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Cyber Society

Course Overview

This course focuses on the ways in which technology is advancing rapidly and connecting us in ways never before imagined. Through studying law, ethics, terrorism, communications, and business as they pertain to cyberspace, students work to improve critical thinking and critical reading skills by pulling information from articles and other sources. Students will develop presentation skills as they participate in debates, discussions, and group presentations.

Course Content

Unit 1: Law, Politics, and Terrorism

Students will work through a series of lessons and activities that both reinforce concepts and gauge understanding of law, politics, and terrorism, including designing a bill for intellectual property, creating rules that adhere to Mill’s Harm Principle, and both synchronous and asynchronous discussions.  As students learn about the concept of cyber politics, they will explore the role of anonymity in presenting opinions online by participating in an “anonymous” debate, evaluate the effectiveness of social media on political campaigns by applying lesson readings to a live campaign, and demonstrate their understanding of fake news as it pertains to politics by creating a believable fake news article.

Unit 2: Ethics and Communities

Students will complete lessons that ensure understanding of key ideas related to ethics of technology use  by designing a Turing Test for friendship that differentiates between real and virtual friendship, creating a personal schedule for technology use that balances virtual and face-to-face interactions, evaluating websites and categorizing them based on the level of trust they possess in the information presented, and participating in synchronous and asynchronous discussions as they reflect on their own uses of technology and experiences.  As students learn about using technology to create and foster communities, they will brainstorm solutions that include the networked society to solve real-world problems, collaborate on a wiki page to share information about the inter-relatedness of society in regards to technology, and take part in synchronous and asynchronous discussion and personal reflections.

Unit 3: Cyber Business and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Students will explore the implications of technology on business practices by discussing (synchronously and asynchronously) the power of data and their roles in protecting the data about themselves, designing a business recovery plan that addresses concerns of a data breach, and role-playing situations that involve planning for various data privacy problems that a business may face.  As students work toward an understanding of the issues inherent in the increase in artificial intelligences, they will discuss and determine a definition for intelligence that accounts for the history of the word and the need for adjustments in this understanding as a result of new technology, analyze situations and determine potential areas of risk created by the use of artificial intelligence, reflect on their own positions related to the use of artificial intelligence, consider multiple perspectives while arguing the benefits and drawbacks of incorporating AI in the home atmosphere, and participate in synchronous and asynchronous discussions throughout the unit.

Unit 4: Media Literacy and Analysis and Investigation of Cyber Scenarios (AICS)

This final unit is broken into two distinct parts that have very different assessments.  To determine mastery of the media literacy content, students will work through a series of activities where they will apply strategies taught to determine reliability of an online source.  They will create graphics or posters to warn others of different types of internet fraud, work collaboratively to create a portfolio of examples for clickbait, fake science, op-ed, and native ad and then develop a public service announcement that they will share with the class during live session. They will work together to read through a series of texts from their daily “press briefings”, apply what they have learned about cyber security and come to a conclusion for each scenario about what caused the issue and how they should move forward.