Explore the link between information and decision-making, with this engaging activity. Two social-media feeds present two very different pictures of a controversial issue. After reviewing their assigned feed, students choose sides through a vote, then discuss how the information they saw affected their choice.
Create a class link to share with your class. The system will automatically assign one of two polarized feeds to each student at random.
After students have reviewed their feeds and formed an opinion on the issue, it’s time to hold a community referendum, through ballot or show of hands.
Share the results with students and ask whey they made the choice they did. They may be surprised to learn that not everyone saw the same information.
What is an algorithm, and what are filter bubbles? What are the consequences for democracy when news is personalized for individuals?
‘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
There are three ways to access the polarized newsfeeds that support this activity