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University of California, San Diego

Teaching Impacts of Technology: Fundamentals

University of California, San Diego via Coursera


In this course you’ll focus on the fundamentals of teaching the impacts of technology, starting by exploring how you interact with and benefit from technology in a typical 24 hour period, such as the desire for instant food and entertainment. This will be done through a series of paired teaching sections, exploring a specific “Impact of Computing” in your typical day and the “Technologies and Computing Concepts” that enable that impact, all at a K12-appropriate level. This course is part of a larger Specialization through which you’ll learn impacts of computing concepts you need to know, organized into 5 distinct digital "worlds”, as well as learn pedagogical techniques and evaluate lesson plans and resources to utilize in your classroom. By the end, you’ll be prepared to teach pre-college learners to be both savvy and effective participants in their digital world. In this particular digital world (daily life), you’ll explore the following Impacts & Technology pairs -- Impacts (Food Delivery): Apps that bring you food, drivers, and find and recommend businesses Technologies and Computing Concepts: Geolocation, Push Notifications, Near Field Communications, HMTL5, GPS, Graph representations, Minimal Spanning Trees, Shortest Path Algorithms Impacts (Entertainment): Streaming for entertainment and education, Environmental impact of Internet, YouTube culture Technologies and Computing Concepts: Data Centers, Downloading vs Streaming, Digital vs. Analog image representation, basic compression algorithms, Internet metrics (latency, bandwidth) In the pedagogy section for this course, in which best practices for teaching computing concepts are explored, you’ll learn to employ constructivist activities useful in teaching impacts of computing and to evaluate and contribute to an unplugged lesson plan. In terms of CSTA K-12 computer science standards, we’ll primarily cover learning objectives within the “impacts of computing” concept, while also including some within the “networks and the Internet” concepts and the “data and analysis” concept. Practices we cover include “fostering and inclusive computing culture”, “recognizing and defining computational problems”, and “communicating about computing”.


  • Course Orientation
    • Welcome! Are you interested in teaching about the impacts of the technology you use everyday? To learn more about the computation and computing concepts that underlie those technologies? We'll be using a problem-based approach to explore interesting ways to teach concepts of networks and the internet, data and analysis, and even algorithms and data representation. Finally, we'll evaluate, critique and improve/personalize an "unplugged activity" where students learn how to create the minimal network needed to provide connectivity amongst a set of houses. This activity can be scaled for use in grade levels from 4th grade to 12th grade.
  • Technology: Bring Me Some Food!
    • How do you interact with and benefit from technology in a 24 hour period? We'll ask you to track your technology use and reflect on its costs and benefits to you. We'll also start by looking at a problem many people might have in a given 24 hour period -- being hungry and wanting someone to bring them some food! We'll explore several smartphone apps related to this including doordash, yelp, and lyft.
  • I want my entertainment... NOW!
    • Streaming media has had huge impacts not only on consumer choice, but on who is enabled to produce digital media -- be it entertainment or education. Then we'll look at some of the limitations and possible new advances in this area.
  • Impacts of Computing and Pedagogy
    • This week our work falls into 2 categories. The impacts computing has had on our lives so far may not be the entire story. The CSTA K-12 standards focus a lot on having students not only look at the past, but consider impacts of future advances. Second, we reflect on core constructivist learning theory -- but with a specific focus on teaching computing concepts.
  • Lesson Plans
    • We'll evaluate a "CS Unplugged" lesson plan that supports students in learning how to represent real world map/travel representations in a graph. This lesson plan extends upon the "Paving a Muddy City" online simulator you used earlier in the course. We'll walk through a revised lesson plan and ask you to help improve it by added vocabulary and assessment items. You'll be able to contribute to and access a crowdsources set of resources created by other learners in this class!

Taught by

Beth Simon


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 30 ratings

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