If you’ve been withing 10 feet of a computer, radio, or television set in the past few weeks chances are you’ve heard of the December 14th vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in regards to net neutrality. Net Neutrality, in short, is the idea that internet providers must provide equal access to all online platforms and services. The internet currently operates in this manner. The FCC vote will vote to decide if the current standard of net neutrality should be upheld. It’s a decision that affects everyone who uses the internet; including our students.
The public policy debate on net neutrality provides the perfect platform to teach your students to analyze both sides of an argument and to draw a conclusion based on those facts with a topic that is very impactful to their lives.
As part of our mission to make high-quality, critical thinking instruction accessible to all students, thinkLaw is releasing a free lesson on net neutrality. “Net Neutrality: A Public Policy Debate” is available for free download on our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
The lesson begins with a thinkStarter, or warm-up activity, that asks students to consider a change in park and library services. What if some parts of the park were only accessible for people who paid? What if certain books in the library were only available by paying? What would the world look like? What arguments could be made for these charges? What arguments could be made against them? The lesson then introduces the concept of net neutrality. Students are presented with three arguments from both sides of the issue. They are asked to consider each argument and construct a counter-argument. Only after students have thoroughly considered arguments from both sides, are they asked to form a final conclusion. The lesson culminates with students writing letters to the FCC explaining their stance on the issue because student voices matter on this crucial public policy issue.
The download includes a 21 page lesson PDF. The PDF includes student worksheets, a sample student response sheet, and 3 pages of deep, probing questions that accompany a 21 slide PowerPoint. The lesson requires very little prep for you! Your job as the teacher is to step back and facilitate.
As the thinkers in your classroom engage in this global debate, let us know what they think! We’d LOVE for you to share snippets of thought from your students. Almost always the most profound observations come from our youth and we want to hear them!
To download “Net Neutrality: A Public Policy Debate” click here.
To learn how your school or organization can adopt thinkLaw’s standards-aligned program that helps educators teach critical thinking to all students, please click here to schedule a time to speak with someone on the thinkLaw team, call us now at (702) 318-7512 or join us on our next webinar; Thinking Like a Lawyer: Powerful Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students
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