May 25

Cyberbullying – Being Mean Online

Lower Grades Digital Citizenship Lesson for the week of June 1st

When friends or classmates are mean at school, we know what that looks like…

  • making fun of how you look or what you wear
  • not letting you play with them
  • spreading rumours or lies about you that aren’t true
  • sharing personal information about you (gossip) to hurt your feelings or embarass you
  • insult you for how good or not good you are at something

We also know how bad that kind of meanness makes us feel…

 

Even though the internet can be a super fun place to spend our time, the same kind of meanness and bullying can happen when we are there too.  CYBERBULLYING is what you call bullying or meanness that is online.

The way it looks online is…

  • being mean to other players in a video game
  • posting rude comments on other people’s  webpages, photos, or videos
  • posting and sharing embarrassing or mean photos of someone online
  • excluding someone from participating online

These things make us feel just like we did with real life bullying…

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes people are meaner online than in real life, because if you were with the person in real life, they would be able to see how bad you felt about their behaviour.  Online they aren’t seeing how you are reacting to what you they are saying (example crying), and that makes people think less about the impact of what they are doing.

Here is a short video that shows an example of cyberbullying and what you can do about it.

In the video the girl talks to her parents who talks to her teachers and they put an end to the cyberbullying.  It is really important to tell a trusted adult about cyberbullying if it is happening to you.  They can help you to figure out what to do about it and how to stop it.

Another way to be a great digital citizen online is to stand up to cyberbullying when you see it happening to someone else.  This is called being an UPSTANDER.   Tell your friend who is being bullied how great you think they are.  Tell the bully that mean comments are unwelcome.  Or tell a trusted adult about your friend being bullied.

And finally, there are buttons on websites that say BLOCK and REPORT ABUSE.

    • BLOCK means that you have the ability to block somebody from being able to see or comment on your account.
    • REPORT ABUSE is a way to tell the website or game owner that someone is misbehaving on the site.

Never use these buttons as a joke because they are permanent and can’t be undone.

Now you know how you can stand up to cyberbullying and be a great digital citizen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

In the comments on this page, write about a time that you experienced cyberbullying or saw it happen to someone else.  If you haven’t seen examples of this, write about one thing you will do if it happens to you or to a friend.

 

May 19

Media Violence and Reality

Part 1 – Movies versus real life

 

In a superhero movie, you often see the superhero killing or hurting the bad guys and you feel happy about it.  Your good guy is winning the fight or saving the world, right?  But if the movie was real life, what would happen if a good guy hurt or killed a bunch of people (even if they were bad!)  Would the good guy get arrested?  Would he have to go to court?  Maybe go to jail?  How would he feel about what he had done?

Movies, tv shows, and video games do a really good job of helping us to forget about the real world for a little while by telling us an exciting story.  But it is easy to forget that the way violence happens in the media isn’t the way violence happens in real life.  In real life, the consequences of violence are very serious!!

In school, if we pretend to be Spider-man and punch our friend because we are pretending he is Venom, what would happen to us?  How much trouble would we be in, from our parents and our teachers?

QUESTIONS – Choose just ONE to answer in the comments on this blog page

1.In video games you are often shooting or fighting other players to try to defeat them.  This is how you win the game.

What would happen if you used violence to win something in real life?

2. Every action movie seems to have have a crazy car chase, car explosion, or car crash scene.  

In real life what would happen if there was a big crash like this on the road or highway?  

3. In superhero movies the hero always kills a whole lot of villains and bad guys.  

In real life what would happen to someone who did these things?

4. In video games and movies when people get shot or injured they bounce right back and keep fighting.  

In real life what happens if you get seriously hurt?

Part 2 – Violence and Our Feelings

Here is a very violent scene from a movie you’ve all probably seen, Beauty and the Beast.

Watch this scene and then pay close attention to how it makes you FEEL.  Does it make your chest get tight?  Your heart race fast?  Your stomach turn?  Did you close your eyes?  All of these feelings and reactions are your body feeling stress from what you are seeing, and it is important that we learn to notice these kinds of feelings.  I know that watching things that are violent make me nervous and it’s hard for me to sleep at night when I watch them, so I avoid them.  That is an easy solution.  Another solution is to remember that what we are seeing in movies, tv, and video games is not real.  That can be very reassuring to remember.  The people are actors.  Writers have written everything that happens in the story.  In this clip Gaston and the Beast are just drawings made by artists.

If something that you’ve seen really bothers you, always talk to your parents about it.  They can have helpful advice for handling those feelings.

Next time you notice violence in media, remember that it is made to entertain people but is a far cry from how things are done or should be done in the real world.  It is important that we always use our words and not our fists to solve problems in the real world.

 

May 11

Remembering to be a Digital Citizen While Gaming

By now you are all amazing digital citizens when you’re online; you protect your private information, you don’t post mean comments on other people’s blogs, photos, or videos.  You are careful about the websites you visit and you balance your time online.  Now let me ask you this…

Do you remember to be a good digital citizen while you’re gaming?

What I mean by that is, when you are playing a game online like Roblox, Fortnite, or other games where you interact with other players online, are you remembering your online safety and digital citizenship rules?

Scenario 1:

You are playing a game in which players can chat with one another and you make a new friend.  This friend starts asking you personal questions like ‘what school do you go to?’ and ‘what’s your address?’

What do you do?

Answer:  It is great to make new friends online, but we still need to make sure and always protect our personal information.  Don’t tell strangers where you live, what school you go to, personal passwords, your full name, etc…  It is never safe to share this kind of information online.

Scenario 2:

During a game you notice one character won’t leave you alone.  They are continuously attacking your player or making rude comments to you in chat.  You really want to be mean back but you are afraid to get reported and blocked.

What do you do?

Answer: Don’t retaliate (i.e. be rude back.)  Just report the players behaviour to the game and show your parents or teachers.  These kind of players will end up getting blocked (kicked-out permanently) from the game.  Better them and not you.  After reporting them, log out for a while and try again later.

Scenario 3:

You have been playing a game for over an hour and you still can’t beat a certain level.  You notice your anger level spiking really high.  Your little brother keeps coming in your room and distracting you and you want to yell at him because it’s his fault you can’t beat the level.

What do you do?

Answer:  It is important that we notice how our emotions are being affected by the games we are playing.  If we are starting to feel angry, frustrated, rageful, and irritated, that is an indication that you have played long enough.  That is your body’s way of telling you you’ve had enough screen time.  Turn off the device and go outside to play if you can.  Nothing clears away those bad feelings faster than fresh air.  And bring your little brother with you to play!  He was only bothering you because he wanted a bit of attention too!  When next you play the game you will be playing with a clear head and have a much better chance of beating that level.

Here is a video where you can see some of these online scenarios in play.

Your assignment:

Play a video game (Yes, you heard right.  Make sure you have permission of course!)  While you play, notice and write down a few examples of some of the positive and some of the negative interactions you have with other players.  If your game doesn’t involve other players online, just write down some positive or negative feelings you experience while playing (having fun, getting frustrated, fighting with your brother etc…)  Then you will post your observations in the comments on this page.  It will be interesting to see what we all experience.