How Technology Discriminates: Education and Outreach Project – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

How Technology Discriminates: Education and Outreach Project

Phoebe Sarandos


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Sarita Yardi Schoenebeck, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: School of Information,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 4
Presenter: 7

Event Link


Algorithms and Society works to educate young technology users on the associated risks and societal implications of information technology. The project focuses on how bias is embedded in the algorithms behind information technology. To build lesson plans for high school students, I analyzed the Algorithms + Society five-part YouTube video series, designed by researchers on the research team. These videos are short and informational and provided me the premise of each coordinating lesson plan. Based on the Algorithms + Society videos, I did my own research to contextualize and expand on the basic information. The culmination of this work is a set of high school lesson plans to be taught in coordination with the Algorithms + Society Youtube video series. Each lesson contains step-by-step, scripted instructions for teachers, questions for class discussions, and engaging activities for the students. Algorithms and Society explores how algorithmic bias embedded in search engines, social media, smart devices, etc, perpetuates discrimination and bias in our society. In an increasingly digitized world, it is imperative that students understand the risks associated with information technology. Through education, we can raise a generation of technology users and developers who are cognizant of algorithmic bias and actively work against it.

Authors: Phoebe Sarandos
Research Method: Library/Archival/Internet Research

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