Applying Distance Lessons to Holidays

The pandemic is still upon us. Although schools are open for in-person learning, more than half of my students are still Zooming in for distance lessons. Families are discouraged from gathering as well. So I decided to apply some of the things I’ve learned teaching virtually, and host some family get-togethers on Zoom.

Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, we had a video call with my siblings, mom, nieces, and nephews. I ran the Zoom like my classroom, and it was slightly awkward, but fun. The big hit was the Kahoot about family trivia on the last slide. All together, over two dozen people across four generations in multiple locations (and time zones) participated. Because it’s 2020, my teacher Bitmoji made several appearances.

Christmas

For Christmas, we will continue being apart, but we still want to spend time together, so I proposed a digital Escape Room that I discovered in an online teacher group. At a predetermined time tomorrow, I will send out the link and we will all start trying to solve it with our households. An hour later, we will get together and compare notes.

There are so many online resources for family holiday games! Kahoot has a selection of trivia quizzes. YouTube has many Name That Tune videos. I picked my favorites to create a virtual party for my family. I’m even going to try sending them to breakout rooms to create a virtual animated Christmas Card.

Happy Holidays to each and everyone who reads this! Here’s hoping for a better 2021.

First Day of School

Well, here we are. School starts next week. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Our local community has not met the health standards to reopen schools yet, so our school will be opening virtually for the first three weeks.

It’s certainly a different circumstance from my first day of high school. Picture 1980:  Jimmy Carter was running for re-election against Ronald Reagan, Christopher Cross was all over the radio, and cell phones and the internet were not yet common. I looked through fashion magazines and my mother took me shopping for a new first-day-of-school outfit (baggy jeans and a pink button down with a ribbon tied around the collar, trying to be “preppy”–thankfully no pictures of that day exist.) I walked into a huge high school and worried about whether I would find my classes and if I could open my locker.

Next week, instead of navigating physical spaces, students will be opening up a device and meeting their classes through a camera. Anxiety is still part of the game. For the past few days, teachers at my school have been attending professional development sessions virtually, and I’ve learned quite a bit about what it will be like for my students. Here is a list of tips and tricks.

Showing up

  • Expect your teachers to share Google Classroom codes. Enroll in the classes that match your schedule in Skyward. If this doesn’t make sense to you, use this form to access the tutorials you need.
  • The best way to get to Google Classroom in our district is always to go to the homepage and look for the word “Launchpad.” After entering your credentials, you’ll see a page similar to the image below. Open the Google folder and click on Classroom. The Launchpad saves all your passwords so you can easily access multiple district resources, such as library databases, your grades, and digital textbooks.Screenshot of Launchpad
  • Once you’re in the Google Classroom that matches your schedule, look on the Stream or on the Classwork tab. Sometimes you’ll see a link that takes you right to your digital space (probably a Zoom room, but maybe a Google Meets link). If all you see is a Meeting Room ID, go to Zoom and enter the ID.
  • The freshman team decided to schedule all our classes on our Google Calendars. Mine looks like the image below. Notice that I’ve selected the Week view (in the upper right) and checked all the boxes for my Google Classroom classes, but left other calendars, such as Advisory, unchecked. Everyone has a personal (private) calendar but you can add others. Once you enroll in each of your classes, the calendar for that class will automatically show up, and you have the ability to make the events show up or not, by checking the boxes. Screenshot of a Google calendar
  • There are two ways to access your calendars:
    1. From the Launchpad, open your Google folder and click the Calendar icon.
    2. From Google Classroom, go to the Classwork tab and you’ll see this:

calendar link spot

  • When you enter a Zoom room, it might ask you to enter your first and last name. For day 1, enter it the way it will appear on a teacher’s roll. If you go by a different name (or you’ve accidentally used someone else’s account to log in), you can change it later by clicking on Participants, finding your name, and editing your profile. At the beginning of the semester, every teacher needs to connect you to the names he or she is legally obligated to identify.

