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integrated computational thinking

LA Practice D2: Assess authors’ intent, motive, and impact of computational tools or platforms

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In this project, the learner will examine the digital platforms they use to share and consume information, identify the ‘hidden authors’ who make decisions about the design of these platforms (such as recommendation algorithms), and devise suggested improvements to a digital platform of their choice. (60-90 minutes)

Learning Objectives

By the end of this activity, learners will be able to…

  • Identify the underlying intentions and (business) motives of the creators of popular digital media platforms.

  • Identify how the design choices made by the creators of popular digital media platforms impact users.

  • Propose a novel design feature for a popular digital media platform that they believe will positively impact the well-being of its users.


Digital Media Platforms: Online spaces where users consume and/or share content.

User Interface: The means by which the user interacts with the digital media platform

Design Feature: The constraints and affordances of the user interface (e.g. the location of advertisements in YouTube; the ability to infinite scroll on Facebook)

Creative Commons & Attributions

CrashCourse, Social Media: Crash Course Navigating Digital Information #10, 2019.

Simone Bunse, Social media: A tool for peace or conflict, 2021.

United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab, Bad News Game, 2018.

Johann Hari, Stolen focus: Why you can’t pay attention and how to think deeply again, 2022.

Blakeley H. Payne, Redesigning YouTube, 2019.