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LESSON

Digital Tools as a Mechanism for Active Citizenship

In this lesson, students will explore how technology can be a useful tool for active citizenship.
Grade Level
9-12

Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the use of digital tools in active citizenship
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of digital remedies in active citizenship
Essential Questions
  • What role does digital technology play in active citizenship?

Vocabulary

active citizenship [ak-tiv sit-uh-zuh n-ship OR ak-tiv sit-uh-suh n-ship] (noun) one’s involvement in their local community and democracy, from the municipal to the national level; for example,  a campaign to clean up streets or to educate young people about democratic values, skills and participation

information communication technology [in-fer-mey-shuh n kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuh n tek-nol-uh-jee] (noun) a collection of communication technologies composed of messages, photos and videos sent instantly with the potential to reach massive audiences through social media networks

blog [blawg] (noun) short for "web log," a webpage containing written entries of a writer’s or group of writers’ experiences, observations, opinions, etc., updated frequently

website [web-sahyt] (noun) a connected group of pages on the web devoted to a single topic or several closely related topics

text message [tekst mes-ij] (noun) an electronic message sent over a cellular network from one mobile phone to another

social network [soh-shuh l net-wurk] (noun) an online community of people with a common interest who use a website or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc.

Sources: dictionary.com, techterms.com, freethesaurus.com

 

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will explore how technology can be a useful tool for active citizenship. They will analyze several active citizenship projects that aren’t currently using technology, and then they will recommend specific social media or web-based strategies that might improve the project’s operation.

 

Procedure

1. Tell students that, over the past decade, people have started integrating digital technology into social activism. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and organizations like MoveOn.org and the Tea Party have enjoyed great success by incorporating digital technologies into their operations. Explain that information communication technology—messages, photos and videos that can reach massive audiences through social media networks—can be used to distribute messages, conduct operations, communicate within the organization and achieve goals.

2. Tell students that they will be role playing technology consultants who are asked to review several student-run active citizenship projects. Their task is to analyze the projects and make recommendations on how to incorporate information communication technology to better the project’s operation.

3. Divide the class into small groups of three to four students. Distribute the Improving the Active Citizenship Project Through Information Communication Technology handout to all groups. Review the introduction with students and then conduct a shared reading activity on the Building an Active Citizenship Project and ICT Tools sections.

4. Next, distribute the Assessing Active Citizenship Projects and Making Recommendations handout along with an example student active citizenship project (see materials needed). Review the instructions with students and go over the example. Allow students time to complete their assessments and recommendations. Then, have all student groups make short presentations of their recommendations to the class.

 

Alignment to Common Core State Standards

CCSS 9-10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2

Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

 

CCSS 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2

Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Extension Activity

Have the class design their own active citizenship campaign. They can use the handouts from this lesson to help shape and organize it.