Minimizing Distractions for Others

  • Just as you would carefully pick out your first day of school outfit (my apologies to 1980), it’s important to think about what others will see and hear on your end of the Zoom call. So set up your space and test it out.
  • Some teachers will want you to keep your camera on during the whole lesson; others might be flexible and let you turn it off during parts of the lesson when you will be working independently. If you’re assigned to a breakout room, seeing each other’s faces will make communication more effective.
  • Find a quiet place. Whether you live with one person (like I do now) or seven people (like I did in high school), seek privacy. I know two professional adults who do all their video conferencing from their closets.
  • Please don’t come to a Zoom room while holding your device. Set it down, and if you’re using a phone, place it horizontally.
  • box with head and shouldersYour whole face and your shoulders should be in the frame. Professional journalists set up interview shots with this much space between their subject and the edges of the frame.
  • Turn on your camera and see how you look.
  • Raise your device, if needed, by placing it on a box or books so the camera is near eye-level. Views of the ceiling are rarely interesting.
    two people zooming The person at the top is not centered in the frame, and the angle of the computer camera is not good. The bottom pic is better.
  • Check the lighting. Can you sit near a window? Turn on a lamp? I found that turning OFF lamps in a room (they were behind me) allowed my camera to readjust much more effectively.
  • Notice your background. Position yourself so the background is just one wall, or a curtain, or a bookshelf:  that will be less distracting than if others see your whole house, or a room with pets running around, or an unmade bed and dirty laundry.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Even if you just got out of bed, don’t come to Zoom school wearing pajamas everyone else can see.
  • Keep your microphone muted, unless you are speaking. If you need to say something brief, holding down the space bar will temporarily unmute your mic.

Minimizing Distractions for Yourself

  • When in Zoom, you have control over whether you see it full screen or not. You can also switch between Gallery view and Speaker view. If you get easily distracted, keep it on Speaker view.
  • You can choose this Speaker view button  or this  Gallery view.
  • To split your screen between Zoom and another window, hold down the Windows key while pressing the right or left arrow button. This is useful when the teacher asks you to open a file or web page.
  • Put your phone out of reach and out of sight. There will be breaks during the school day for you to check it.
  • Parents shouldn’t be looking over your shoulder. This is your opportunity to learn independently. If you have trouble, teachers will be posting recordings of the video lessons that you can all access later.
  • Despite your best intentions, it’s entirely possible to get distracted. This becomes evident when all of a sudden everything gets quiet and you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing. Check the chat box for directions. If you don’t see any, just be honest and ask.

Zooming

  • The tool bar at the bottom of the Zoom screen has buttons to mute/unmute, as well as to start and stop your video camera.screenshot of zoom tool bar
  • If you click the Participants button, you will see some tools you can use to send the teacher signals:  speed up, slow down, raise your hand, etc. Other people only see what you have selected if they have the Participant window open.window of participantsparticipant signals
  • The chat box is a good place to ask questions. Avoid using the chat box for unrelated conversation.
  • Actively listen when others are speaking:  nod your head, clap, snap, type encouraging things in the chat box, use the Reactions buttons.Reactions button

Virtual backgrounds are allowed, as long as they are school-appropriate. To put something as your virtual background, click on your camera button.where to click to install a virtual background

 

Distance learning will be new to most of us. Remember to show grace and kindness to your teacher as well as your fellow students. The first step to success is showing up. I’m looking forward to the first day of school.

School in the Time of Coronavirus

How do you teach when school is shut down? Millions of teachers like myself are answering that question right now. Schools have closed during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, to minimize spread of the virus. While some places have cancelled school altogether, in many places, school has transitioned to an online platform.

MaD Fair

Last year’s MaD Fair

The hardest part of this change, for me personally, has been letting go of things I had been anticipating. The week after Spring Break we had a school-wide event scheduled. My lesson plan for that week was built around preparing for that event:  a fair in which each of my service-learning groups could tell the public (students and their families) about what they were doing to make a difference about a chosen topic. It has always been a highlight of the year. Last year my students raised over $1600 for worthy causes during the 2-hour event, and learned valuable skills about marketing, public relations, promotion, and public speaking. When I surveyed my students about our new situation this year, I gave them a link to my cancelled lesson plans for the week, just in case they were curious about what they would be missing.

While mourning my plan, I realized the students would also be sad about their own plans. So I gave them an opportunity to give voice to those disappointments in my first Distance Learning assignment. Our district has been strict about the types of assignments we are allowed to make; these limits have been helpful, because it frames our expectations and helps us be consistent across the board. My first assignment was very much like the examples they gave us:  read this, do this, answer these questions, and the whole thing should take about an hour. (In addition to the one-hour weekly assignment that will be graded, we are encouraged to post optional enrichment activities.)

