The staff pick for this blog comes from Joe MacAdam, one of NICERC’s Curriculum Development Specialists.
When people hear about NICERC’s Cyber Literacy course, they immediately get the rundown about the Boe-Bot. They learn that we are able to make it move, sing songs, see—or even feel—the walls. However, one of the best parts of teaching Cyber Literacy does not deal with the Boe-Bot—it’s the Liberal Arts, or Humanities, portion of the curriculum. When I first taught this course, I was excited about dealing with the robotics and dreaded the humanities portion (I’m a math person), however, after teaching this course to up to 52 students in a class, some of the humanities lessons quickly became my favorite part.
Since I taught Algebra II and Pre-Calculus before this course, I was very hesitant towards creating and implementing English-type lessons. However, one of the best parts is that all of the content is already created. Rubrics, guidelines, and sample bibliographies are all part of the curricula and only need to have the due dates input. The only work on my part was grading it, and the rubric made this task simple as well.
The last great part about the Cyber Literacy Humanities is that they don’t all deal with writing papers. There is a project where students prepare for a structured debate on a cyber literacy topic and then actually debate in front of the class. There’s also a Networks activity where I was able to take the students outside and physically show them (with rope and envelopes) what happens when an email is sent and how computer network attacks happen. Then they read I, Robot, a novel by Isaac Asimov, and answered questions and took quizzes that were already created. These are just a few of the Liberal Arts lessons.
Cyber Literacy is another great example of how NICERC creates a project-based cross curricular course. This course not only deals with the math, science, and history portions, but also does an excellent job with Literature with its Liberal Arts portion of the course. To gain access to this lesson along with a multitude of other great lessons for middle school and high school classes, click here.