Chat Room Ethics
- use adaptive, management and coping skills to identify and describe how to use people and supportive services that can assist them when their online safety is being threatened (e.g., cyberbullying)
- demonstrate the ability to deal with threatening situations by applying decision-making, assertiveness, and refusal skills to deal with pressures pertaining to cyberbullying
- express opinions about netiquette and cyberbullying and support their opinions using examples from the Connect[ED] video
- explain how a person’s online actions, both positive and negative, can affect the feelings, stressors, self-concept, emotional well-being, and reputation of themselves and others when examining different responses from different points of view
- apply critical and creative thinking skills to reflect on a piece of media, its purpose, audience and point of view.
Chart paper, markers, tape
One or more computers with access to the Connect[ED] Grade 5 Part 1 video (via Internet access or prior download at the following link: http://teachingtools.ophea.net/lesson-plans/connected/lesson-1-chat-room-ethics)
Share and clarify the lesson Learning Goals with students.
Have students reflect on the following teacher prompt. Teacher Prompt: “Think about some things that could lead to stress for adolescents when it comes to relationships with your peers and the use of technology. Have you ever been in, or have you heard of a stressful situation when using technology? Over the next week we are going to explore a variety of situations and scenarios that might lead to stress related to relationships and the use of technology.”
Hand out Student Resource 14: Netiquette, Cyberbullying and Online Safety Review. Instruct students to complete the activity page which is a review of what was learned in Grade 4.
Using direct instruction, introduce the Connect[ED] Grade 5 video episode: Your Life Online - Making Good Decisions to the class and inform them that they will be watching the video to review what netiquette is and how to stay safe online (see Teacher Resource 9: Making Good Decisions Synopsis). The students will also be viewing the video through a media literacy lens. While viewing, they should be thinking critically about the purpose behind the creation of this video and how different people might interpret the messages in the video in their own way.
Encourage the students to focus on how the characters deal with issues such as cyberbullying and making difficult choices online. Remind students that while they watch the Connect[ED] video they are to compare and correct their answers on Student Resource 14: Netiquette, Cyberbullying and Online Safety Review.
View Part 1 of the Grade 5 Connect[ED] video episode: Your Life Online - Making Good Decisions. For a synopsis of Part 1 see Teacher Resource 9: Making Good Decisions Synopsis.
Using whole group discussion take up Student Resource 14: Netiquette, Cyberbullying, and Online Safety Review. Review with the class.
Netiquette is a set of rules for everybody on how to behave properly online. It is important because it makes going online fun and safe. Examples of netiquette:
- not using capital letters – as it might be seen as shouting
- using emoticons
Cyberbullying is when people threaten, harass, embarrass, or exclude other by using technology like computers or cell phones. Examples of cyberbullying:
- making a hateful blog about someone
- spreading rumours, lies, and secrets online
- rating people on their appearance
The following are strategies and or precautions that can be taken to make sure you have a positive experience when communicating online:
- Be sure that your phone or computer is properly password protected
- Choose a safe password – random set of numbers, symbols and letters
- Treat those with whom you communicate with respect
- Guard your personal information
- Be aware of digital permanence – when something is posted online it can remain online forever
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if an uncomfortable situation presents itself
- Recognize that people online are not always who they appear to be
Who to turn to for help if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation online:
- A trusted adult – parent, guardian, teacher, administrator
- An older brother or sister
- A community agency like Kids Help Phone
- If necessary the police
(This will be discussed in greater length during the consolidation.)
Have students self-assess their prior knowledge of netiquette, cyberbullying and online safety using the Thumbs Up Strategy (see Notes To Teacher).
Teacher observation of students’ self-assessment
Teacher prompt: “As you can see from the Connect[ED] video, cyberbullying is on the rise, and just like the characters in the video, students like you, are frequently being cyberbullied or are observers of cyberbullying and are being forced to make difficult decisions. Most students aren’t sure what to do, or who or where to turn to for help. In the Connect[ED] video there are several characters who are faced with a variety of cyberbullying issues that might be stressful. Using a decision-making model, we are going to help the characters make good decisions by analyzing the problem.”
Review with students the decision-making model learned in Grade 4 and write it down on chart paper for future use.
- state the problem
- identify the alternatives
- evaluate the alternatives
- make a decision
- implement the decision
Teacher prompt: “Now we are going to review Emily’s chat room dilemma from the Connect[ED] video and apply the decision-making model.”
Using direct instruction, state the problem and write it down on the chart paper.
Teacher prompt: “What is the problem that Emily is dealing with?”
Student response: “Emily wants to stay logged on as Kim in the chat room so that she can find out what Lisa thinks of her.” “She wants to pretend to be Kim.”
Teacher prompt: “What pressure is Emily faced with?”
Student response: “Emily isn’t sure what to do. She knows it is wrong to pretend to be Kim, but she really wants to see what Lisa thinks of her.” “Kim’s profile is accessible, it’s hard for Emily to resist going onto it and pretending to be Kim." “ Should she or shouldn’t she do it?”
Teacher prompt: “How might this situation be stressful on Lisa?”
Student response: “Lisa will find out it was Emily and feel betrayed.” “Lisa will feel tricked and might lose her friendship with Emily.”
Identify the alternatives and write them down on chart paper.
