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New York Times Offers Lesson Plan on Pros, Cons of 'Going Viral'

New York Times Offers Lesson Plan on Pros, Cons of 'Going Viral'

Digital literacy may be one of the most important subjects to teach students as social media continues to expand. Teaching students pros and cons of sharing items on the Internet, whether it is personal information, photos, videos, and other items is crucial, for it can become dangerous for those who don't practice using the Internet safely. 

A new lesson plan provided by The New York Times looks at the new Internet sensation "Alex From Target", and invites students to learn about Alex's overnight fame and consider the positive and negative effects. 

"Would you want your photo or video to go viral like 'Alex from Target'?" the article said. Students will read the article, "Known as ‘Alex From Target,’ Teenage Clerk Rises to Star on Twitter and Talk Shows", and can answer the following questions.

  • Would you want your photo or video to go viral like “Alex from Target”? Why?
  • What do you think might be the advantages of having your photo or video go viral? What might be the downside?
  • What do you think will happen with Alex Laboeuf? Will his viral photo lead to more opportunities than just 15 minutes of fame? Or, do you think Mr. Laboeuf will go back to his normal life, just with a lot more Twitter followers?
  • There is much speculation about how “Alex from Target” became a viral sensation. Do you think it happened organically, with teenage girls in particular spreading the word online? Or, do you think Target or some other corporate interest played a role behind the scenes?

See the video below provided by The New York Times:

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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