Week 8 – Cyberbullying and Social Media

Activity 8 – Cyberbullying Message

I have created two video messages on the same topic, one for younger children (~K-6), and one for older children (~6-12). Here are the links:

Figuring It Out (for younger children)

A Friend In Need (for older children)

Activity 8 – Cyberbullying and Social Media Reflection

This week I have created a digital resource toolkit in Symbaloo for use with teaching elementary students (K-6). This toolkit includes general resources (policies, definitions, etc.) regarding cyberbullying and digital citizenship; resources for teachers (toolkits, bibliography, collections of videos, etc.), as well as direct links to resources for children (direct links to videos, games, etc.). I will continue to update this toolkit as I collect new resources via my PLN or other learning networks.

My Cyberbullying and Social Media Resource Toolkit

For my cyberbullying strategies, I want to focus on helping children develop critiquing skills for 1.) assessing their own actions before acting, and 2.) assessing the validity of information they access or recieve. I would do these lessons with children in grade 2 or 3.

Day 1, Lesson 1

I would start by discussing computers, phones, etc. with the children, asking them if they have used them (and what for), or how they have seen or think other people (ex. their parents) use them. If the children don’t bring it up, I will make sure to work into the discussion that fact that people use these devices to send and post messages, pictures, videos, etc. I will demonstrate with my own phone (displayed on the classroom smartboard), to show them how easy it is to, for instance, take a picture and post it on Facebook, and then to post a comment about the picture. I will talk about the internet, and will utilize resources for K-3 on the NetSafe Utah web site, one of the resources in my Symbaloo toolkit, which describes the internet in langauge suitable for this age group.

On the smartboard, I would next display a photo of myself as a child showing something “different” or interesting (such as dressed in a dancing costume for my dance recital, see below):

dancing2

I would not tell the children this is a picture of me. I then would hand out small sheets of paper to the children, and ask them to write down a comment about the child in the picture (“short”, “pretty”, “funny”, etc… nothing “mean”!); I would first tell them not to put their names on their sheet of paper, so that no one will know which comment it theirs. I would then collect the comments, and read each one aloud. For each comment, I would ask the children whether the comment would make the child in the photo feel “prouder” or the “same”, and I would track the counts for each category on the smartboard. I would then hand out another sheet of paper to each child, and this time would ask them to write their name on the sheet of paper, then write a comment about the child in the picture. I would collect these, and read each comment aloud, and ask the children which category, “prouder” or “same”. (I anticipate there would be more “prouder” comments during this second round, since those comments were not anonymous.) I would use this as an opportunistic moment to demonstrate to children that anonymity can make people less inhibited about what they say about others, and I would talk about how the internet offers a degree of anonymity. I would discuss with the children why/how they decided on the comment they wrote each time, and if they’re decision changed when they had to also write their name on the sheet of paper. I would then reveal to the children that the child in the photo is me, and I would ask the children if knowing that would have made a difference to them in deciding what to write, and why (i.e. would knowing who the person in the picture make the children more likely to make a “prouder” comment). I would then post the picture on my Facebook, and I would ask the children to decide which of the comments I should post on Facebook with the picture. I would ask them to think about who would see my Facebook: my friends, my family, other teachers, the principal, etc. I would ask them to think about which comments would make me feel “prouder” if these people saw the comments.

For the next part of the lesson, I would focus on helping the children develop an understanding of how to take responsibility for their own digital persona, and how it can impact their lives. Using my phone, I would take two photos of each child: a “serious” photo and a “silly” photo. Then I would create a private class blog and post the photos. I would then go through a bunch of scenerios with the kids, asking them to choose which of their two photos would work best in each scenerio, and why. Some example scenerios might be: “You’re trying to convince your parents that you’re responsible enough to take care of a new pet. Which photo do would you show your parents to show them that you’re responsible?” or “If you wanted to get a job, which photo would you show to the boss?”

For the final part of the lesson, I would group the children together into 3 or 4 groups, and ask them to write a short script for a video to show what they learned from the lesson that day about respecting themselves and others on the internet. I would use GoAnimate, and would show them the free options for characters, etc., and allow them to choose. When each group was finished writing their script, I would help each group create their video. We would end the day by watching each of the videos in class, and I would post links to each video on the private class blog.

Day 2, Lesson 2

To begin next day, I would discuss with the children how information/messages can change as they pass from person to person. To demonstrate, I would then have the children stand in a circle around the room, and I would whisper something (a statement about my as a child in the photo from the previous day) in the ear of the first child, and that child would whisper the message in the ear of the next child, and so on. The last child in the circle will be asked to tell the class the message that he/she heard. Undoubtably, what this child says will be different from what I whispered in the first child’s ear, which will demonstrate that messages can get distorted each time they are repeated/reinterpreted. I will then discuss with the class how this can also happen on the internet, and how it is especially dangerous when it is information about a specific person. This lesson will help children learn to be careful about what they share on the internet, that it is possible to lose control over information they share on the internet when it is repeated/rewritten/reinterpreted by others, that the original source of a message/information is the most accurate source, and that they should be sure what they repeat/rewrite/reintrepret on the internet is true/accurate. I would link this lesson to the lesson from the previous day by suggesting a number of different statements, and asking the children to decide which of the statements is accurate and should be posted on my Facebook.

For the next part of the lesson, I would write some (2-3) statements on the smartboard that seem to be untrue, and which the children are unlikely to know are true; for instance, “It is never hot in the Arctic”. I would ask the children which statement is true, and why they thought it was true. We would then look up the answers on the internet (via smartboard) together as a class, finding a number of different answers, and I would demonstrate how to assess information from the different sources; for example, consistency between a number of different answers, particularly those from a number of “official” sources such as the NWT web site and the Environment Canada web site, and how “unofficial” sources and sponsored sources might have differing answers.

I will then give the children the scenerio of the scam email message, such as the a lottery scam. (I will not tell them it is a scam.) The email will have the lottery commission name, the name of the contest, the winning lottery ticket number(s), and the processing fee amount that you must pay in order to claim your $million willings. Together as a class, we would search the internet (via smartboard) to find information about the lottery commission, the contest, etc. This would inevitably lead to dead-ends (i.e. finding no information about the lottery commission, the contest, etc.), or information clearly identifying these entities in relation to the scam.

Within the context of the scam scenerio, I would take the opportunity to discuss with the children the importance of protecting personal information, touching on issues such as protecting passwords, recognizing bogus emails, who to ask if you’re not sure, etc.  To elaborate on this, I would utilize information provided on the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre’s Think U Know web site, which his another resource in my Symbaloo toolkit.

Day 3

The lessons from Day 1 and Day 2 will help children learn that not everything on the internet, email, etc. is true, that they could be the target of a scam, and how to assess whether the information is ture or untrue especially in order to protect themselves.

The last part of this lesson will simply be reviewing and amalgamating everything learned in Day 1 and Day 2.

We would work together as a class to come up with a checklist for what to do and what not to do. I would post this checklist in our private class blog.

I would then utilize the CyberSmart Cyber Safety Quiz, on of the excellent resources available on the Australian Government’s CyberSmart web site, which is one resource in my Sumbaloo toolkit. We would take this quizz together as a class, and would discuss our answer choice as well as the in-quizz information provided regarding each answer choice. This activity will nicely tie together the lessons from Day 1 and Day 2, and will allow students to apply the information they have learned in the lessons to real world scenerios.

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