Transmission of Technology and Ideas Curriculum Suggestions

Follow-up Discussion Questions

(Use with individuals for enrichment, as the focus questions for a class discussion or as the topics to be discussed in a student jigsaw activity after students read transmission segments.)

  1. Where did each technology originate? go to?
  2. How did the technology change as it moved?
  3. Was the movement of the technology rapid or slow?
  4. Describe how the technology was transferred. Was there a single person responsible or many? Did it move directly from the source to the destination or did it move slowly with many stops and gradual changes along the way.
  5. Did the new technology or idea significantly change the society to which it was transferred?
  6. Is the transmission of technology from one country to another a good thing?
  7. For every technology or idea, a soceity can decide to reject, adopt or adapt .
  8. What is the problem of reject a new idea or technology?What is the problem of adopting a new idea or technology?
  9. What is lost when a technology is adapted?
  10. How is the culture of the Slik Road similar to our own?
  11. What are some technologies or ideas which have been adopted or adapted by our society? Is this good? Have these technologies or ideas significantly changed our society?
  12. What technologies or ideas has this society exported to other places? Is this good? Have these technologies or ideas significantly changed their society? Consider cigarettes. Consider fast food. Consider antibiotics. Consider telephones.

Consider copyright and patent law:

  1. What is the purpose of patent law?
  2. How would patent laws have changed the Silk Road?
  3. Would this have been beneficial to the Silk Road trade? How would it have been detrimental to the Silk Road trade?

Project ideas:

Students trace the development of a technology such as the flush toilet, TV, refridgeration, linoleum, telephones or CDs.


  • Where did the idea or technology originate? By whom was it created? When?
  • When did it become widely used in this country?
  • Where was the product originally manufactured? Where is it manufactured today?
  • Did our society reject, adopt or adapt the technology? Explain.
  • Was the idea patented? Was this helpful or hurtful to its adoption in this country?

Students create a poster/visual showing the transmission of the technology from its place of origins to American households (include the patent office). The visual also shows the evolution of the technology particularly noting adaptions made in this country.

Map the current production process, from the raw materials to the place of manufacturing to the American consumer via Walmart.