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:
- Describe the elements and purpose of the Explore PT
- Describe the scoring guidelines for the Explore PT
- Evaluate sample Explore PTs by applying the scoring guidelines
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.
- Explore PT Planning Organizer, PDF
- Explore PT Survival Guide, PDF
- Explore PT Survival Guide, Word
- Explore PT Survival Guide, Google Doc
- AP CSP Performance Task Directions, PDF
- Explore PT Scoring and Guidelines, PDF
Review with the students through the following prompt: based on the review of the Explore Performance Task in the last lesson:
- What are the main things you have to do for the Explore Performance Task?
- What should you do first?
Remind the students that below are the few things that they need to do through the discussion
- Make computational artifact
- Provide written responses to prompts
- Cite everything with sources.
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:
- Not all technological innovations are computing innovations.
- Focus or refine your choice so you're choosing the "computing" part of your innovation.
- Keep the written responses in mind. If you already have some sense of the data your innovation uses (think literal binary data) and the impacts of the innovation on society, you're probably on the right track.)
- Strong Choices all involve computer code or computing as a core part of their functionality, have broad societal impacts, and make use of data.
- Good Choices might need a little finessing to make sure you identify a computational aspect to report on.
- Poor Choices do not include a computer or program code, and so are not really computing innovations.
Examples of choices are shown in the following 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.
- Read the definitions at the top of the page.
- Look at the list of "bad stuff" resulting from computing innovations. Which ones are harmful effects (by the definition in the Explore Task) and which are data security concerns?
- With a partner go through and mark each as either a harmful effect or data security/privacy concern.
- Most of the "answers" follow the definitions closely, but a few are nuanced.
- It's a harmful effect if the "bad thing" affects a group of people resulting from the intended use of the innovation.
- It's a data security/privacy concern if the data is being used in ways that weren't intended.
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.
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?
- You probably want to maximize writing and artifact creation time.
- Research can be done rapidly.
- Don't forget to allocate time to proofread for easy-to-make mistakes that will cost points, like forgetting to cite sources.
- Computer Science Principles: 1.1.1 (A, B)
- Computer Science Principles: 1.2.1 (A, B, C, D, E)
- Computer Science Principles: 1.2.3 (A, B, C)
- Computer Science Principles: 7.5.1 (A, B, C)
- Computer Science Principles: 7.5.2 (A, B)