This unit looks at the interplay between losses in privacy and gains in convenience that accompany the ever-expanding use of and reliance on digital media and technology in our lives. The aim is not to convince students of a specific stance; rather, it is to provide an opportunity for students to look critically at the ways in which privacy has changed and to think about taking intentional action regarding their own use of digital media.
Each week of the unit, students will grapple with an essential question that focuses their attention on one aspect of privacy. As the core text, George Orwell’s 1984 elucidates two major definitions of privacy: first, the internal thoughts that we develop and contemplate without outside influence; and second, the freedom from being observed, accessed, and controlled by outsiders.
Throughout this unit, students will produce short argumentative pieces drawing evidence from the texts read for and discussed in class. The short pieces of writing students produce throughout the class will culminate in a final argumentative essay weighing the interplay and value of privacy and convenience in our digital lives.
(Developed for English 3, grade 11; recommended for English 2/3, grades 10-11)