different technological products

This engaging activity allows students to explore social, ethical, economic and health issues relating to the Nintendo Wii and present their findings in a persuasive, coherent and focussed argument.

Students will collect data that they can use as evidence to debate whether people should be encouraged to engage in computer-based sport activities. This activity not only focuses on wider societal and health issues but also aids in connecting the dots between society, health, and the development of new technologies.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3. It has been designed to support the delivery of key topics within science and design and technology (DT).

Activity: Argue for and against different technological products

This activity is divided into four stages. First, students make quick decisions on various products and justify their choices. Next, they discuss in pairs which product provides the most and least benefits to our society. Following that, students work in groups to produce a ‘for and against’ table for an allocated product. Finally, after watching a short Wii film, they carry out a brainstorming activity to produce a ‘for and against’ table for the Wii.

Download our activity overview and presentation for a detailed lesson plan for teaching students about how technology affects us.

The engineering context

This classroom debate introduces students to the concept of design and the impact of technology on society. It helps them understand how engineers must consider both the benefits and drawbacks of a product when designing it. By arguing for and against different technological products, students gain a better understanding of the role of an engineer in society. They learn how engineers must balance functionality, societal benefit, and ethical considerations in their designs.

Suggested learning outcomes

Participating in this activity helps students identify key facts and present them in a planned, persuasive manner. They learn to create an argument by comparing for and against issues and form conclusions that take into account both sides of the argument.

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

Download our classroom lesson plan, worksheet, handout and our PowerPoint presentation below.

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