Trolling is not new behavior, but why do people do it? And what effects does it have? Trolls tend to antagonize communities in order to amuse themselves and get attention at the expense of others. Trolling has caused some online publications and news organizations to remove comments from their sites due to the effects the comments had on readers’ perceptions of the content, as well as the costs associated with moderating the comments. In this Lowdown lesson, students will analyze the research presented about why people post mean or negative “trolling” comments, as well as evaluate how trolling has affected online communities and reflect on how it should be addressed. This lesson plan will need to be downloaded.
Social media is a mixed bag. Being online may increase chances of identity theft and cyberbullying, yet, it’s estimated over 20% of 8 to 12 year-olds have at least one social media account—sometimes without their parents’ knowledge. At times, tweens are taking back charge of their brand, started by their parents since they were born, and sometimes, they are looking to share and connect with a community they have trouble finding face-to-face. So, What’s the right age to start using social media? This resource includes a video and student handout with discussion questions.
If the Internet's making you feel meaner, you're not imagining it. People really do act differently online than they do in person. Here’s why. According to a paper published in 2004 by psychologist John Suler, there are about 6 main reasons people act differently online. This could explain the rise of internet trolls or why people open up more online than they would in person. A student viewing guide with discussion questions is available to be used with this video.
Trolls are all over the internet, just annoying people to no end. What makes someone an internet troll? Are some people just destined to be a troll, or do they develop this ability? Believe it or not, there have been numerous scientific studies surrounding this behavior. Explore the science behind trolling behavior in the latest Above the Noise video. This video comes with a student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
With recent reports of high profile data breaches, ransomware attacks, and the prevalence of online trackers, it’s hard to know how best to protect your privacy online. In this Above the Noise video, we met up with the cybersecurity experts at Electronic Frontier Foundation to learn more about who’s snooping on us online and what we can do to protect ourselves. This video comes with a student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
YouTube has been around for over a decade now, and it dominates as the top place for video content. Because of that, it’s way more of a business now than anyone could have imagined. The advertising world refers to many of the stars on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms as influencers, because they have their own, home-grown fanbase that they have been interacting with for years. To capitalize on that fanbase, companies pay these influencers to promote their product or service. Watch the latest Above the Noise video to find out whether you can trust what's on YouTube and what are the rules about influencers advertising products in their videos. This video comes with a student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
Students will learn to see smartphone apps as tools to solve real-world problems. This lesson guides students through a design brainstorm process to invent an app idea related to public art. Students will be designing an app idea to tackle a problem related to public art in their community. All you need is the activity worksheet, some pens, markers, and creativity!
WHY APPS? Well, to start with, they’re everywhere. According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones. Teens don’t have to be limited to the role of the consumer in today’s digital marketplace. All you need is a little know-how and an idea—which is the focus of this curriculum.
PBS's Off Book asks if hacking is inherently good or bad, or if is it an ethical area we have yet to define. Looking beyond the media hype and scare tactics, it is clear that "hacking" is a term that should be up for debate, and that some hackers could actually be heroes and not villains.
Facial recognition is creeping more and more into our daily lives. Facebook and Google use it for auto-tagging photos. Snapchat uses it to create hilarious filters. And Apple’s new iPhone will allow you to use your face to unlock your phone. But this same technology can be used by governments and companies to learn as much as they can about you. Find out how facial recognition technology works in the newest Above the Noise video. This video comes with a student viewing guide.
The lesson begins on page 26 of the document accessed via the resource link.
- be able to define the term "trademark".
- categorize products as generic or brand name.
- identify popular trademarks.
- identify symbols associated with the protection of trademarks.
- utilize a trademark database.
- create a custom trademark and present it to the class.
The lesson begins on page 43 of the document accessed via the resource link.
- identify different types of media as intellectual property: writings, music, videos, computer games, etc.
-understand that intellectual property laws protect online and offline material.
-understand that it is stealing from real people if one copies copyright-protected material or downloads material from the internet without permission.
-understand it is against the law to download copyright-protected videos, music, etc. from the internet without permission.
- investigate famous cases of trade secret theft.
- investigate peer-to-peer networks.
In this lesson plan from Newseum, students use a video and graphics to help tune up their “fairness meters” to detect three key factors that can determine how objective or biased a news story is; then they analyze real-life examples.
Accessing this resource requires a free account.
Most of us use a lot of digital media in our daily lives -- even when we don't realize it! Having a balance between online and offline time is important, but a healthy media balance might look different for everyone. Help students create a personalized plan for healthy media use.
