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  • 2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Analyzing the Power and Responsibility of Media Makers in the Technology Classroom
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This unit is intended for students studying digital media production in the 10-12th grade. The purpose of the unit is to help students to learn from some of the positive uses and negative uses of media. In this unit students will study the use of media to manipulate people: propaganda, followed by the power of media to call people to action, and the potential for calls-to-action based on social and or digital media to have both positive and unintended negative consequences. The students will study media bias and some potential consequences of it. The students will then reflect on which types of societal consequences for posting their digital media would be unacceptable to them. Armed with this knowledge, they will create personal standards that will empower them as unaffiliated journalists to steer clear of undesired outcomes.

Subject:
Graphic Arts
Visual Arts
Journalism
Sociology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Creation Story
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My unit will align with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for Advanced Placement Literature students, although it could be adapted to other texts that pose the same question: Will we be cautious in creating technology, or will our creations ultimately harm us? Many dystopian futures feature violent revolts on humans from mistreated robots. These stories resonate because they mirror past brutality against African slaves, proposals to purify humanity in the Eugenics Movement, and recent mistreatment of immigrants. When we create more beautiful, more intelligent, and more talented humanoid entities to think for us, to entice us, and to comfort us, how will we view ourselves? Our virtual assistants have female voices. Does this amplify biased views of gender? If we treat our virtual assistants as slaves, will this increase our hatred towards other humans? Will our lives become completely irrelevant? In this unit, students will research the current state of robotics, and draw comparisons between our modern creations and the moral and technological warning in Frankenstein, encouraging students to think about the technology they use, feel agency in determining its future, and strive towards creating tools for a more humane world.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Bridges, Not Walls: Speculative Fiction, Technology, and Social Justice
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In this unit, students will explore a variety of reading material and other media in order to connect technology with issues of social justice. Over the course of three phases, students will consider how technology may be used to facilitate tangible change within communities. Students will first explore a range of science fiction texts and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the advanced technology described in each. They will then focus on a variety of social justice issues in fiction, news articles, and poetry. In doing so, students will determine what issues are most important to them, and think about what steps they might take to raise awareness about these topics. The unit culminates in a project-based learning experience for students, in which they will collaborate and use various forms of digital technology to initiate tangible change, inspired by the readings and discussions from our class sessions. Overall, the unit asks students to consider what it means to be active and responsible citizens within a community, how literature can inspire real societal progress, and what role technology can play in accomplishing that goal.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Consider the Source: Research Skills for Cell Phone Libraries in a Digital Age
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My curriculum unit, “Consider the Source: Research Skills for Cell Phone Libraries”, is a unit designed for a fifth-grade regular education English Language Arts class. A common core standard in ELA-writing is to complete a research writing piece that uses three references to support their findings. Many schools are not equipped to provide three sources for each student to use. Either the school library is not properly shelved or there is a lack of chrome books for every student in middle school to have access to on-line resources. It has provided a climate of uncertainty. One option would be to have students research their topics at home. Though their public library card may be invalid, most middle school students own a cell phone. The unit consists of skills to teach students how to use their cell phones for research purposes. By revamping traditional research tools, I hope it will provide a renewed love of investigative research and an enthusiasm to complete writing assignments.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Digital Lives and the Impact of Technology: Utopia or Dystopia?
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This unit facilitates students in studying the positive and negative effects of society’s current preoccupation with digital media, with specific focus on teenagers. Students will be introduced to the concept of Utopia via an excerpt from Thomas More and the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. The class will then proceed to research historical Utopian communities such as the Amish and the Shakers among others. Following this the class will be encouraged to engage in a self-reflection on digital use. Research will be conducted on the potential positive effects of digital media, such as for academic research and learning, safety and self-help, as well as negative consequences of excessive digital media use noted in the literature such as effects on attention span, psychosocial functioning, and behavioral addiction. Strategies used during the nonfiction portion of the unit will include a minimum of teacher presentation, with an emphasis on individual and group research, student-created multimedia presentations, note taking, class discussions, and reflective writing. Then the unit will delve into the prevalence and fascination with dystopian literature and study a classic science fiction story, “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury, and discuss the role of technology in this dystopia. Finally, students will write their own stories imagining how digital technology will impact a future that may occur in their lifetimes.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Examining the Effects of Social Technology Through Analysis of Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing
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Some of your students seem to have superglued their hands to their cell phones; for others, it is their eyes that have been permanently affixed. Why do so many students find their personal technology more appealing than the real humans on around them . . . and what might be the long-term consequences of this? These are the questions this unit will address – first, through the rhetorical analysis of various articles on the effects of cell phones and social media, and then, through a careful study of dystopian fiction. Ultimately, students will draw their own conclusions and share their learning through letters to middle school students and a creative writing piece that suggests what will happen next.

