A Day Made of Glass 2 : Using technology vocab

A Day Made of Glass 2

Upper Intermediate + : conversation and comprehension class

Vocab building: general, technology & educational.

Skills: using common / colloquial expressions & phrases

Comprehension exercise: understanding company presentations

Grammar: 3rd Conditional

Discussion: speaking practice.

Duration: 120 minutes

Source: Corning/ YouTube

Structure: There are 7 parts to the class

Vocab:  (understanding the vocabulary using a series of questions)

Video: (listening to all the vocab and phrases with video as visual aid)

Reading: (reading and pronouncing all the vocab and phrases)

Discussion: (student using as many words from the class as possible)

Exercise 1: (using the same vocab in a different context)

Exercise 2: (creating revelent context for the vocab)

Exercise 3: (creating rememberable context for permanent learning)

Intro: A journey into the near future to look at future technologies made of glass.

Vocab:  (we’re going to understand the vocabulary using a series of questions)

Have you ever been to upstate NY?

I caught a glimpse of the news this morning, did you see what happened?

There’s a new online guide to all the major American museums, have you seen it?

True or False? It’s a commonplace for Messi to score in almost every game, do you agree?

The iPad3 is rumoured to have a stretched display. What does this mean?

How’s your schedule this week? Do you have time for an extra grammar class?

Do you prefer a lightweight mobile? Or something with more bulk?

Technology is all about optics these days, how important is it for you?

Can you give me an example of something that is opaque?

The Christmas presents are hidden on top of the closet. Where are they?

I need the exact cable to display the iPad on the TV. Where can I buy it?

Have you ever resided in another city for more than a year?

The neighbourhood of Gracia spans from Diagonal to Lesseps. How many km’s is that?

Does your new car have a small footprint? (carbon)

The material joining is seamless, what does it mean?

Have you seen the new device that allows cars to park themselves? Would you like one?

When was the last time you got up to mischief?

What colour is the dashboard in your car?

I wasn’t sure about the best way to form the meeting, do you have any ideas?

It feels better to get up early and start the day, would you agree?

It looks better to arrive at work before everyone else, do you agree?

I am looking forward to taking on the responsibility of the baby, am I crazy?

Smartphones provide good ancillary for teachers, what do they do?

It has become the norm to do the shopping on Saturdays, what do you go?

Do you think it’s do-able to ski in the morning and sunbath on the Costa Brava in the afternoon?

Is €700 an affordable price for the iPhone4S?

We need to board in 5 mins, where are we?

Does your car have a sunroof ?

Sherlock Holmes was famous for his deductions but how else can we use this word?

What’s the difference between gross profit and net profit?

Name one way to harness the power of the sun?

Which news sources do you prefer to read?

If you are striving to get something, are you having it easy or difficult?

Let’s have a BBQ on the rooftop, do you know anyone with one?

Describe the  aesthetics of your office?

What is the most unsightly car in your opinion?

Barcelona has many great features, whats the best one?

Which countries are the main providers for oil in the world?

Are you excited about the Champions league this year?

Do you have a busy desktop with lots of icons or a minimalist one?

Show me how to enable this phone?

Does your phone have a multi-touch screen?

If you were Guardiola, in which position would you deploy Messi?

Name one material that is resilient against rain?

When you eat chocolate do you eat the entire thing, or just one piece?

Do you have remote access to your computer?

The guitar looks to be in pristine condition, out of 10 what mark should you give it?

Is the skin porous?

What product could you use to make a surface sterile?

Can you name a global transport company for business packages?

What strength bandwidth do you use?

There was a surge in violence in Syria yesterday, what happened?

Do kids still go on school field trips?

If I’m looking at the landscape, name 2 places where I could be?

Tell me one thing that could enhance the services of Movistar?

As a child, did you ever play hide and seek?

Will Barcelona retain Guardiola next season?

Can you give me an example of a tricky verb to use in English?

Can you tell me one way to augment my income?