While I was planning my lesson, my local online newspaper published a story about how people were helping their community while following recently-imposed social distancing guidelines. I linked the article in my assignment, then asked students to consider how the current situation may have affected their service learning topic. My Digital Media standards say students should “collaborate using various electronic technologies such as email, blogs, chat rooms, discussion threads, and wikis.” So I decided to use Flipgrid.

Screenshot from FlipGrid

With Flipgrid, teachers make a video and students post video responses. They can also respond to each other’s videos. They can use a computer or a phone (there’s an app, but it works just as well on a browser). After a week, my 123 students had posted 103 responses (a few students opted to do a paper version of my assignment, which did not include this part). There were 129 replies, 5190 views, and 70.4 hours of engagement. I responded to each message with a video, asking questions to push their thinking even further. If I were to do this again, I would limit the students to less than the maximum of 90 seconds, to discourage rambling. Replying to these videos gave me something meaningful to do all week, besides checking email, texting my colleagues, and one or two Zoom meetings with faculty. It was refreshing to see familiar faces I had not seen in two long weeks, and to hear their voices expressing unique opinions and ideas.

The portion of my assignment that was for a grade involved 5 simple reflection questions on a Google Doc. Since my students have been using Google Classroom all year, this was logistically very easy. A handful of families picked up paper packets at school, and I will receive their work later.  Throughout the week, the other four freshman teachers and I sent out reminders via Classroom and Remind, and we put together a spreadsheet of student work that had been completed; if we didn’t have work from a certain student, we contacted the student or the parent to find out what was going on. By the due date, over 90% of my students had successfully completed all the questions.

I checked in with families mid-week, by sending a Remind query to parents. The responses I got back were all favorable, but one parent requested some face-to-face online time so his student could socialize. So the next day I set up a Zoom session and announced it on Classroom. About 20 students popped in to talk; it was fun, but a bit awkward because there was no agenda and we had trouble thinking of things to discuss.

Next week, my lesson will build upon the feedback I’ve received this week. Our principal sent a survey to parents to ask for general ideas. One suggested “a wider variety of learning experiences.” Another asked for “interactive group-based learning.” A third asked for scheduled classes, during which students would log in and meet with their teacher.

Scheduling classes would pose difficulty for large families who have to share devices, or those for whom internet is not reliable. In my socializing Zoom meeting, I asked students how many people are quarantined with them in their houses, and answers ranged from 2 to 8. But I think I can make this happen. My students are already assigned to groups of 4 or 5, and have been working with these groups since the beginning of February. My expectation for next week is that they communicate with each other (their first group Contract had them share contact information), and make an appointment with me for a 30-minute meeting. I gave them a link to my class Google Calendar, and changed the settings so it would accept invitations to appointments. I created a video tutorial showing them how to do this, and how to invite all the members of their group and also me.

Once the meeting is scheduled, Google automatically creates an online digital hangout (it used to be called Hangouts, but now it’s called Meet), so on the day of the meeting they will be able to click on the link and join. To ensure that our meetings are purposeful, I’ve created a Google Slides presentation that I can send to all our screens.

Looking forward, the one big project I have not yet done with my class is a podcast. They did podcasts in groups last semester in a different class, so they are familiar with an app (Anchor) that will make it easier than the way I have traditionally taught it, but it will still take a long time. I think the best thing to do is stretch it out and ask them to write a script one week, then record it the following week. The time will need to be shortened. Making compromises is par for the course when it comes to distance learning, I suppose. We have to do the best we can under the circumstances.

So far I am pleased with the way distance learning is happening. While I miss meeting my students in class every day, picking a song of the day for passing period, facilitating club meetings, and planning with my colleagues, I realize why we have to do things this way. I just hope we can get back to normal soon.

How is the coronavirus global pandemic affecting you?

Reforming Formative Assessments

Our last project was creating a documentary film. Working alone or with a partner, students created a 5-7 minute video for a C-SPAN competition called StudentCam. The theme this year was “Your Message to the New Government,” and students chose their own topic to explore.

