The Future of Technology 2017 - Essay Competition

Reflecting on The Future of Technology

Introduction · Opening Occasion · Abstraction · Second Reflection · Universal · Conclusion · Rubric

Note: This page uses a javascript to collect your writing and then put it into a new window. Nothing is saved so be careful of crashing browsers. Also, make sure your browser has javascripting enabled in preferences.


What makes something good or bad? Is technology our servant or our master? How can we make sure we create the future we envision? What might happen that we don't even expect?

These are the kinds of questions that make us look beneath the surface of everyday life - that get us thinking! We call this reflecting or introspection (looking within).

The purpose of the following activity is to get you to reflect on the Future of Technology. But instead of just asking you to begin reflecting, it's sometimes helpful to see some things that might get you thinking or inspired.

See if you want to use the Web sites linked below to spark your thoughts and feelings, to get you reflecting. The writing process will be divided into sections and you'll be given hints and ideas to help you along the way.

If you want an idea on how the quality of reflection can be assessed, read this evaluation rubric. But most of all, follow the twists and turns of your thinking.

The Opening Occasion

The world around us often sends a wake up call or inspires us. Sometimes this is a new idea or powerful emotion. Explore the links below and see if anything calls to you personally. When you find it, write a solid paragraph that describes the scene, example, information, image, or situation related to the Future of Technology that was most powerful to you.

22 ideas about to change our world

Things to Come - a timeline of Future Technology

Top 5 Future Technology Inventions | 2019 - 2050 (Video)

Highlighting the Abstraction

Looking more deeply at the description you just wrote, look for the "abstraction" that is at the heart of your reflection. What this means is: what Big Idea, Truth or Emotion are you really writing about? Examples include things like 'excitement,' 'opportunity,' 'equality,' 'fear,' and 'friendship.' Write a short paragraph that explains and highlights the abstraction you want to draw out of your opening occasion.

The Second Reflection

Not everything is as we first think. Big ideas, truths and emotions ("abstractions") are usually important parts of what we call the Human Condition - things that touch many of us. Try looking at an opposite view of the abstraction you've been reflecting on. Once you can see (perhaps through the Web) how this topic can be viewed differently, write another paragraph that explores this different 'truth.' On way to think about it, is now you explore the opposite side of your abstraction.

From nuclear war to rogue AI, the top 10 threats facing civilisation

Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data

The Unintended Consequences of New Tech

Finding a Universal Truth

You began describing one example of The Future of Technology and went on to pull out one abstract idea or emotion to focus on. Further reflection showed how truths can sometimes look different than we might expect. Now comes the time to look at the big picture and share what you believe is the universal truth, the one that's most always true.

Keep your deep thinking going and avoid the temptation to come up with a quick and easy answer. These are hardly ever accurate. Write out your ideas in a short paragraph.


At the beginning of this activity, you were invited to look at an evaluation rubric and told to follow the twists and turns of your thinking. You've done this by looking closely at an important aspect of the human condition. But reflection works best when the writer also looks at his or her own thought processes. We're not so interested in the 'answer' you came up with as seeing how your mind worked through the process. In the final paragraph, show us the highlights of what went on in your mind that guided your reflection. At what points did "the lights go on?" When did it seem confusing? What led your to your final universal truth? In other words, "what did you learn from thinking about and reflecting on this topic?"

Give this essay a title:
Your name:      

Web and Flow, by created by Tom March
Literatu - Transform Data Chaos into Student Success