A few of your students may whine about the work you are giving them. They may rage, rage against the dying of the light emanating from their cell phones. They may claim that teachers and parents just don’t understand. But ultimately they will be better educated, more prescient, less addicted, more creative, and of better use to their communities. I think it is worth the fight.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Living in the Cloud: Private Lives in the Digital Age
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This unit looks at the interplay between losses in privacy and gains in convenience that accompany the ever-expanding use of and reliance on digital media and technology in our lives. The aim is not to convince students of a specific stance; rather, it is to provide an opportunity for students to look critically at the ways in which privacy has changed and to think about taking intentional action regarding their own use of digital media.

Each week of the unit, students will grapple with an essential question that focuses their attention on one aspect of privacy. As the core text, George Orwell’s 1984 elucidates two major definitions of privacy: first, the internal thoughts that we develop and contemplate without outside influence; and second, the freedom from being observed, accessed, and controlled by outsiders.

Throughout this unit, students will produce short argumentative pieces drawing evidence from the texts read for and discussed in class. The short pieces of writing students produce throughout the class will culminate in a final argumentative essay weighing the interplay and value of privacy and convenience in our digital lives.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
Play-based Poetry: An Exploration of Creativity and Digital Media
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The aim of this three week long exploratory unit is for students to stop focusing on the digital world that they know so well and begin to focus on themselves and their own feelings. This unit focuses on the power of choice and ownership for young children in what is typically a very structured school day. They will learn how to express themselves through different styles of poetry. These different poems will be explored online and then discussed. My students will then get the opportunity to create poems themselves. They will be given the option to work concretely or digitally on their poems; even given the option to make a hard copy and a digital copy of the same poem. Finally, at the end of the unit the students will be able to present their work as a reflection of their authentic selves and not a “persona” they are trying to create. They will share this work to a specific audience rather than posting for anyone to see to reiterate the importance of privacy and safety in a digital world.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019
The iGen: Freeing Their Voice in Cyberspace and the Theater Space
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All things in moderation. This phrase is typically heard in reference to a person’s diet or exercise habits. Given the tremendous rise in social media use among adolescents, moderation is something that can also be practiced in our relationships with the digital world. My theater students' social lives occur predominately online through various social media like SnapChat or Instagram. The relentless comparisons they make between themselves and their peers is correlated to a feeling of unworthiness. In my classroom, I often hear my students say, “I am not good enough” or “I am not as pretty or talented as...” Theatre is an art that should help students find the power of their own voices. However, this can only happen if a student is open to the exploration of the self. What if an oversaturation of social media is blocking my students from digging into their identities because they feel as if their “self” could never possibly be good enough? This unit seeks to guide my students on a journey of self-exploration in order to create a healthier relationship with social media. Ultimately, I want my students to feel worthy enough to participate fully in the art of theatre. For this to happen, my students need to break down the emotional blocks built by social comparisons that happen through social media.

Subject:
Performing Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2019 Curriculum Units Volume I
Date Added:
08/01/2019