This was the 9th year I have done this project with my students. Each year, I have experimented with various ways of scaffolding the final product. This year worked pretty well. Here are things I did differently:

  • I had them choose a topic and begin research before winter break, during first semester finals. Over a third of my students exempt my final anyway (according to district policy, they earn exemptions for attendance and grades), so this gave them something constructive to do. In the past, we started work in January and they only had two weeks to complete the entire thing. I had not intended for them to work on it over the break, but knowing their topic may have primed them to pay attention to the issue during that time. When we came back from our break, they were rady to hit the ground running.
  • We looked at some exemplars together, and for the first time, watched some videos in which the contest winners explained their process. These were very helpful! All the winning videos included interviews of experts, and I asked my classes to explore people they could interview to learn more about their topics. Consequently, they knew more than ever about their issues because of their meetings.
  • We also focused more on B-roll (background) footage. The way they used this footage was a step up from previous years, when I had not emphasized that aspect of film-making.
  • When I first started the project many years ago, my lesson plans were very specific:  one day everyone learned a particular task, the next day they learned something else and did the same thing to their video. That isn’t a recipe for a creative outcome.  I tried to open things up a bit two years ago, after reading Daniel Pink’s book Drive. He said human beings need autonomy, mastery and purpose. The StudentCam project had a strong purpose, but I choose to increase the autonomy by having students do a set of tasks at their own pace and in any order. This year I decided those tasks were not contributing to a consistent outcome, so I threw them out.
  • Formative assessments for this project included a quiz on the rubric, submitting ideas for B-roll footage, checking that they had downloaded C-SPAN footage (a requirement), and printing a written script for the narration of their video. Upon printing the script, each student or pair had a conference with me to see if they were on the right track. The main thing I wanted to know was whether they knew enough about their topic. I stressed that I wanted to learn something from their work. A few days after the conferences, three days before the due date, I took another grade on whether they could show me two minutes of edited footage in Adobe Premiere. Formative assessments need to be timely and relevant.

The final results were good. Many students submitted their work to the competition. Some are still working on completing their video, ten days later (on their own time). This was a tough project, but overall my students learned a lot from it. I learned to make my formative assessments more meaningful, and give up more class time to let students run with their ideas.

Getting from “what” to “so what”: Reflecting on Travel Experiences

It’s time for another blog post, since I had my students post to their blogs last week. Their posts were a reflection on our class trip to Arkansas, where we spent 48 hours in a poverty simulation at Heifer Ranch. Processing this experience was important, yet we did not have class until ten days after our return, as our week-long Thanksgiving Break occurred in the interim. Last Monday, the students arrived to my class expecting to work on a blog post. But I had other plans first.

We met in my classroom–not the computer lab–and no laptops, tablets, or other technology was in view. I had moved the desks to the outskirts of the classroom and left just 8 desk in the center, with three chairs around each one. As the students arrived, they drew a slip of paper from a cup and sat at the desk with that color. We did a microlab protocol in those groups of three, with three questions.

  1. What was your favorite part about the trip?
  2. What was your least favorite part?
  3. What was your best “AHA” moment or powerful learning experience?

Only the third question was really important, but the first two were designed to get kids talking, and to get certain topics out of the way. Then I asked them to write down their powerful learning experience on a piece of paper. Finally, I introduced their next mini-project, with an example I had created myself in 2014.

In my project, I included text of a standard from our Graduate Profile, which is a list of performance outcomes we hope to see in all students by the time they graduate. I asked students to look at their own papers and decide which of three performance outcomes best matched their work, then they went and stood next to the part of the classroom where that standard was posted. They told their story to the others in that section to confirm that they were in the correct part of the room. I made a mistake then. I should have read every single story to make sure they were on the right track. But the bell rang and the next day they started work.

Choosing photos to create their narrated slide show was time-consuming. Ideally, I would have shown them the photos in advance, or assigned this step for homework, but I had not yet received all the photos from the photographers. I told students to write a script, but I did not grade or read the scripts. Another mistake. I could have corrected the few students who went off in the wrong direction had I read their scripts. On the other hand, it would have slowed down the process significantly. Since every student went through the same travel experience, it was important to focus this project on what they had learned–the “so what”–rather than merely what they did–the “what.”

On day 3, students completed their work and had time to make comments on each other’s work. Google Classroom was handy for sharing links so classmates could comment. One frequently asked question was how long to make the whole thing (there were no requirements, but perhaps suggesting 10-15 seconds per slide–excluding comments from others–might be useful in the future).

As I graded the work, I was slightly disappointed. Many students neglected sections of the rubric. However, I did not emphasize the rubric as I have in past projects; I pointed it out, but did not go through it step by step. Several students did a stellar job, though, and with their permission, I have linked to their work below. Please enjoy.

