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What happens when we all see different news?

Which candidate should win? Explore the link between information and decision-making, with this engaging activity. Two social-media feeds present two very different pictures of an election campaign. After reviewing their assigned feed, students choose sides through a vote, then discuss how the information they saw affected their choice.

Offline-Assignments

Scenario: The Election

There is a high-stakes election coming, with two candidates to choose from. People feel strongly about who should win, and it will likely be a close race. Everyone gets to vote, including students, but first they need to get informed about the issue

How it works

Step 1

Distribute the feeds

Create a class link to share with your class. The system will automatically assign one of two polarized feeds to each student at random.

Step 2

Hold the vote

After students have formed an opinion, it’s time to hold the vote — through the poll at the end of the feed, paper ballot or show of hands.

Step 3

Discuss and debrief

Share the results and ask students why they made the choice they did. (The teacher reports will display which students got what feed and how they voted.)

Who Decides What I See Online?

What is an algorithm, and what are filter bubbles? What are the consequences for democracy when news is personalized for individuals?

Experiential Learning

‘It was a very powerful activity because students were so shocked when they found out there were two different news feeds. It was one of those real-moment learning experiences when they realized how much their vote changed based on what they had seen’

—Kathleen Tayler, Fisher Park Public School, Ottawa

Assign the Feeds

There are two ways to access the polarized newsfeeds that support this activity

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Assign Through the Classes Page

Create a class and add Feed for Thought: Election as an activity. The system will randomly assign one of the two feeds to each student. Voting takes place in the activity. Reports are available to show which student got what feed, as well as how they voted.
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Print the PDFs

PDFs of the two feeds are available for download and printing

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