Who is the most relevant writer of our times?

If he is wrapped up in his own thoughts, what’s happening?

What’s the typical way to authenticate your bank transfers?

For a pairing, how many things beed to be connected?

If I dim the light switch, what will happen?

The winter has settled in now, how long will it last?

There’s a big shift in public opinion from left to right, are these dark days?

Some believe that God is ubiquitous, where is he?

In your opinion, what’s the worst obstacle with learning English?

Is stability in the markets attainable in 2012?

Do you think the metro system is reliable?

Bastante: (expressions)What do they mean?

She’s not quite awake yet.

pretty much anything

Pretty amazing

Dad’s got quite the job doesn’t he?

Phrases: Try and put all the following phrases in your own sentences. 

It will be

her alarm’s about to go off

It’s electro chromic

smart enough to be aware of Amy’s device

edge to edge displays

looks like

we’re off to school

Let’s catch a ride shall we?

configurable touch dashboards

in order to get us there

of up to

There’s no reason to think

I would have been

at the head of the class

It’s as if 

that’s breaking down barriers

a world away

all in the blink of an eye

Let’s go see what Amy’s up to.

Looks like

a bit like

Let’s watch what goes on here.

the best bits

to be overcome

Grammar: 3rd conditional (See below)

Had these been at school when I was a boy you wouldn’t have been able to get me out of the classroom.


If + past perfect + would have + past participle

Now let’s go and see what Dad’s up to.

Beautiful isn’t it?

All that logic encased in low profile, thin, resilient, touch sensitive glass. I know what you’re thinking ! Why would one want an all glass room? Well, for starters these walls could be active displays, configured for different situations depending on the requirements of the room. Here, Dan is in a video conference and the entire glass wall has become the display. Edge to edge, seamless and touch sensitive. It’s as if the remote location were now part of his room. It’s easier to share and collaborate. Now that’s breaking down barriers. This is really going to change the way we work.

In here, all these surfaces, all this equipment are glass. It’s pristine, non porous and easy cleaning qualities make it ideal for sterile environments or anyplace where bacteria and viruses need to be contained. And with Corning’s research efforts in the area of anti-microbial surface technology, we imagine a speciality glass that inhibits the growth of micro organisms. With that, our tomorrow could be a safer place.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

All that data, captured a world away, transported, then displayed here, all in the blink of an eye. Wow ! Although, just imagine the bandwidth needed to carry the data for this projection! And for that next generation, high definition, glass video display, simultaneously, yeap!, a lot.

Well, we’re thinking about that at Corning too. Which is why we are preparing our glass optical fibre product to carry the massive surge in bandwidth required for scenarios just like this. Dad’s got quite the job doesn’t he?

Let’s go see what Amy’s up to.

Looks like she’s on the school field trip. Spectacular isn’t it? A large scale, durable information wall made of glass. This dynamic interactive signage at an entirely different level. It creates a barrier, where you need one. Informative, it’s interactive, it’s aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t block the landscape, in fact, in this case, it enhances it. And it’s made of glass. When it’s not displaying information it’s transparent. Can we do this today? Not quite!

Hiding all those electronics while retaining optical clarity is tricky at this scale, we’ll get there though, starting with smaller devices, a bit like what these kids have. Perfect for augmenting reality. Let’s watch what goes on here. These tablets with onboard 3D cameras, sophisticated micro processors and graphic sub systems can perform quickly enough to make sense of the immediate environment to augment it with additional relevant content. All wrapped up in a durable, thin glass. Perfect for education and perfect for a bit of fun too.

That was an exciting day for Amy. And here at home, her tablet drives the family room, edge to edge, wall display, proximity based authentication is all thats needed to establish a pairing. Now she can share all the best bits of her field trip with her family, in next Gen, high definition 3D.

So here we are at the end. Right as Sarah completes her homework and prepares for bed. The glass optically lighting fibre dims and the house settles in for the close of a Day Made Of Glass.

