Explore PT: Harmful effect vs concern


My students and I are having a hard time distinguishing between a “harmful effect” and a “concern”.

Criteria 4 and 6
4 Analyzing Impact of Computing: Identifies a beneficial effect AND a harmful effect of the computing innovation. Explains how ONE of the
identified effects impacts or has the potential to impact society, economy, or culture.

6 Analyzing Data and Information: Identifies one storage, privacy, OR security concern. Explains how the concern is related to the computing

The way I’ve been explaining to my students is for a harmful effect, assume the innovation works the way it’s intended. Assuming that, what are still negative effects the innovation may have? For a concern, I describe it as something that may keep the innovation from effectively performing its intended function.

I’m still not very satisfied with my definition, as there can often be overlaps between the two categories.

The only other way I can think of distinguishing between the two is just by having students distinguish between the two questions as a whole - Criteria 4 is a “problem” that deals with society/economy/culture, whereas Criteria 6 is a “problem” that deals with privacy/security/storage.

Any suggestions?

(Edit: As a side note, I realize these prompts came up in the practice PTs and I didn’t bother making the distinctions before. :oP )


It is confusing. I tell my students since criteria 4 is only checking if they have explained one of the effects, harmful or beneficial they should

  • mention a benefit

  • mention a harmful effect that relates to storage, privacy, or security, and

  • elaborate on the benefits.

To satisfy criteria 6 I ask them to describe the harmful effect in detail.


Think of criteria 4 as relating the innovation to humanitarian concerns, and criteria 6 to technological concerns.


These help. Thanks for your input!