The other day I had the opportunity to view a short video, “Consider Your Click,” created by musician Ben Lee (@benleemusic) that examines the implications of the links we click as we use the Internet. In the video, Lee explores the idea that the links we click drive the news and information we receive on a daily basis. Since those who deliver news, information, and advertising mine the data on our habits and preferences, they are going to want to provide us with more of what we “want.” However, the way they determine what we “want” is based on the sites we visit; the links we click. The question being: how often do we take the time to seriously consider the implications of the links we click.
After viewing the video, not only did I reflect upon my own exploration of the Internet, I began to think about how this might help students become more aware of their own Internet habits and allow them to become more empowered users of the Internet. This is very important as educators ask students to consider their online actions and the creation of their digital footprint.
Before he clicks on a link, Lee asks:
- What values am I expressing?
- What world am I contributing to building?
- Internally, what connections am I building (creating) for myself?
- What do I want to see more of / less of?
- What would make the world a better place?
These questions offer a great opportunity for pause and self-reflection prior to clicking a link.
In thinking about this at the classroom level, I offer the following experience for students. This can certainly be adjusted to suit your needs as a teacher or school, and can certainly be modified based upon the age, grade-level, and specific needs of students.
Classroom Integration of “Consider Your Click”:
Becoming a More Empowered Internet User (Grades 6 to 12)
Week One: Identifying and Reflecting On Internet Habits
- Have students view Lee’s Video: Consider You Click.
- After viewing, ask students to consider in writing or in conversation: How and why do you use the Internet?
- As a group, recording final responses on chart paper, students discuss: Can you recall the last 5 to 10 links (adjust the number according to how many students in a group) you clicked or sites you visited? Students then list a certain number of links on the chart paper and code them as hopeful, neutral, or negative.
- Engage in a gallery walk and have share observations as a whole class.
- Ask students, if, for the next week, they would be willing to engage in the act of logging, as best they can, all of the links they click. This can be done by hand, or using any technology with which they are comfortable (Using the Evernote web clipper could be a great way to do this.)
- Each evening, students should review links and code them as hopeful, neutral, or negative.
At the end of the week, students should reflect on the following questions:
Based on the links I clicked:
- What values did I express?
- What world did I contributing to building?
- Internally, what connections did I build (create) for myself?
- What do I want to see more of / less of?
- What clicks could contribute to making the world a better place?
- What do I want to change about my habits to become a more empowered internet user?
Week Two: Focusing on Hope.
- Review Lee’s video: Consider Your Click
- Ask students to engage in a week of logging and clocking links that they would classify as hopeful.
- At the end of the week, as students to reflect on the idea of clicking links more purposefully. The following questions may be helpful:
- What was the biggest challenge of clicking only helpful links?
- Did this process help you feel more empowered as a user of the internet?
- How did the links you clicked represent your as an individual and your beliefs about the world in which you want to live?
Consider: Create a space in the room where students can share links that help them to build a more positive and hopeful world.
Please share this and let us know if you try this with your own or with your students. It would be inspiring to hear your reactions, student reactions, and how you have furthered a culture where people act as more empowered users of the Internet who do, in fact, Consider Their Click.
Empowered Education, LLC is a collaboration of professionals with a variety of experiences at all levels of education. We seek to start an educational revolution through the development of knowledge and compassion. For more information, please visit us at www.empowereded.org and follow us on Twitter: @empowered_ed
Ben Lee has been making music for nearly a quarter of a century. His 10th studio album, Love is the Great Rebellion was released on June 2, 2015 on the Warner Brothers label. Through his music, actions, and words, Lee invites people to join him on a journey of self-reflection, discovery, and self-realization. You can find more information about Ben Lee at www.ben-lee.com and you can follow him on Twitter: @benleemusic
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