Technology for Social Good

These tools correspond with the SLS Student Learning Outcomes

 

 

 

Big Idea Writeup

Technology for Social Good

Technology for Social Good refers to the use of technology – broadly engineering, applied science and computing-based artifacts, algorithm and techniques – towards addressing pressing social problems. Technology is rarely, if ever, “the” solution, but instead works in concert with non-technology based approaches.

Course

The History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children

Books for children, both fiction and non-fiction, can address scientific principles in creative ways in an attempt to educate, inform and excite young children. Hidden inside many classic children’s texts are broad scientific concepts like climate change (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), engineering (The Three Little Pigs), life cycles (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), and environmentalism (The Lorax). Other newer texts, like Babies Love Quarks are designed to help entice even the youngest children to love science, as a response to the STEM “crisis” in American education.

Technology and Society

Technology and Society examines connections between the history of technology and other aspects of human history. The course uses historical episodes to challenge widely held misperceptions about technology and how it operates in the modern world. I argue that technology is a human product, not an autonomous force. Technology makes nothing happen by itself, but only as the result of human action. People can choose to design and use technology in different ways to better serve human needs.

Toolkit Listing

Urban Farming & Community Gardens

Starting a community garden in an abandoned vacant lot is a good way to address blight in a neighborhood. This project builds on the dataset of Westside Atlanta property surveys and walks the students through the process of starting a community garden to selling its produce on farmers markets. It emphasizes the social aspect of community building and the importance of buying local.

Rodent Control

This is a collection of assignments around the problem of rodent infestation in cities, which has become a pressing problem following the mild winters in 2015-16. The assignments are designed to 1) develop mapping and data analysis skills, 2) give meaningful ideas for application prototyping, and 3) foster thinking about community engagement. This is based on an up-to-date (2017) dataset of rat sightings in New York City and an on-going collaboration between Georgia Tech and the community of English Avenue.