Often times our students seem to take for granted that their technology has been around for ages:) Sometimes, it is worth the effort on our part to challenge them to do some research on the technology that preceded their latest gadgets.
What I have added here is a link to a You Tube video that traces technological advances back 100 years. The viewer is presented with question after question on the "usefulness" of the invention. For example, in the 1940's "Who needs a television when we have cinema?" Of course, students may laugh at that now, but this was the way many felt about the newest "gadget."
100 YEARS OF FANTASTIC TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS You may want them (or you) to write down all the questions to form a timeline. Then, have groups of 2 or 4 select one of the predictions to gather pictures, news articles on the invention (and the views of people of the time on the object), and then share how that invention transformed society:) Kids will love the challenge.
ELL Teacher Pros