Grade 12

Filter Bubble Trouble

How can filter bubbles limit the information we're exposed to?

When we get news from our social media feeds, it often only tells us part of the story. Our friends -- and the website's algorithms -- tend to feed us perspectives we already agree with. Show students ways to escape the filter bubble and make sure their ideas about the world are being challenged.

Students will be able to:
  • Define "filter bubble" and explain how it occurs.
  • Reflect on the limitations and drawbacks that filter bubbles cause.
  • Identify strategies for escaping their own filter bubbles.
Key Vocabulary: algorithm  ·  filter bubble  ·  personalized content
algorithm:
pieces of code that follow a sequence of instructions
filter bubble:
when your social media feed and what you see online only aligns with your existing beliefs and experiences
personalized content:
information that a website or app shows you based on what they think you want to see
News & Media Literacy
This lesson meets standards for CASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

50 mins.
Extension Activity:

Have students choose a social media, gaming, or other platform they use regularly (Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.). Have students review their feed and identify what content they think might be part of their filter bubble (i.e., content where their friends and others might not see the same thing). Take screenshots of at least three examples, and arrange them in an image with “you” at the center using a Google Slide, Padlet, or VoiceThread. Students should explain in the drawing why they think the pieces of content are part of their filter bubble. Have students share their examples with each other, and invite them to use the comment function noting what they observe about each other’s examples.

What You'll Need

Select resources below, then open in English or Spanish. Unlock free resources

Classroom resources

  • Lesson Slides
  • Student Handout: Burst Your Filter Bubble! Student Version Teacher Version
  • Lesson Quiz Google Classroom

Take-home resources