 

Andrew Heifer Ranch: The School of Appreciation
Anya Heifer Refugee vs. Reality
Dana Private Consumption vs. Population
Ella Heifer’s Culture Cuisine
Elias The Relationship of Friends, Family, and Food
Katy Food Insecurity in Zambia
Parker Hungry and Impoverished
Pierrette We’re All In This Together
Sophie Swiper No Swiping
William Our Own Friend’s Hunger

 

The Process of Digital Portfolios

Portfolios have been a tradition at my school since its inception in 1994. When I started teaching here in 1998, the end of the year was a time for students to rummage through their papers from the entire year (at least, the assignments they could find) to put together a thick 3-ring binder full of work that demonstrated certain objectives. Grading portfolios took a very long time, but it was interesting to see which assignments students had chosen to include, and to read their reflections about how they had grown and changed. I still have one of these portfolios, and I bring it out every year to show my students what they DON’T have to do any more.

As a campus, we slowly migrated to digital portfolios. At first, students built websites to showcase their work. This process didn’t translate well past the freshman year because it was very complex. We tried specialized educational portfolio options, but they were limiting. Today, every student has a WordPress blog to showcase work, hosted by Edublogs, through a domain with our school district. Rather than wait until the end of the year, students pause after each major learning experience to document their work and reflect on their learning. Schoolwide, every teacher is expected to assign and assess at least one blog post per 9-week grading period, in which a student shows evidence of meeting certain standards. At the end of the year, each grade level schedules student-led conferences involving a particular audience:  9th and 10th graders present their portfolios to their families, 11th graders present in groups to their own family plus two other families, and 12th graders present to a room full of family, peers, and staff.

My class is freshman technology. It is my responsibility to introduce students to the world of blogging. Each year, this task is easier. Today’s students are digital natives, and most–but not all–are comfortable clicking different buttons and exploring different menu options. Each year I learn more, too, so my directions become more clear and my troubleshooting becomes more efficient. Grading blog posts (officially called “portfolio entries”) is still time-consuming, but because we do it all year long, it is not overwhelming.

20161010-140954.jpg

Desks in triads, for peer assessment activity

It took me years to learn one lesson:  having students self-assess and peer-assess their posts leads to higher quality work and more efficient grading on my end. For example, last week I put students in groups of three and they worked in 12-minute rounds to fill out a checklist on each person’s blog post (the first of their school career, based on their summer assignments). Following this, the groups read and discussed a post from a professional blogger about how to find their own unique blogging voice. At the end of class, each student created a To Do List of ways they needed to edit their post. Revision is an important part of the writing process. The following day, while the class was working independently on the next lesson, I sat with each student individually, read their blog post, and assessed it against the rubric. I was able to grade 75-100% of all the assignments and give instant feedback to students by the end of the school day.

Seventy-five percent of my students scored an A or B on their first blog post, on the first try.  Examining the other twenty-five percent, I recognize that several were absent, others are still working on it for a late penalty, and some did not reach the standards, but they know what they need to do to improve their work and resubmit it. Each post was 300 to 1000 words. Originally, I had set an upper limit of 600 words, but students told me that was not going to be enough words for them to tell their stories (for reference, this post has 731 words). Each post showcased at least three pieces of work through photographs, hyperlinks, or embed codes. Each post was tagged according to school protocols, and tagged by individual student decisions.

To see examples of a typical student post, click this link, and this one. The complexity of this task is rather impressive, especially for 14-year-olds during their first month of high school. When they finished their work, I invited them to comment on this post, and you will see several of those comments posted below. Feel free to leave a comment yourself.

 

Hour of Code

Hour of Code is an international effort to encourage people to learn computer coding. It happens annually in December, and is supported by a consortium of companies, celebrities, and educational partners. As the technology teacher at the International School of the Americas, this year I planned something special for my six classes.

First, we spent two days writing code. Rather than start from scratch, or use tools available online, I created my own lesson based on a coding workshop I attended at the 2014 Deeper Learning Conference at High Tech High in San Diego. My students used a freeware tool called Processing 3.0.1 to copy/paste lines of code I provided, then answered questions about the code by tweaking different numbers and symbols. By using a discovery model, students were able to decipher the code on their own.

