Grade 8

Digital Media and Your Brain

How does digital media try to hook you, and what can you do about it?

Sometimes when you're using media, it's hard to stop. Lots of people even say they feel "addicted" to their phones or the apps and games they use. But is digital media actually designed to get you hooked? Have students think about the ways different digital media does -- and does not -- help us find healthy media balance.

Students will be able to:
  • Explore ways that different digital media are, and aren't, designed to help them make good media choices.
  • Reflect on how digital media is designed to either help or hinder the addition of meaning and value to their lives.
  • Think about how to develop good, healthy habits when using digital media.
Key Vocabulary: addictive design  ·  feedback loop  ·  habit  ·  humane design
addictive design:
features or aspects of a device or app that are intended to hook the user into frequent use
feedback loop:
when you get a response to something you do or post online, causing you brain to experience a temporary moment of pleasure
habit:
something we do automatically without thinking
humane design:
features or aspects of a device or app that prioritizes what’s good for people’s lives
Media Balance & Well-Being
This lesson meets standards for Common Core ELACASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

45 mins.
Extension Activity:

Have students apply what they have learned by completing the “Healthy Social Media Habits” Activity on TestDrive, a social media simulator. Students go through a self-guided activity to reinforce key concepts and practice building healthy social media habits. For more information, download the Social Media TestDrive Educator Guide.

What You'll Need

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Classroom resources

Take-home resources