Teacher prompt: “What are Emily’s alternatives or choices?”
Student response: “Emily could pretend to be Kim or Emily can choose to sign Kim out of the chat room.”
Evaluate the alternatives and write them down on chart paper. Possible student responses…
Alternative 1 - Emily Pretends to be Kim:
- Emily can be justified for going online as Kim because it’s Kim’s own fault, she left her profile up. She should have logged off. Anyone could have gone on and pretended to be her. Kim is lucky it was her friend.
- Lisa could say something really mean to hurt Emily.
- Emily might think she deserves the truth but it could hurt her.
- It might be difficult for Emily to approach Lisa about what she might say because she was pretending to be Kim.
- Kim could find out that Emily pretended to be her, and they would no longer be friends.
- Emily is breaking Kim’s trust.
- Emily could lose both of her friends and she might get a bad reputation at school.
- Her teachers might find out and she could be in a lot of trouble at school.
Alternative 2 - Emily Chooses to Sign Kim Out of the Chat Room
- It’s the right thing to do.
- She would want someone to sign her out if it were her.
- It’s wrong to pretend to be someone else.
- She keeps her friends and keeps the trust between them in tact.
- No one gets hurt.
- She feels better about herself for doing the right thing.
- She avoids getting into serious trouble where her parents, principal, police are involved.
As a class make a decision and write it down on the chart paper. Teacher prompt: “Based on your evaluation of the alternatives for Emily, which choice do you think Emily should make? Why?” Student response: “Emily should sign out of the chat room for Kim because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s wrong and illegal to pretend to be someone else.”
Now that the class has made a decision, discuss the purpose behind the creation of this video (e.g., helped us to make good decisions when online, reminded us about the importance of netiquette and how hurtful cyberbullying can be). How did the information in the video help you with the decision making process? (e.g., provided us with real life examples, the way the information was presented was fun and engaging, etc.)
Remind the students that it is important to consider how different people might understand the messages in the video differently? Divide the class into 5 groups. Ask each group to look at the messages in the video from someone else’s point of view. Assign each group a different set of “eyes” to view through. Ask the groups to discuss the different points of view that each of these people might have about the video.
- Parent/guardian (e.g., glad that the school is providing this information, appreciative that they were able to learn more about netiquette and cyberbullying by watching the video, etc.)
- Kids Help Phone Counsellor (e.g., delighted that students are learning about cyberbullying, hopeful that students will call or email the Kids Help Phone if they are being bullied, etc.)
- Grade 5 student being cyberbullied (e.g., excited to be given some strategies for dealing with a cyberbully, hopeful that the bullying will stop, etc.)
- Grade 5 student who is cyberbullying (e.g., embarrassed that they are hurting someone else, regretting that they started bullying, etc.)
- Grade 5 student who has observed someone being cyberbullied (e.g., sad that they didn’t step in and help the person being bullied, passionate that they won’t sit back and let someone be bullied again, etc.)
Teacher observation and feedback of student’s ability to apply decision-making, assertiveness, and refusal skills to deal with pressures pertaining to cyberbullying, how a person’s online actions, both positive and negative, can affect others as well as their own reputation, and how well students communicate with others when faced with peer pressure using Teacher Resource 11: Internet Safety Decision Making Anecdotal Recording Chart
Teacher observation and feedback of students’ ability to examine and explain different points of view and recognize the purpose and audience for a piece of media using Teacher Resource 11: Internet Safety Decision Making Anecdotal Recording Chart
Briefly review with students who they can go to for help when they are being cyberbullied or if they feel unsafe when communicating online.
Teacher prompt: “Who can students turn to for help if they feel they are being cyberbullied?” Student response: “They can turn to a parent/guardian, a trusted adult, an older brother or sister, a teacher or administrator at school or even the police.”
Teacher prompt: “Why is it important to seek help from someone older when you are being cyberbullied or if you feel as though your online safety is being threatened?” Student response: “Adults are more experienced and will know what steps to take to stop it. They can call the police, or talk to the parents of the student who is cyberbullying.”
Teacher prompt: “What other support services in the community can you turn to for help if you are being cyberbullied?” Student response: “Kids Help Phone is one organization. On their website they have tips and tip sheets for kids who are being bullied. They also have counsellors to talk to online and on the phone, if a student feels uncomfortable talking to their parents/guardians.”
Hand out Student Resource 15: Exit Card to students and have them individually answer the questions.
Teacher observation and feedback of students’ ability to identify and describe the people and supportive services that can assist them when their safety is being threatened, and when it might be important to seek adult intervention or further assistance using Teacher Resource 10: Exit Card Checklist
Students can role play Emily’s chat room dilemma presenting both alternatives and their potential outcomes.
Students will be introduced to various cyberbullying scenarios and will have to use their decision-making skills to assess how to handle the situation. Knowing who to go to for help will assist in lessons to follow.
Thumbs Up Strategy: A strategy used for students to self assess their understanding of a specified goal. Thumbs up = I understand, Thumbs Sideways = working on it/almost there, Thumbs Down = I have more questions.
- state the problem
- identify the alternatives
- evaluate the alternatives
- make a decision
- implement the decision
For additional resources and websites please see the Additional Teacher Supports section of the Connect[ED] website.