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What civic issue are you curious about that you’d like to understand better and get involved in?

Activity: Participating in a Connected World: Envisioning Next Steps

(15-20 min)

This activity offers students the opportunity to identify a social or civic issue that they are interested in and that impacts their community. Students will be guided to consider what they can do next to learn more, engage in dialogue with others, voice their views, and take action around this issue.

Ask students to start by doing a written reflection about the civic issues that came up in the interview and news and online network research described in Question #2. Students can explore the following questions in their write up:

  • Briefly summarize the civic issues that came up in the interview and news and online network research you conducted.

  • Is there one civic issue that stands out to you as especially important or connected to your values and interests?

  • How and why does this issue matter to you?


Next, let students know that there are various ways that they can learn about and engage with the issue that matters to them. Share the following core civic practices with them:

  • Investigate, or learn more about the issue

  • Dialogue with and listen to the perspectives of others

  • Voice or express your perspective or ideas about it

  • Take action to address the issue


Then ask students to begin to envision how they might use online tools, sources, social media sites to enact these practices. Students can write 1-2 next steps or action steps in each box of the matrix below. Depending on how much overlap there is between the issues students choose, you could also group students to work on mapping out next steps together.

Click here to download this chart as a PDF.

(For background on these practices, you can reference the following charts:

Redesigning Civic Education for the Digital Age. Please note that slightly different terms

are used in these charts. For example, instead of Voice you’ll see Production and

Circulation. Instead of Action you will see that the term Mobilization is used.)


After students are finished filling out the matrix, you can ask them to share their ideas with a classmate and gather feedback. Classmates could share the following with one another:

  • What next step did you hear that you think is particularly interesting?

  • How might your partner strengthen or clarify their next steps?

  • What’s another next step or idea that you can envision related to this issue?

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