Use Technology to Take Action



This WebQuest will unfold over five days. Each group will use a computer in the lab to research their topic and write responses. Here is what your group will do each day:

Day 1: #NeverAgain and the Students from Stoneman Douglas High School

Today you will learn about the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who created the #NeverAgain anti-gun movement in the wake of the shooting at their school.

Use this handout as a template to write down your group's answers to the following questions as you watch the video and read the article. Your group's answers should be saved in a Word or Google Docs document titled "StonemanGroup-LastNameLastNameLastName" (where each group member's last name is included in the title.)

  1. Watch the video "What Makes #NeverAgain Different?"
  2. Read the New York Times Article "War Room: The teenage strategy sessions that built and anti-gun movements out of the trauma of Parkland in one week."
  3. Watch the PBS video "#SRLReacts on Youth Movement - Parkland"

Think about what you have learned from these videos and articles and write 1-2 paragraphs describing what parts stood out to you and whether or not anything you saw or read made you think differently about the Parkland students and their social movement.

Submit your group's document to the instructor via the class Dropbox folder. Each group member should submit their paragraph(s) to the class Dropbox folder.

Day 2: Students' Right to Protest

´╗┐Today you will explore the rights students have to protest. Before you begin, make a KWL (Know, Wonder, Learn) chart in Word where you can write your answers to the opening questions. Please note which group member presented each question/fact by including their initials in parenthesis at the end of their contribution.

For example: Know: People under 18 must have their parents' permission to join a school walkout. (KG)

You must have at least 3 contributions from each group member for each category (Know, Wonder, Learn).

Brainstorm answers to the following questions before reading/watching any of today's resources:

  1. What is our classroom, school, and/or district's policy on school walkouts?
  2. Do people under 18 have the same rights as adults? If not, how do they differ - and why?
  3. Do students under 18 have the same rights in school as they do out of school? If not, what examples can you give?

After you have completed brainstorming:

  1. Read "School Walkouts in the Wake of 'Parkland' - Protected by the First Amendment or Not?" from Newseum.
  2. Read the ACLU's page about students' rights to protest: "Students' Rights: Speech, Walkouts, and Other Protests"
  3. Return to your KWL chart and use a different color font to correct or update it with any information you learned 
  4. As a group, create a Word document you could share on social media or through email that informs students at your school of their rights to participate in a protest.

Submit your group's KWL chart document and social media protest rights document to the class Dropbox.

Day 3: Youth-Led Social and Political Movements in History

Today you will research the history of youth-led movements and think about the impacts the movements created.

  1. Examine KQED's digital timeline, "Too Young To Vote, Old Enough to Take Action"
  2. Read the New York Times article "7 Times in History When Students Turned to Activism"

As a group, choose a movement featured in one of these resources and research it more deeply online. Answer the following questions as they relate to your chosen issue in a Word document. Use complete sentences in your answers.

  1. What actions seemed to be the most effective? Why?
  2. Can we still feel the impact of these students' activism on this issue? How?
  3. What barriers did they run into?
  4. What can student activists today learn from them?

Read the Teen Vogue article "Black Teens Have Been Fighting For Gun Control For Years"

Individually, write 1-2 paragraphs about how (or if) Black Lives Matter student activists have been viewed differently by the media and general public when compared to the Stoneman Douglas student activists. If you see a difference, what might account for that difference in perception? Provide evidence from the article or reliable online sources that support your viewpoint.

Submit your group document and individual documents to the class Dropbox.

Day 4: Taking Action

´╗┐Today, you will think about what social or political issues might interest or inspire you and how you can get involved.

As you watch this TedX talk by Elizabeth Robbins, "Young People Are the Now", work together as a group to find at least one example Robbins gives for each of the following steps students can take together for civic action. Save your numbered examples in a Word document.

  1. Identify issues important in their lives and community, and decide on one to address.
  2. Research the chosen issue and decide how to change or improve the situation.
  3. Plan an action, including determining a goal for change; identifying who or what body in the community has power to make the change; and deciding how to approach that person or those people.
  4. Carry out the action through letters, talks, meetings with officials, policy proposals, and activities, depending on the specific goals of the project.
  5. Reflect on the effort when it is over in order to understand their successes, challenges, and ways to continue learning in the future.

Browse DoSomething.org to see what kinds of social, political, and civic issues are being addressed. Take note (on paper is fine) individually of which issues or campaigns look interesting to you - which ones might you be interested in learning more about or joining? How is technology being used to connect people and move the campaign forward?

Next, discuss with your group what social or political issues you each find important. Remember to be respectful of each other's opinions and beliefs, even if you don't agree with them. Talk about topics such as:

  • What issues you care about and why
  • What changes would you like to see happen in your school, community, state, the country, or the world?

Finally, each group member should individually write at least two paragraphs discussing one issue they find important. It should include a description of the issue, why you believe it is important, what is currently being done (or not done) to move this cause forward, and at least one way you think technology could be used to support that particular social movement.

Submit your group document and individual documents to the class Dropbox.

Day 5: Moving Forward

Today, your group will bring together everything you've learned over the past week to create a plan addressing a social, political, or civic issue.

As a group, browse through #1 through #10 on the 10 Questions for Changemakers site. Using what you have learned from the previous days' lessons and doing additional online research as needed, choose an issue your group would like to address. Focusing on this issue, answer all 10 Questions for Changemakers in a group Word document. Each answer must contain at least three complete sentences which contribute meaningfully to the discussion. It should be apparent in your writing that you have not only read the material, but given thoughtful consideration and effort to your answers.

Submit your group document to the class Dropbox.


Web Link
  • What Makes #NeverAgain Different?
    Description: This is a video about the #NeverAgain student activism movement against gun violence. Everyone in the group must view it.

Web Link

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