Users will need to create a free account to access this resource.
Every time we go online, we're giving away information about ourselves. But just how much data are companies collecting from us? Hint: It's probably a lot more than we realize. Show your students these three tips on how to limit the data that companies collect.
Kids can be voracious consumers -- and creators -- of media, and it's easier than ever for them to find and share digital content online. But do middle-schoolers know about concepts like fair use, copyright, and public domain? Give students a framework they can use to better understand how fair use works in the real world.
Technology has brought about a potential crisis. It seems that a lot of artwork, literature, and music by our most creative authors, musicians, and artists have fallen into the hands of pirates. Our artists can no longer support themselves nor feel safe in creating new work. Their work is being shared all over the Internet as we speak. We need to put a stop to this. What would happen if your favorite musicians stopped writing and publishing their music? Do you want to listen to the music of your grandparents? That's where this assignment comes in.
For this activity, you will find out what we can do to make sure creative work remains under proper control. You will investigate the laws of copyright and report your findings back to your teacher. You will also need to find out if there is a way to legitimately use the work done by others so that you are not accused of operating illegally. Your assignment includes spreading the word so that others know the rules. When you have made a creative work of your own you will check it for originality and you will also learn of a way to protect that work so that you will be assured you are given proper credit for a job well done.
When you have completed this activity you will:
1. know about copyright and fair use [Digital Citizen]2. understand the social responsibility of using copyrighted materials [Digital Citizen]3. know how to recognize and avoid plagiarism [Digital Citizen]4. know how to use creative commons licenses [Digital Citizen]
A social network is an online community of people who use a website or app to communicate with each other by sharing comments, images, videos, resources, etc. Common examples include Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Using social networks can be a lot of fun and help us feel connected with the people we care most about. Adults also use social networks to share resources and look for jobs, while seniors and shut-ins benefit from being able to stay in touch with relatives and friends.
When you have completed these activities you will:
know what a social network is [Empowered Learner]
understand why it is important to manage your digital identity when using a social network [Digital Citizen]
understand why it is important to navigate social networks safely and post thoughtfully [Digital Citizen]
be able to create a set of personal guidelines for navigating social networks [Digital Citizen]
This website provides a case study for student evaluation, either through writing or discussion. This case study will focus on the safe use of digital devices and ethical sharing. The case study is as follows: David has just joined a Facebook group and he discovers that somebody has posted an offensive and malicious photo of a girl from his class. David feels very uncomfortable about it. What, if anything, should he do?
Kids share a lot of information whenever they go online -- sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. But do they understand that online privacy isn't just what they say and post? Help your students learn about their digital footprints and the steps they can take to shape what others find and see about them.
Students will be able to:- Reflect on the concept of privacy, including what they feel comfortable sharing and with which people.- Analyze different ways that advertisers collect information about users to send them targeted ads.- Identify strategies for protecting their privacy, including opting out of specific features and analyzing app or website privacy policies.
Available in both English and Spanish.
What others find about us online shapes who they think we are and how they feel about us. But do kids know what kinds of tracks they've already left? Help your students learn about their digital footprints and the steps they can take in the future to shape what others find and see about them online.
Students will be able to:
Resources available in both English and Spanish.
This video explains ten commandments of computer ethics. Students will learn the thou shalt NOTS of computer practices. The wording is more appropriate for high school students, but can easily be used with middle school students, especially with class discussion.
This lesson covers how to use media such as images, video, or music created by others on a website. In addition, students will respect the rights of the creator of that media by reviewing content permissions. After first studying Creative Commons licensing, the class learns how to add images to web pages, and how to give proper attribution when doing so.
Note: You will need to create a free account on code.org before you can view this resource.
This lesson covers classes and custom colors. The class first learns how to specify custom colors using RGB (red, green, blue) values, then applies these colors to a new Four Seasons web page, which uses CSS classes. Using classes, the class adds more styles to the Four Seasons web page, then uses them to style their personal websites.
In the last few days of the unit, the class finalizes their personal websites, working with peers to get feedback. Then, the students will review the rubric and put the finishing touches on the site. To cap off the unit, everyone shares their projects and how they were developed.
This lesson covers hyperlinks, which allow web developers to connect pages together into one website. The class will link together all the previous pages into one project and create navigation bars for each page before publishing the entire site to the Web.
This lesson continues the introduction to CSS style properties, this time focusing more on non-text elements. The class begins by investigating and modifying the new CSS styles on a "Desserts of the World" page. Afterward, everyone applies this new knowledge to their personal websites.