Thinking Caps (Perspectives on Personal Information)


This module demonstrates the role of perspective in shaping the evaluation process, particularly when evaluating information linked to one’s online presence. Participants will also begin to consider the implications of the information which they put online.


Participants will be able to:

  •  Understand how perspective affects the evaluation process.

  •  Recognize that one leaves behind information through a prolonged online presence


12-16 years old Grades 7-10


Entry level and up (no experience necessary)


70 minutes

  •  What is Perspective? (10 minutes)

  •  Thinking Caps (40 minutes)

  •  Closure (20 minutes)


  •  Handouts (Facebook profiles, 1 per group)

  •  Computer/projector

  •  Whiteboard/paper and markers

  •  Printout of young/old woman illusion

  •  Like/dislike buttons

What is Perspective?

(10 minutes)

Goal: To familiarize participants with the concept of perspective.

Materials: old woman/young woman illusion, computer, projector [Project the illusion onto the whiteboard or a screen.]

[While asking questions, ask participants to come up and point out which image they see, particularly relevant body parts.]


  •  What do you see when you look at this picture?

  •  How many of you see the young woman?

  •  How many of you see the old woman?

  •  Can you see both at once?

  •  What you see can depend on your perspective. What do you think perspective is?

[Write down participant de!nitions on the board.]

[If no comprehensive definition is provided.]

Perspective is a particular attitude towards something; a point of view.

[Draw different smiley faces for each person on the board.]


Say: Here’s another example. Our friend Billy just made the school baseball team. When he tells his mom, he says, “I made the baseball team!” His mother is very proud of him.

  •  When he tells his best friend, Jennifer, he says, “I made the baseball team!” His best friend tells him she is very happy for him.

  •  However, he tells his friend Sam, who also tried out for the baseball team, that he got the spot Sam wanted. So, Sam is not so happy.

  •  Billy is also a member of the science club, and now he has to miss science meetings so he can go to baseball practice. When he tells Katie, the president of the science club, she isn’t very happy either.

All of these different people in Billy’s life heard the same piece of information: Billy made the baseball team. Why do they all react differently? Why do their di!erent perspectives, and their di!erent relationships to Billy, matter?

Can you think of any other examples?

Why does perspective matter?


Thinking Caps

(40 minutes)

Goal: To explore the concept of different perspectives on the same piece of online personal information; specifically, on a Facebook profile.

Materials: Kassra’s Facebook Profille Handouts, paper, pencils, slips of paper with different “roles”

[Divide students into groups of 3-4. Give each group some paper and pencils.]

Say: I’m going to hand each group a screenshot of Kassra’s Facebook profille and a slip of paper. On the slip of paper is the name of someone in Kassra’s life. As a group, we want you to imagine that you are looking at this Facebook profile through the eyes of this person. Who do you think Kassra is? What assumptions can you make? What does he like? What does he dislike? What has he commented on? What are your perceptions of Kassra, based on your perspective? You will have ten minutes. Be prepared to present at the end!

[Ask each group of students to present. (15 minutes)]

Potential Roles:

  •  Kassra’s mom, who is concerned for her son’s safety

  •  Kassra’s best friend, who looks up to him

  •  A girl at a neighboring school, who doesn’t know Kassra.

  •  Kassra’s teacher

  •  A potential boss who is considering Kassra for a job

Discussion Questions: [15 minutes]

  • What were some of the differences in the ways that you perceived and evaluated Kassra?
  • Why do you think those differences exist?
  • Do you think that all of these evaluations are accurate? Why/why not?
  • Can you think of times when this has happened in your life – when the same information was interpreted differently by different people?
  • How many of you have had disagreements with your parents? Friends?
  • How many of you use Facebook? Do you think about how your Facebook profille looks to different people?
  • Have you ever deleted something on your own Facebook profille? Why?
  • Do you ever act differently around different people? Do you talk the same way you do to your parents or teachers as you do to your friends? Why/why not?


(20 minutes)

Goal: To reflect on the meaning of perspective and why it is important to consider online.

Materials: None

Say: Today, we wanted to talk about Facebook profiles because we wanted to talk about the concept of privacy, or the “digital breadcrumbs” you leave all over the internet.

  •  Do you present yourself differently on different websites? For example, on Facebook, you might use your real name for everything, but do you use your real name for everything you do on the internet? What are websites where you don’t always go by your real name? Do you ever use web sites/services anonymously? Why?

  •  Do you present yourself differently online to different people?

  •  Do you think that the information you’ve shared online about yourself shows the whole picture of who you are? Do you think your Facebook pro"le tells the whole story? Do you want it to?

  •  How will different people view your personal information online?

  •  What about if people only have access to some of your information? For example, can your parents see everything you do on Facebook? Do your parents know you have a Twitter account? How many of you keep your Tweets private?  Why?

  •  Do you ever untag yourself in Facebook photos? Why?

  •  Have you ever searched for yourself online? Why?

  •  Do you think you can control all of the online information that’s about you?

    • What can you control? (Examples: What you share online, and with whom)
    • Are there things you can’t control? (When friends post pictures of you)
    • What can you do about that?
  •  We talked a lot about perspective today. What does perspective mean to you?

  •  What was one thing you learned from today?

  •  What is another way that perspective affects how we evaluate information? Can you name a recent current event where this was relevant? How is perspective important not just in our personal lives, but on the news as well?


Download this curriculum module:

Perspectives on Personal Information – PDF
Perspectives on Personal Information – PPT

Release Date 
November, 2012