Students were highly successful with the activity, even though it was challenging. One student, in response to the “Did you like this?” question at the end, said, “It was kind of confusing at first but once things started to work, it was really really exciting.”

After students had the coding experience, it was important for me to show them WHY coding is important, and HOW it is used in real life. At ISA, we strive to create Global Citizens who improve the world. Fortunately, I have been teaching a very long time (27 years!) and I am in contact with many of my former students. One student, Jewel Vandiver Willett, works for a tech startup called YourCause that has established itself as a global leader in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. She made plans to come visit my class during Hour of Code and we created an exciting lesson together.

Second period video conferences with Peter Black, UX Designer, and Edward Adjei, Senior Software Architect, at YourCause.

On day 1 of Jewell’s visit, we video conferenced with coding engineers, software architects, and even the CEO of YourCause. We learned about their backgrounds, their education, and their most interesting projects.

We learned YourCause designed a software platform that allows the employees of their corporate clients to give money to non-profit causes, volunteer, and more. Seeing how coding can help save the world was powerful. YourCause is responsible for over $400 per MINUTE being donated to vetted charities, and has helped the employees of dozens of companies log over 7.7 million volunteer hours.

Jewell Willet explains the corporate structure of YourCause

 

On Day 2 of Jewell’s visit, students first pulled up the Career Interest Surveys they had taken earlier in the year and read them. Then Jewell explained the corporate structure of her company. While software is their purpose, it takes many people to run the company. As it has grown, YourCause adds more departments and individual job descriptions become more specialized.

In groups of about 8, students were asked to verbally respond to the sentence, “In ten years, YourCause should hire me to be a _________ because _______.” Each group choose one representative to interview with Jewell in front of the class.

The best performers in the mock interviews receive a YourCause Tshirt.

The best performers in the mock interviews received a YourCause Tshirt.

 

After each major project at ISA, students write blogs to serve as entries in their Digital Portfolio. In an ironic twist, they found out they would not be writing a post about this particular experience. However, our guest speaker’s boss asked her to write a blog post about her visit. Telling my classes this bit of information made them realize that blog posts are used in real life, and the skills they are learning are applicable after high school.

Applied Lesson: Surveillance Technology vs. Privacy

The ISA staff had a transformative experience this week when we traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to study the topic of immigration. We met with local law enforcement, border patrol, community activists, elected officials, crisis response volunteers, and federal officials. We encountered many different perspectives regarding border issues. We also spent time with immigrants themselves, who had just crossed the border and received permission for temporary residence while they appeal for asylum.

Now that we have returned, our task is to create a lesson, based on these experiences, for the class we teach. As the technology teacher, I was intrigued by tracking devices issued to the immigrants.

One of the state standards for Digital and Interactive Media reads, “1(H) demonstrate an understanding of legal and ethical responsibilities in relation to the field of information technology”.  The goal of my lesson is for students to take a position on the use of technology by governments to monitor the people within its borders.

In McAllen, Texas, last Monday, I met a young woman named Gina. She was from Honduras, traveling to New Orleans to see her husband, whom she had last seen when their daughter was 2 months old. Her daughter is now 4. A Disney fan who knows how to sing songs from Frozen, the little girl is named after her mother’s favorite character on an MTV reality show.  Mother and daughter moved through the Respite Center together: eating a meal, taking a shower, and receiving donated clothing. Like all the men and women there, Gina wore a security bracelet on her ankle, issued by the US government, which contained a GPS tracking device.

I would like to share this story with my students, and then ask the questions:

  • Does the US have the legal and ethical right to track immigrants with ankle bracelets?
  • In what other ways does government track people, using technology?
  • How does an individual’s right to privacy intersect with the government’s responsibility to keep us safe?
  • Do some people have more right to privacy than others?

Here is the lesson I plan to use in my Digital and Interactive Media Class.

The outcome of this unit will be two-fold: first, each student will create a researched, cited opinion piece about one specific example of the intersection of technology and privacy, and second, each student will write an email to an elected representative about whether the investigated technology should be used by government.

The email exercise allows students to demonstrate a Global Leadership Performance Outcome:

a. Take Action: Act, individually or collaboratively, in creative and responsible ways to contribute to improvement locally, regionally, and/or globally, and assess the impact of the action.

I plan to spend one week on this lesson, as detailed on the final slide of the embedded presentation. I hope this lesson will be an authentic investigation of real-world technology applications, and I look forward to seeing what the students produce.