I have run this task a lot recently in Technical English courses. And I am not surprised how my techie students really get their teeth into it. As well as enjoy trying to explain how comparative systems work.
The task is split into two different levels of language, that I refer to as pitch level. Using the document below as a starter:
It focuses on explaining technical jargon in such a way that the recipient understands a summaritive overview, and the crucial factors to understand the comparative systems.
As an example statement I show the comparison of the language teaching jargon terms of ESL & EFL, and what they respectively mean.
As a pseudo tech head I have come across all these systems, and their lovely jargon, and had to get my head round them.
The task usually in class is to write an overview statement explaining the two comparable systems (see the document). Being a short and sweet task this is something easily done in the normal one and a half hour block.
As an additional task (I set this as homework) the students then take one of the pairs of systems and create a screencast, presentation as training, and handout suitable for secondary school IT students.
The screencast should be done in the style of a “quick starter guide”, like you often get with new out of the box devices.
The presentation as training is pitched at secondary/high school level, and therefore can be done as though it is an IT lesson at those educational institutions. I am sure it could also be run at Higher Education/Further education pitch level. Likewise the task is no doubt adaptable to any business field as all of them as we know have jargon that needs to be explained to the layperson.
Their is a great benefit to get students to reflect on how things work; in this case the inner workings of teaching basic tech.
A good Geek will use their tools to hand to enhance their understanding, my techie students are my technical playground. Where I can play in the sandbox, and pick up some grains of knowledge through them. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to widen my horizons and deepen my insights.