Saudi Aramco World: May/June 2014 - page 46

Saudi Aramco World
We hope this two-page
guide will help sharpen
your reading skills and
deepen your understanding
of this issue’s articles.
We encourage
reproduction and
adaptation of these ideas,
freely and without further
permission from Saudi
Aramco World, by teachers
at any level, whether
working in a classroom or
through home study.
Curriculum Alignments
To see alignments with
national standards for all
articles in this issue, click
“Curriculum Alignments”
Julie Weiss
is an education
consultant based in Eliot,
Maine. She holds a Ph.D.
in American studies. Her
company, Unlimited Hori-
zons, produces textbook
materials and develops so-
cial studies, media literacy
and English as a Second
Language curricula.
This Classroom Guide looks at the creation
of a high-tech industry in the Arab world,
and it asks students to think about what
kinds of people start an industry and how
they do it. The Visual Analysis segment is
embedded in the rest of the activities; it
gives students a chance to explore what
photographs can reveal about people.
Theme: Creating an Industry
This is a very exciting time in the Arab
world: Technology developers and investors
are creating a high-tech industry there. This
may sound rather ho-hum to you if you’ve
grown up with computers, cell phones and
the Internet. But it’s quite a big deal. It’s not
often that a brand-new industry comes into
being in a particular place. It happened in
the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in Britain
and the United States, when steam power
made it possible to mass-produce cloth in
factories. It happened in Saudi Arabia in
the 1930’s when drilling for oil started to
become central to the country’s economy.
Now it’s happening again, and “#techboom
#arabnets” gives you a front-row seat to the
birth of an industry.
Tools: A Glossary
There’s some vocabulary in “#techboom
#arabnets” that you will need to learn to
join a discussion about the birth of the
high-tech industry in the Arab world. Some
of the words you may know already, but
they’re used differently here—for example,
exit, network and incubator. Other words
and terms may be new to you—such as
entrepreneur and venture capital. List the
words and terms you don’t know as you
come across them. Find out what they
mean and write down the definitions. By
the time you finish the activities, you will
have a glossary of words related to the
world of high-tech business.
Tools: A Map
Download and print a blank map of the
region to keep with you as you work.
(You can also copy a map from an atlas
if that’s easier.) As you read about high-
tech developments in different countries,
use the map to orient yourself. Make your
map a visual guide to the content of the
article. Find a way to code each country
that will show a viewer what’s going on
there. (Remember, that viewer might be
you if at some point you want to review
what you’ve learned, which is always a
good idea.) Think of the map as being
like the kinds of maps you might see
accompanying an article in Saudi Aramco
World or find in one of your textbooks.
Now, with tools in hand, read “#techboom
Who are the people who start big
things? What are they like?
One way to understand how big ventures
start is to look closely at the people who
start them. Two words come to mind, and
both appear in “#techboom #arabnets.”
The first is innovator. What does innovator
mean? Working alone or with a partner,
look it up and write down a definition. Be
sure to look at the word’s Latin origin. How
does knowing the word’s origin enrich
your thinking about innovators? The other
word is entrepreneur. Again, look it up,
write down a definition, and think about
what knowing the word’s origin adds to
your understanding.
“#techboom #arabnets” reports that
the tech industry in the Arab world is only
about 10 years old. In industry years (as
opposed to people years or dog years),
that’s still very young. What kinds of
people get involved in such a new effort?
Working on your own or with a partner, go
back through the article to find out. Look
for places that specifically say something
about an innovator’s personality. And
read between the lines—that is, look
for what these people say and do, and
work backward. How would you describe
someone who says and does those things?
For example, Hind Hobeika invented
Instabeat. Why? Because she wanted a
tool that would do what Instabeat does,
and there wasn’t one. So she made her
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