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, students will assess their current uses of computers for communication.  In the second session, they will narrow their focus to address as a class 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


  • Getting Started (5 min) – Journal about current uses of online communication.
  • Activity (40 min) – Working in pairs students review a list of 10 Commandments of Computer Ethics and develop a revised version.
  • Wrap up (5 min) – Combine partners into groups of four and assign to each group one of the following topics to be researched tomorrow.
  • 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)
  • Begin researching  the assigned topic.



Session 2


  • Getting Started (5 min) - Journal on assigned topic
  • Activity (10 min) -Research groups
  • Activity (30 min) - Regroup and share information gathered
  • Wrap up (5 min) - Select one topic to explore further



Learning Objectives

CSP Objectives

Big Idea - Creativity
  • EU 1.2 - Computing enables people to use creative development processes to create computational artifacts for creative expression or to solve a problem.
    • LO 1.2.4 - Collaborate in the creation of computational artifacts. [P6]
      • EK 1.2.4A - A collaboratively created computational artifact reflects effort by more than one person.
Big Idea - Data
  • EU 3.1 - People use computer programs to process information to gain insight and knowledge.
    • LO 3.1.1 - Find patterns and test hypotheses about digitally processed information to gain insight and knowledge. [P4]
      • EK 3.1.1A - Computers are used in an iterative and interactive way when processing digital information to gain insight and knowledge.
  • EU 3.2 - Computing facilitates exploration and the discovery of connections in information.
    • LO 3.2.2 - . Determine how large data sets impact the use of computational processes to discover information and knowledge. [P3]
      • EK 3.2.2B - The storing, processing, and curating of large data sets is challenging.
      • EK 3.2.2D - Maintaining privacy of large data sets containing personal information can be challenging.
      • EK 3.2.2G - The effective use of large data sets requires computational solutions.
Big Idea - Internet
  • EU 6.1 - The Internet is a network of autonomous systems.
    • LO 6.1.1 - Explain the abstractions in the Internet and how the Internet functions. [P3]
      • EK 6.1.1A - The Internet connects devices and networks all over the world.
  • EU 6.3 - Cybersecurity is an important concern for the Internet and the systems built on it.
    • LO 6.3.1 - Identify existing cybersecurity concerns and potential options to address these issues with the Internet and the systems built on it. [P1]
Big Idea - Impact
  • EU 7.1 - Computing enhances communication, interaction, and cognition.
    • LO 7.1.1 - Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition. [P4]
      • EK 7.1.1C - Social media continues to evolve and fosters new ways to communicate.
      • EK 7.1.1D - Cloud computing fosters new ways to communicate and collaborate.
      • EK 7.1.1H - Social media, such as blogs and Twitter, have enhanced dissemination.
      • EK 7.1.1M - The Internet and the Web have enhanced methods of and opportunities for communication and collaboration.
      • EK 7.1.1N - The Internet and the Web have changed many areas, including e-commerce, health care, access to information and entertainment, and online learning.
      • EK 7.1.1O - The Internet and the Web have impacted productivity, positively and negatively, in many areas.
  • EU 7.2 - Computing enables innovation in nearly every field.
    • LO 7.2.1 - Explain how computing has impacted innovations in other fields. [P1]
      • EK 7.2.1C - Computing enables innovation by providing the ability to access and share information.
      • EK 7.2.1G - Advances in computing as an enabling technology have generated and increased the creativity in other fields.
  • EU 7.3 - Computing has global effects — both beneficial and harmful — on people and society.
    • LO 7.3.1 - Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing. [P4]
      • EK 7.3.1A - Innovations enabled by computing raise legal and ethical concerns.
      • EK 7.3.1D - Both authenticated and anonymous access to digital information raise legal and ethical concerns.
      • EK 7.3.1E - Commercial and governmental censorship of digital information raise legal and ethical concerns.
      • EK 7.3.1G - Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.
      • EK 7.3.1H - Aggregation of information, such as geolocation, cookies, and browsing history, raises privacy and security concerns.
      • EK 7.3.1I - Anonymity in online interactions can be enabled through the use of online anonymity software and proxy servers.
      • EK 7.3.1J - Technology enables the collection, use, and exploitation of information about, by, and for individuals, groups, and institutions.
      • EK 7.3.1L - Commercial and governmental curation of information may be exploited if privacy and other protections are ignored.
  • EU 7.4 - Computing innovations influence and are influenced by the economic, social, and cultural contexts in which they are designed and used.
    • LO 7.4.1 - Explain the connections between computing and real-world contexts, including economic, social, and cultural contexts. [P1]

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

Student computer usage for this lesson is: required

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 use computers and the Internet to communicate.

Guided Activity (40 min)

For this activity, teachers will use partners.  If an odd number of students then a group of three may be used.


  • Students work in pairs to examine Wikipedia article, “Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments_of_Computer_Ethics) and identify and share the two commandments they think are the most commonly violated.
  • Students read commandments and individually identify the two they think are most frequently violated.
  • Students share the two commandments they identified with partners and discuss why they choose the commandments they did.
  • Pairs select two they think are the most significantly violated.  Collect the responses from the class.


As a class suggest revision to the 10 Commandments of Computer Ethics.


  • Divide the class into four groups. Each topic group will work together to explore resources and prepare to share with the other groups tomorrow.
  • Groups use the worksheet (ExploringInnovationsWorksheet.docx) to identify and record
  • potential impacts of the technology,
  • whether they primarily affect individuals or society as a whole, whether they are positive or negative,
  • evidence of that impact
  • 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 key impacts of an innovation.

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)

Each group should discuss its progress this far in researching their topic.  Students will have 10 minutes tomorrow to prepare to make a presentation to the resto of the class.

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.