Unit10

Unit 10 - Cybersecurity and Global Impacts

Unit Overview

Students research and debate current events at the intersection of data, public policy, law, ethics, and societal impact in the final unit of the course. This unit is built around a simulated "future school" conference in which students must take on the persona of a stakeholder in a school setting and propose and debate technological innovations that could improve schools. Throughout the unit, students learn about the privacy and security risks of many computing innovations, and learn about the ways some of these risks can be mitigated. Students complete their Explore Curricular Requirement as part of this project as they investigate at least three computing innovations, then discuss and debate many others with their classmates. At the conclusion of the unit, the class holds a conference in which teams present their overall vision for a school of the future and the computing innovations that would power it.

Teaching Tip

Modifications for Virtual and Socially-Distanced Classrooms

Are you teaching in a virtual setting or in a socially-distanced classroom? Check out this document for ideas and resources to help you tailor common practices like Think Pair Share or Peer Feedback to your learning environment.

For lesson-specific modifications, check out the Lesson Modifications section within Lesson Plans.

Learn more about how to use these resources here.

Unit Philosophy and Pedagogy

  • Learning Through Full-class Simulation: The simulation project that runs through this unit serves a number of important goals. It helps contextualize what students are learning by moving from abstract ideas of privacy or security to concrete potential innovations. Since the simulation is based around the question of modernizing schools, students are able to consider the consequences of computing innovations in a familiar setting. By taking on an assigned role and interacting with a group of teammates who have done the same, students must consider a breadth of interests and goals beyond their own when it comes to innovating in schools.

  • Ending the Year as "Deciders": A major theme students engage with throughout this unit is the need to consider both sides of technological innovation. Computing technology has led to both benefits and harms to culture, economy, and society at large. Responding to important questions facing our world requires both an understanding of technology and an ability to identify and interpret the impacts it causes. This unit is not designed to advocate for any particular point of view on the impact of technology, but it should empower students to more adeptly see and weigh the consequences of the technology around them. While the Create PT may feel like the most significant project of this course, the Explore Curricular requirement and the questions faced in this unit are arguably more crucial. Many of the young people who take CS Principles may pursue studies or careers in which they are "creators" with technology, but all of them will need to be thoughtful "deciders" in a world that is profoundly shaped by computing.

Major Assessment and Projects

Students complete the "future school" simulation throughout this unit. Working in teams of roughly five people, students are assigned a role and a set of interests that they'll need to investigate. They research real-world innovations that could improve schools and align with the interests of their character. Throughout the unit, they are given opportunities to refine their proposals as a team, and debate the benefits and risks of different computing innovations. Eventually, their team submits an overall proposal for the "school of the future" and all students vote for the team and innovation they believe to be best. Students will also complete an end-of-unit assessment aligned with the CS Principles framework objectives covered in this unit.

AP Connections

This unit and unit project helps build towards the enduring understandings listed below. For a detailed mapping of units to Learning Objectives and EKs please see the "Standards" page for this unit.

  • IOC-1: While computing innovations are typically designed to achieve a specific purpose, they may have unintended consequences.
  • IOC-2: The use of computing innovations may involve risks to your personal safety and identity.

This unit includes content from the following topics from the AP CS Principles Framework. For more detailed information on topic coverage in the course review Code.org CSP Topic Coverage.

  • 5.1 Beneficial and Harmful Effects
  • 5.6 Safe Computing

Week 1

Lesson 1: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 1

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

The class begins a simulation which will continue on at different points throughout the unit. In this simulation, students take on the roles of different stakeholders in school communities converging at a convention where they eventually will deliver a proposal on the best computing innovation for a Future School. In this lesson, students explore what a computing innovation is, do a brainstorm activity, reflect on their character role, and finally learn how to research an innovation.

Teacher Links: Handout | Handout | Handout | Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 2: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 2

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Today is focused on researching three different computing innovations and discussing these innovations with team members.

Teacher Links: Presentation

Lesson 3: Data Policies and Privacy

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (10 mins)

Students learn that the apps, websites, and other computing innovations they use every day require a lot of data to run, much of which they might consider to be private or personal. In the warm up students discuss which of a list of possible information types they consider private. Then students read the data policies from a website or service they use or know about. This investigation focuses on the kinds of data that are being collected, the way it's being used, and any potential privacy concerns that arise. A brief second activity reveals that even data that may not seem private, like a birthdate or zipcode, can be combined to uniquely identify them. To conclude the lesson students prepare for a discussion in the following class about the pros and cons of sharing all this data by journaling about their current thoughts on whether the harms of giving up this privacy are outweighed by the benefits of the technology they power.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 4: The Value of Privacy

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (0 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Students develop their own opinions on the privacy tradeoffs inherent in many modern computing innovations. At the beginning of the lesson students watch a video on facial recognition technology that presents the tradeoffs between convenience and privacy and asks them to determine whether they think the tradeoff is worth it. Students respond to two videos that look at different tradeoffs between privacy, security, and convenience. Students then evaluate the website or app they investigated in the previous lesson to determine if they think the benefits of the service outweigh the privacy risks. At the end of the class students discuss whether they generally think convenience outweighs privacy concerns.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 5: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 3

  • Warm Up (10 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (0 mins)

Students make further projects on their projects while also considering the unintended consequences their proposed innovations may have. First students watch a short video about the ways technology may have unintended consequences. Students then meet with their teams to review the different proposals for computing innovations that each team member is considering. Teams reviewing the different ideas in character and help one another consider potential benefits and harms of each plan. Collectively they narrow down their proposals to a set that seem collectively most beneficial and present a coherent vision for the school of the future. With whatever time is remaining students are able to work on one-pagers for the one innovation they chose.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Week 2

Lesson 6: Security Risks Part 1

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Students investigate three different common security risks (phishing, keylogging, rogue access points) in a jigsaw activity. In groups, students create Public Service Announcement slides warning of the dangers of their assigned security risk. Then students are grouped with students who investigated other security risks and are instructed to share their slide and give a voice over. The activity ends with the class coming together to discuss the security risks as a whole.

Teacher Links: Presentation

Lesson 7: Security Risks Part 2

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

The lesson begins with a review of security risks by watching a video on Cybersecurity & Crime. Following this, the class does an investigation into the Equifax breach, and what went wrong. The class ends with a Kahoot quiz to review security risks.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 8: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 4

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Complete your one pager for your computing innovation.

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 9: Protecting Data Part 1

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

In this lesson students explore two different encryption widgets: The Caesar Cipher Widget and the Random Substitution Cipher. Afterwards, students watch a video that reviews these types of encryption and introduces a new concept: public key encryption.

Teacher Links: Presentation

Lesson 10: Protecting Data 2

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (5 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

This lesson is a guided tour of multifactor authentication and software updates that students can use to protect their data. Following these discussions, students are introduced to a stimulus question where they will apply their knowledge gained throughout the unit to answer questions about an innovations data, benefits and harms, effects, and security or privacy concerns.

Teacher Links: Presentation

Week 3

Lesson 11: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 5

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (3 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Students meet with their groups to develop a shared artifact or presentation that presents their collective vision for the "School of the Future".

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 12: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 6

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (2 mins)
  • Activity (35 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Lesson Overview

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 13: Project - Innovation Simulation Part 7

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Warm Up (2 mins)
  • Activity (40 mins)
  • Wrap Up (5 mins)

Lesson Overview

Teacher Links: Presentation Students Links: Activity Guide

Lesson 14: Assessment Day

  • Lesson Modifications
  • Assessment (25 mins)
  • Assessment Review (20 mins)

Assessment day to conclude the unit.