Of course, this is not just a story about glass. It’s a story about a shift in the way we will communicate and use technology in the future. It’s a story about ubiquitous displays, open operating systems, shared applications, cloud media storage and unlimited bandwidth. We know there are many obstacles to be overcome before what you have just seen can become an attainable reliable reality. But at Corning, we believe in this vision. And we’re not waiting.

Care to join us?

Discussion: (try to use as many words from the class as possible)

Is this good marketing or an accurate forecast?

Do you think we really need all this technology?

What do you think about the virtual Jurassic Park?

What do you think about the community activity table in the school?


Exercise 1: (using the vocab in a different context)

Please use the following words in the sentences below:

upstate, to glimpse, guide, commonplace, a display, schedule, lightweight, optics, opaque, closet

1. Do they live in the city or ____________?

2. There’s a __________ to the contents of the book near the beginning.

3. His new TV has a fantastic new ____________ .

4. Smartphones are _______________ these days.

5. I have a very busy _____________ this week.

6. I didn’t get to see the full match last night but I did get a ______________ of Messi’s goal.

7. Bruce Springsteen arrived in a limousine but I couldn’t see inside because the windows were _________ .

8. Henry is a _______________ , he has 1 beer and he’s drunk !

9. You’ll find it in an old box at the back of the __________, its been there for years.

10. Google are to release a pair of glasses with built-in __________ that augment information into your view.

Exercise 2: Please create gap fills for the following words:

(creating revelent context for the vocab)

to display



small footprint






It feels better

It looks better

Exercise 3: Please create definitions for the following words:

(creating rememberable context for permanent learning)

Example: to take on – To assume responsibility for something.


the norm


an affordable price

to board

a sunroof



to harness










to enable












school field trips








wrapped up


a pairing

to dim

settled in






Grammar: 3rd conditional 

Example from the text: Had these been at school when I was a boy you wouldn’t have been able to get me out of the classroom.


If + past perfect + would have + past participle

Functions and examples

We use the third conditional to imagine a different past.
If I had done my homework, my teacher wouldn’t have shouted at me.
(In reality, I didn’t do my homework, and my teacher shouted at me. So we are imagining a different past.)

She would have passed her exam if she had studied more.
(In reality she didn’t study enough, and so she didn’t pass her exam. So we are imagining a different past.)

Important points

1. We can use other modal verbs in place of ‘would’.
If they’d come earlier, they could have got a seat.
(In reality, they didn’t come early, and they didn’t get a seat. In our different past, there was a possibility of a seat.)

2. Mixed conditional: if + past perfect + would + bare infinitive
Sometimes we want to say that the result of an action is now.

If it hadn’t rained, I would have gone to the beach.
(In reality, it rained in the past, and I didn’t go to the beach in the past.)

If it hadn’t rained, I would be at the beach / would be sitting on the beach.
(In reality, it rained in the past, and I am not at the beach now. This is a mixed conditional.)

1. Excuses: 

Create a 3rd conditional sentence and tell me an excuse why you don’t have the homework?

my dog ate it

I was abducted by aliens,

my dad forgot to do it,

it flew out of the bus window


If my dog hadn’t eaten it, I would have it today.

2. Inventions.

What technologies do you use at home?

What would life be like without these technologies?

For example:
We wouldn’t have been able to watch the situation in Iraq if the television had not been invented.

or a mixed conditional…
If the refrigerator had not been invented, we would not have been able to store ice cream at home.”
3. Lost opportunities

For example:

When I was six, I attended a ballet school. But then my parents moved to another place, and I dropped my studies. If I had continued attending the ballet school, I would have become a ballerina. If I had become a ballerina, I might have worked at a theater. If I had worked at a theater, I wouldn’t have become a teacher.

Tell me about a lost opportunity?

Video: Sit back and enjoy the video. Try to pay attention to the vocab and phrases.

We’re going to hear all the vocabulary and phrases in use


Reading: A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked. 

