Is this Just a Game?
- apply critical thinking skills as they as they examine the Mirror Image Game and describe benefits and dangers, for themselves and others, that are associated with the use of computers and other technologies, and apply interpersonal skills as they identify protective responses; and
- apply critical thinking skills as they assess the impact of different types of bullying or harassment on others, and identify ways of preventing or resolving such incidents.
Teacher Lead Discussion
Discuss the term vulnerability and how individuals could potentially be vulnerable on the Internet or on social media sites and apps. Have students identify what social media sites and apps youth their age use. Have students share suggestions on risks as well as ways to protect themselves.
Teacher observation of students’ prior knowledge of social media sites, apps and Internet technology
Examine the completed Student Resource: Internet Inventory and identify where each student could be potentially vulnerable on the Internet.
Using Student Resource: Profiles and Supports, have students read the list of emails and chat room topics and indicate which would appeal to them and which would not.
Note: In this game the girls were cheerleaders and were interested in modelling. What would you be interested in? (e.g., sports, dance, cars, etc.) Would someone be able to determine your areas of interest just from your profile and information that is accessible online?
Small Group Discussion
Have students share in small groups what they wrote on Student Resource: Cyber Organizer in the positive and negative section. Discuss the unsafe cyber practices the girls demonstrated during the game. What was it that made these girls vulnerable, and how could someone have access to their cyber chats?
Looking for Help
In real life the girls looked for help from a variety of sources. In small groups, have students read the stories found in the Behind the Headlines module, and record the individuals they went to for support and the responses that they received. Have students identify what/who makes a quality source of support.
Teacher observation of students' demonstrated application of interpersonal skills as they describe benefits and dangers, for themselves and others that are associated with the use of computers and other technologies using Student Resource: Profiles and Supports
On Student Resource: Cyber Organizer, have students list the people, resources and/or supports that are available to assist someone experiencing cyberharassment or difficulties online in the school and community. Have students refer to their completed Student Resource: Dealing with Cyberharassment from Lesson 1.
Teacher observation of students demonstrated application of interpersonal skills as they describe benefits and dangers, for themselves and others, that are associated with the use of computers and other technologies, and identify protective responses; and students application of critical thinking skills as they assess the impact of different types of bullying or harassment on others, and identify ways of preventing or resolving such incidents using Student Resource: Cyber Organizer
Gathering and Evaluating Information from a Website
Have students discuss how they can tell if a website or email is authentic and how they can tell if the information on a website is accurate and credible. Discuss with students some of the sites they have recently searched for information and why they chose those sites.
Does Mirror Image work as an Internet safety tool?
Mirror Image is fun to play - but does it work as an Internet safety tool? That was the question posed by researchers at the University of Lethbridge. They found that students designed more guidelines for their Internet behavior after playing Mirror Image.
Researchers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge were curious to know whether computer games are an effective tool to communicate ideas about risky behavior, ideas that youth might otherwise ignore.
During the 2004 school year, researchers conducted an evaluation of the Mirror Image game with 500 students from schools in Canada, the United States and Australia. Students filled in an Internet Safety Plan before and after playing Mirror Image. The completed surveys were analyzed to see whether there was a significant increase in safety ideas in three areas. The research from the University of Lethbridge has shown that:
- there was an increase in the guidelines students had for their personal protection. The most dramatic gains were made in the number of students who realized they should not send photographs of themselves over the Internet.
- the researchers noted a dramatic increase in the guidelines for protecting the family computer, as students recognized the importance of using filtering software and controlling webcam use.
- perhaps the most gratifying result was a significant rise in the number of students who wrote that they would talk to their parents/guardians or a police officer if they ran into difficulties online.
As a next step, have students develop and sign an Internet Safety Plan. This will help students to remember what they have learned from the experience.
Be aware that the content in the Behind the Headlines story is factual and references are made to sexual conduct. Appropriate pre-teaching should take place, and teachers should check with school board guidelines around addressing this issue.