New Cyber Society Modules

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New Cyber Society Modules

This blog comes from John Queen, one of NICERC’s Curriculum Development Specialists.

Last year, I wrote a blog post describing our Cyber Society curricula. (Click here to read it.) Today I’d like to tell you about some new lessons that have been written and added to Canvas for your use.

We have two new modules called Politics and Artificial Intelligence. In our politics lessons, students will explore Hacktivism, how social media affects campaign politics, cyber warfare through politics, how fake news affects politics, and hashtag activism. All of the lessons examine how the world of cyber affects politics today. These lessons are especially time appropriate considering how the 2016 election was conducted. The impact of social media on politics is especially prevalent in Social Media and Campaign Politics, Cyber Politics and Fake News, and Hashtag Activism.

The Artificial Intelligence lessons include subjects like Hacking and Smart Cars, Defining Intelligence, Ethics and AI, AI in the Home, and National Defense and AI. In the smart cars lessons, the students learn about the pros and cons of more and more advanced technology in cars today, especially considering the advent of self-driving cars. The students compare differing perspectives on what exactly constitutes intelligence in Defining Intelligence. In Ethics and AI, students delve into the ethical implication of creating and using AI. AI in the Home walks students though the potential benefits and risks of having systems like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. The national defense lesson delves into how much “freedom” AI should be allowed to have, especially in battlefield situations.

A third module is being finished and will available on Canvas in the next month or so, so be on the lookout for it. The first lesson is called Cyber Thought, where students discuss how technology and specifically the internet influence our way of thinking (both positive and negative). Next is a lesson on Netiquette, in which the students explore the proper etiquette involved in various communications and how it changes with the media/audience we are communicating with. Cyberbullying is a major issue in our society today, and this new lesson will fit well with the lessons we already have on Canvas. Students will learn more about their Digital Footprints in the next lesson which would also go along well with a few of our lessons from Ethics and Communities. And finally, an important topic for students to know as they do research for their classes, is Reliable Research. This lesson focuses not just on research for scholastic endeavors but also for citing sources to support arguments online (especially on social media).

I am really excited about these new batches of lessons already on Canvas and coming soon. I hope that you take some time to at the very least skim them and see how you (or a fellow teacher) might implement them into your classroom. As I mentioned in my last post, I’d love to hear from you how these modules are doing in your classroom. If you use our Cyber Society lessons in your courses, please contact me at to let us know what’s working or not working or what needs improvement. We at NICERC value your feedback because we want to make the best curricula we can to assist you in the important task of teaching these students to become the best citizens they can be.

To gain access to these new lessons along with other great lessons for middle and high school classes, click here!