(We’re going to read and pronounce all the vocab and phrases)

In early 2011, Corning: a global specialty glass and ceramic manufacturer based in upstate New York, created a video called A Day Made Of Glass.

Corning published this video online and gave us all a glimpse into the near future. In a remarkably short period of time, this visionary video captured the imaginations of millions, while demonstrating how highly engineered glass with companion technologies, will help shape our world.

In this video we’ve built upon that vision. It’s still a Day Made Of Glass, but we’ve expanded our thinking. And we take it to a few different places.

In this version I’ll be your guide. Along the way we’ll pause to examine some of the technologies displayed and I’ll talk about what’s possible and what’s not.

So follow me, as we visit a day in the future.

Right, now let’s go inside.

A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked.

This is Amy’s room. She’s not quite awake yet. And this is her tablet. These will be as commonplace as the mobile phone is today. Oh Oh..  looks like her alarm’s about to go off.

Amy’s tablet captures, organises and displays all her favourite things. It also helps her at school and manages her schedule. It’s encased entirely in an incredibly thin, lightweight, highly durable glass with specialised optics. Her bedroom window. It’s electro chromic. It changes state from opaque to transparent on demand.

Now, I’m not sure if you noticed but this closet door is actually a display driven by Amy’s tablet. All the intelligence that you see on this display, all these apps, they’re all residing and running on Amy’s tablet. This display spans the entire door. It has its own small footprint operating system and is smart enough to be aware of Amy’s device. And based upon proximity and other rules it knows what to display and in what format. To make this part of Amy’s day a reality, Corning is helping to deliver large scale edge to edge displays. Corning looks to partners for operating systems and apps that seamlessly scale and transfer between tablets and larger displays.

Ah ! looks like we’re off to school. Excellent. Let’s catch a ride shall we?

This is Sara, Amy’s sister. Her tablet is just like Amys. It’s her primary computing device to. Agh Oh ! This looks like mischief!

This dashboard is made from formed, thin, durable glass. It feels better than plastic and it looks better too. It’s also a display, which means it can take on the appearance of pretty much anything. Of course, in driving mode, it’s function is to display critical and ancillary driving information. In tomorrow world, configurable touch dashboards will be the norm. We’ll have displays everywhere, not just in the home or in the office, but in your car too. Notice how Sarah’s tablet was able to inform the car display? Dad certainly did!

Ok, so, how close are we to this?

Well, it’s do-able now but not to this scale and not at an affordable price. Further innovation in manufacturing is needed in order to get us there on a board scale.

Automotive electro chromic glass! That’s possible now. And not just that, Corning can deliver window and sunroof glass solutions that offer deductions in vehicle gross weight of up to 50 lbs or 22 kilograms. And that improves CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and helping performance.

One thing is for certain, tomorrow will be much better at harnessing energy from renewable sources. At Corning, we’re striving to improve solar technology. There’s no reason to think that the rooftops of tomorrow will not be covered in low cost, high-efficiency, photo voltaic cells. And with today’s aesthetics, today’s unsightly solar panel, will be tomorrow’s attractive architectural feature.

Imagine a school that’s not just energy independent but a school that’s an energy provider.

Now, this is a classroom I would have been excited to be in. There’s a display, not just at the head of the class but on every desktop. Large scale, seamless, thin, durable glass. All of it fronting low power, small footprint operating systems that communicate and serve as displays, for personal computing devices.

Look at this !

Had these been at school when I was a boy you wouldn’t have been able to get me out of the classroom. This is the class community activity table. And again we see large scale, seamless design, logic enabled, durable, multi-touch glass. This might look like science fiction but these already exist today. Perhaps not in this size or in this setting but tables with interactive touch surfaces like this are being readied and deployed now. As software and touch interfaces advance, Corning expects community activity tables and interactive wall displays to be featured in classrooms globally.

About Author

Justin Donlon

English Teacher & Content Developer Over 15 years of experience in engaging educational content

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