Lesson Summary

Pre-lesson preparation

For better comprehension of the lesson, students should have ideally had experiences or have read about issues that have demonstrated how computing can be misused. This does not require assigned reading or review (just encourage them to watch the news and notice what is happening in the world), but you could have them bring in a current event article and summary of the event for homework as additional preparation.


Students will read about and discuss the issues that arise from the misuse of technology. Over the two sessions, these lessons will address social media, online retail and banking, cloud data storage, and government surveillance.


  • Students will understand the consequences of Internet usage on personal privacy and security.
  • Students will become aware of technologies designed to track their Internet usage.
  • Students will understand the benefits and drawbacks of street cameras and facial recognition software.
  • Students will understand both sides of the argument about government surveillance of electronic communications.


Session 1

  1. Getting Started (5 min) – Journal about the effects of new technologies
  2. Activity (40 min) – Jigsaw topics for research (working in topic groups)
  3. Wrap up (5 min) – Discuss as a class what students have learned about each of the topics

Session 2

  1. Getting Started (5 min) - Journal on government surveillance and data collection
  2. Activity (10 min) - Finish jigsaw groups
  3. Activity (30 min) - Regroup and share information gathered
  4. Wrap up (5 min) - Select one topic to explore further

Learning Objectives

CSP Objectives

Essential Questions

  • What are some potential beneficial and harmful effects of computing?
  • How do economic, social, and cultural contexts influence innovation and the use of computing?

Teacher Resources

These materials may be useful if you want to spend some time with the entire group discussing a few key topics.

Lesson Plan

Session 1

Getting Started (5 min) - Journal

The purpose of this session is to make students think about the different ways in which they as individuals, and society as a whole, are more vulnerable because of new technologies.

Students should consider the following question and record their reflections in their journals:

  • With the invention of new technologies, what additional risks do we face (personally and societally)?

Guided Activity (40 min)

For this activity, teachers will use "Jigsaw Groups":

  1. Create student groups with 4 students per group. Each student will select one topic (innovation or aspect of technology).
  2. Redistribute class groups by topic. Each topic group will work together to explore resources and take notes during the 40-minute time block.
    • Groups should use the worksheet (ExploringInnovationsWorksheet.docx) to identify and record potential impacts of the technology, whether they primarily effect individuals or society as a whole, whether they are positive or negative, evidence of that impact, and the source they used to find the information.  (Each student in the group should make their own copy of the worksheet, so they can bring them back to their original jigsaw groups.)
    • After completing the worksheet, students should complete the Venn diagram (ExploringInnovationVenn.docx) to summarize the key impacts of an innovation, and who is affected.
  3. The students in the topic groups will report back to their original group of 4 students in session 2, thus completing the "jigsaw."

The topics (and examples of positive (+) and negative (-) impacts) include:

  • Social media (+ connecting at a distance, - cyberbullying)
  • Online retail, banking, and businesses (+ convenience, - identity theft)
  • Cloud data storage (+ information sharing, - loss of privacy)
  • Government surveillance (+ find terrorist threats, - loss of privacy)

For each of the above topics, there is a resource sheet in the lesson folder that can be provided to student groups. (Optionally, you may want to create additional resource sheets, or let students select other topics and find their own resources.)

Wrap Up (5 min)

As a class, review each of the larger topic areas and remind students that they will be sharing information in their original groups the next day. If students need too much additional time to research the topic, you may consider assigning them to complete the research independently for homework.

Session 2

Getting Started (5 min)

Students should take a few minutes to journal about the following prompt:

  • Think about your typical day. How often do you think that your image has been captured by a surveillance camera? List all of the places where your image may have been captured.  Also, consider what you have done in the past week. What data might have been collected about you somewhere over the past week?

Guided Activity (10 min)

Topic Groups: Have students briefly assemble into topic groups to compare notes.

Guided Activity (30 min)

  • Jigsaw Groups: Have students assemble into their original jigsaw groups. Each member will present the information on the topic that was researched. All notes need to be shared within these groups.
  • You may regroup and discuss the topics as a class if time permits.

Wrap Up (5 min)

Each student should select a topic that they would like to explore further and write the topic in their journal. It might be a narrow subtopic from the broader topics that were explored within this lesson. They might also want to write down a few interesting innovations connected to a topic. They will refer back to this during the practice performance lesson later in the unit.