Are You Ready for The Circle, Player One?

A lesson plan that introduces the ideas of "brain hacking," digital addiction, and digital distraction, which kids can apply to their lives.

Photo of Nissa Hales
11 10

Written by

Using the lesson plans created by Common Sense Education as a model, students are introduced to the idea of "brain hacking" and how software engineers are employing what they know about psychology and sociology to create addictive products. Students are then asked to apply what they have learned to their own experience using their smartphone or preferred social media application.

The inaugural lesson was taught Feb. 2, 2018, to 11th graders in Advisory period (See attached).

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

CBS 60 Minutes: What is “Brain Hacking”? Tech Insiders on Why you Should Care - Anderson Cooper (2017) Nir Eyal: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products - Official Workbook (2014) PBS News Hour Extra: Are Teens Addicted to Technology (2016) The Sneaky Science Behind Your Kid’s Tech Obsessions - Caroline Knorr - Common Sense Media (2018) This lesson was requested and inspired by the Dean of Students at my school, who is concerned about our students' distracted driving habits.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nissa Hales

Thank you for sharing! You guessed correctly: The teachers who taught the lesson reported that they spent 5-10 minutes on distracted as a wrap-up driving during the lesson. Because I was inundated with mediocre resources on distracted driving during my initial search when completing this lesson, I opted for beginning the conversation with the root of the problem: the pull of notifications from PED's while driving, and why they are hard to ignore. I very much look forward to exploring the DFi site.
Thanks again!

View all comments