In this lesson students will consider the ways websites and companies collect data online and utilize it to personalize content for their users, as well as consider companies’ motives in doing so. Using the Same Search Student Handout, individual students examine the fictionalized Web results of two people with different demographic backgrounds who search on the same topic. Based on this analysis, they explore the benefits and risks of online tracking and targeting, and learn strategies for managing what happens with their own online data.
Lesson Materials Provided by Common Sense Media.


Students learn about the dynamics of online cruelty and how it affects all of the people involved. Students begin by exploring a scenario from the TV show Friday Night Lights, in which a teen girl creates a hate website about another girl. Students take the perspective of different characters and brainstorm alternative decisions each character could have made. Finally, students discuss what actions they can take when they encounter online cruelty in their own lives, including how to be an upstander. (Note: The term “online cruelty” encompasses what is often referred to as “cyberbullying,” but it covers a broader range of behaviors and may speak more effectively to teens 

*Adapted from curriculum materials created by Common Sense Media.

Students are introduced to copyright, fair use, and the rights they have as creators. Students explore the legal and ethical dimensions of respecting creative work. First, they learn a basic foundation of legal principles and vocabulary related to copyright. They understand how such factors as the rules of copyright law, the values and intent of the original creator, and the audience and purpose should affect their decisions about using the creative work of others. Using the Mad Men Student Handout, students then apply these principles to a simulation activity in which they act as advertising executives who have to choose a photo for an ad campaign. 

*Adapted from materials created by Common Sense Media.