This lesson uses the Explore Performance Task Survival Guide - Student Guide as the backbone for a series of activities to ramp up to doing the actual Explore Performance Task. It contains some brainstorming activities around what qualifies as a "computing innovation" for the task as well practical advice and strategies for handling some of the nuances of the task such as distinguising between a "harmful effect" and a "data security or privacy concern." The lesson concludes by providing the students with resources to make a plan to complete the performance task staring in the next lesson.


Students will be able to:


These activities are designed to approach reviewing the Explore Performance Task in a whole-class-discussion inquiry-based way. It's not required that the instructor do this, but there is a fair amount of reading to get through and this should help break it up.


Getting Started

Review with the students through the following prompt: based on the review of the Explore Performance Task in the last lesson:

Remind the students that below are the few things that they need to do through the discussion

Remind students that they need to: pick a good computing innovation first!

Note: The purpose of this discussion to warm up students' brains and recall the elements of the Explore PT. We want students to start thinking about choices in light of what they have to do for the Explore PT, rather than simply out of interest or "coolness." Hopefully, the two go hand in hand. In particular we'll looking to drive home the point that your selection of a computing innovation should be done thoughtfully to make completing the task easier.

Activity: Introduce The Explore PT Survival Guide

This lesson uses the Explore PT Survival Guide to get started with the Explore Performance Task. The beginning of the packet has a number of quick activities that help get the students in the right mindset for thinking about and doing the task, so they are ready to hit the ground running. The guide will be helpful to the students through the entire process of completing the actual Explore Task as well. Read page 1 to get started.

Ask the students to read the "Explore PT Overview" section of page 1. The information about the task itself should not be news if they have already reviewed the Explore PT. Ask the students to focus on the suggested processs.

Activity 1: What makes a good Computing Inovation?

Ask the students to group with a partner and complete the innovations brainstorm activity on page 2. Pick their three best, and three worst possible picks.

Remind the students that:

Pro Tip

Examples of choices are shown in the following table:

Sample Choices Table

Discuss: What other innovations did you think of while reviewing your list? Anything you'd be excited about researching?

The goal of this activity is NOT to come up with definitively correct or incorrect "answers" about the list of innovations. Many if not most technological innovations students come up with will be borderline cases that can be used for the Explore PT if framed the right way. The purpose here is to spur disccusion about what makes for a computing innovation not lead to frustration about what the "right" answers are.

Activity 2: Brainstorm: Harmful Effects v. Data Security Concerns

Complete the activity in the Page 2 of the Survival Guide.

Pro Tip

Activity: Rapid Research - Harmful Effects

Complete the research activity on page 4 in the Survival Guide. Now that the students have a better sense of what "harmful effect" means they are going to see if they can find one for an innovation of their choosing.

Ask the students to pick one from the list of innovations earlier in the Survival Guide or one that they have thought of themselves, then go quickly look it up and see if they can fill in all the aspects of the table provided.

Ask the stduents to discuss: (1) What did you learn from your research? (2) Was is easy or hard to find a harmful effect for the innovation you chose?

The students should be aware that it should be rather quick, and easy to find harmful effects. If it takes more than 10 minutes to find a harmful effect it's probably a sign that they should pick a different computing innovation.

Wrap Up

Ask the students to use pages 5 and 6 of the survial guide to start writing their plan. Note that page 5 of the survival guide is the same as "Explore PT Planning Organizer" except that "Explore PT Planning Organizer" is in higher resolution. These templates will help guide them to completing the Explore task. The teacher may adjust the schedule based on the school's schedule. Note, 8 hours is the minumum time needed for this task. It may take longer.

Discuss: taking into account all the activities we did today plus what you know about the Explore PT now, where do you expect you'll be spending most of your time? For which parts of the task should you maximize your time?

Standards Alignment