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Who Does The Algorithm Think I Am?
85 min Age 16+


Online we can virtually find any information we want. We ask search engines for answers to all of our questions, we like photos on social media platforms because they are suggested to us, or because our friends have liked them. All the information we have at our fingertips can be empowering, but how exactly do platforms know what information is most relevant to us? This lesson plan is focused on understanding algorithms, and the role they play in curating our information diets online. Through structured online search activities, students will interrogate the algorithmic biases embedded while retrieving information, and question the personalization of search results. Finally, they will engage with a tool that allows them to take a peek into how different search algorithms see images — of others, or even of themselves. 

This lesson was developed as part of the POWER project (Portraits Of Women’s Empowered Representations), which was funded by the US Embassy Cyprus. We would also like to thank the Cyprus Center for Algorithmic Transparency for allowing us to integrate their tool in our lesson. 

Learning Objectives
  • Τhinking critically while searching for information and navigating social media
  • Understanding what algorithms are and the role they play on digital media platforms
  • Questioning media and information ranking and labeling when conducting online searches
  • Recognizing the presence of algorithmic biases
  • Designing own online search inquiries to critically examine how algorithms work

Lesson Plan
Explaining :
What is an algorithm?
Exploring :
How do algorithms work?
Evaluating :
Does the algorithm know me?
Creating :
Design your own algorithm investigation