12th Grade Government KentuckyInquiry Challenge

Internet

This inquiry leads students through an examination of modern day United States and global politics by investigating the Internet’s role in either helping or hampering democratic processes. By investigating the compelling question, students consider the impact of increased access to information (and misinformation) on the political process, how it shapes political discourse on the individual and public level, its role in democratization of information on the global stage, as well as how students see these features impacting their own political interactions.

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Compelling Question:

Is the Internet Good for Democracy?

Staging the Question:


Read excerpts showing both the democratic ideal and negative impact of the Internet on democracy and consider why the ideal of increased access to information does not always reflect the reality
1

Supporting Question How has the Internet impacted the democratic process in the United States?

Formative Task Create a T-chart of the positive and negative impacts on the political process as a result of the public’s increased access to information.

Sources Source A: “Americans’ Internet Access 2000-2015”
Source B: “How the Internet Has Changed Politics”
Source C: Interview: Anne Mintz, “Misinformation Superhighway”

2

Supporting Question How has the Internet impacted democratic discourse in the United States?

Formative Task Add the positive and negative impacts of the Internet on political discussion and personal interactions to the T-chart.

Sources Source A: “How Social Media Is Reshaping News”
Source B: “How Social Media Is Ruining Politics”
Source C: “The Psychology of Online Comments”

3

Supporting Question What impact does the Internet have on global democracy?

Formative Task Add the positive and negative impacts of the Internet’s global impact on democracy to the T-chart.

Sources Source A: Podcast: “Can the Internet Bring Democracy to China?”
Source B: Video: “Impact of Social Media on the Arab Spring”
Source C: “How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election”
Source D: “Views about Internet Turn Negative”

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that discusses the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from contemporary sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Students assess their own social media and Internet usage to develop and support a claim on how the Internet has impacted their own political interactions.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Investigate the usage of Twitter for all contending candidates in a recent election.
Assess: Assess the impact Twitter has on modern elections.
Act: Invite a political campaign advisor to participate in an informed conversation regarding the role of Twitter in political campaigns.