'15-'16 Check your Assumptions

Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.

U4L2 says: Collect: Students will need to revise their stories tomorrow. Hold onto their activity guides or ask them to do the same so that they can update their assumptions tomorrow.

But I don’t see where we do that in U4L3.

After coming from U3 where we didn’t have much reading its sort of a shock to be presented with 5 articles and a recommendation of 15 minutes! I wonder if you guys could make a recommendation on which one is the best and then put the rest under extensions? The meat of the lesson seems to be the digital divide activity so I am worried about spending too much time on the articles.

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for pointing this out. Responses to a few issues:

  1. U4L2 Collecting the Activity guides…I think the revisiting is something that got cut from the subsequent lesson and we didn’t realize we mentioned it there. I have updated both U4L2 and U4L3 to say the collection is optional in U4L2 and to add a thinking prompt in the wrapup to U4L3 to think back to the assumptions you made just yesterday with google trends. I think the effect is basically the same - after reading how google flu went wrong we want students to think critically about their explorations with google trends the day before.

  2. On reading. Sorry for the shock. The 5 articles are all relatively equivalent. I would guess that the Time article is probably the shortest and most digestible.

  3. Time on the articles - spend it, but favor discussion. Once distributed I really don’t think it would take more than 10 minutes for students to read/skim the articles and get the gist - enough to discuss what happened with Google Flu at least.

It’s okay if “Check your assumptions” bleeds into another day - it also has opportunities for homework if you can give it. Perspective: Lessons 2 and 3 are really one topic broken into a sequence of three big thoughts: 1. Working with big data is great (google trends) 2. Working with big data can lead to bad stuff (google flu) 3. a big reason for some of the bad stuff is related to the digital divide and the fact that big data doesn’t always capture or represent everyone.

Hope this helps,


My students enjoyed the articles and got a good start on thinking about assumptions. As a teacher, I feel like they are just scratching the surface, but I think that is perhaps some of the scaffolding that is being built in right now. I will know if it is working for the first PT this unit!

Usually there is a link in the lesson plan to a downloadable version of the video for class. Do you have a version that can be downloaded?

The reason I ask is because students who are absent need access to videos we’ve watched in class. If they are trying to do the make-up work while at school (say, during a study hall), my school blocks youtube and they can’t watch the video.

Hi Chiara, thanks for asking – we provide download links for videos that we have created, but for external videos like this one on Google Flu trends, we don’t own it so don’t have a download link to provide (and can only provide the youtube link). I hope that answers your question, though I know that means your students doing the makeup work in school will not be able to watch it.