Computational Thinking in Humans and Machines

By: Steve Azeka and Teon Brooks

Unit 1: Language

Established Goals


  • Test

Essential Questions:

  • How do you perceive fake news and propaganda?
  • How do you know if the article is a conspiracy theory?

Students will know:

  • Source of the content
  • Style of the writing
  • Number of words
  • Sentence structure
  • Data science
  • Machine learning AI

Students will be able to do:

  • Identify key attributes of real and fake articles

Performance Tasks


  • To identify fake news articles and social media posts


  • Data scientists working for CIELabs


  • Reads of news


  • They’re hired by CIELabs to scan through different articles to find if they’re real or not.
  • (Election...)
  • Crowd source political articles


  • Classifier (Identifies articles as being real or fake) - Will be a trusted new source

Standards for Success

Other Evidence

Introduction: What’s the problem? Why should we care?

Introduction to Data Science in Journalism: Show video of people in the field doing the work

  • TODO: Reach out to Xavier about real-time scenario about fake news on the web.
  • TODO: Reach out to Lam about participating in a brief video series on the impact of misinfo in journalism
  • Context:
  • Charge: Video end with charge to students to help them solve the problem. Frame the problem Outline structure for the unit

List of things to look for in science articles:

  • Get list

Lesson 1: Where did this problem come from? Lesson: Historical context of fake news

  • Technology’s role in promoting fake news

Activity: Explore examples requiring them to look at multiple articles that are not and are (varying levels- different sources - Social media) - CT approach? - Decompose the article, abstract the articles,... (look for guides) - Patterns

  • Google Doc: Create a list of differences and highlight what we should be looking for
  • Articles:

Find - credible source - Science (Secondary sources) -

Lesson 2: Analytics skill required

Based on the prior information you collected how can we use analytics to tell if articles are good or not

  • Give list of things we look for
  • (examples should be shown in TidyBlocks)

Activity: Have students undergo another analysis using a particular analytical technique by using a calculator. The students should come to a realization that this is a lot of work and there should be a better way (leading to Tidyblocks)

(Note: Need to do something with graphing.)

Lesson 3: Introduction of skill

What are some tools that we can use? Add the steps required for using tidyblocks

  • Analysis
  • Tie to the steps we have for what the students will learn

Activity: Remixing an existing TidyBlocks setup to see how changing the different variables or blocks can influence the outcomes.

  • There must be some deficits in the model (or else why wouldn’t they just use this one moving forward)

Lesson 4: Creating your own TidyBlocks

Define the problem and parameters of the problem for students

Activity: Students will create their own model to analyze articles

Pre/Post Survey - What are we measuring