Term 3 eSmart lesson for 4W centred on the idea of the power of words in the context of the online world. Often when communicating in through an online space like email, games, youtube or social media words can be taken out of context and become hurtful.
Last week 4W students reflected on how they communicated online and considered that while they are enjoying their favourite websites they may encounter messages from other kids that can make them feel angry, hurt, sad, or fearful. Furthermore, they explored ways to handle cyberbullying and how to respond in the face of upsetting language online.
The intent of this lesson was to give an opportunity for students to;
• empathize with those who have received mean and hurtful messages.
• judge what it means to cross the line from harmless to harmful communication online.
• generate solutions for dealing with cyberbullying.
Driven by our essential question ”
What should you do when someone uses mean or scary language on the Internet?”
The first part of the lesson was to watch a commonsense media video called The Power Of Words. A discussion ensued around why the main character was hurt by some of the language used in the chat function of a game he was playing. The main character sort the advice from his older sibling who used the acronym STOP to assist with him dealing with the hurtful language.
Tell a trusted adult
Ok sites first
Pause and think online
The second part of the lesson the students formed small discussion groups and discussed how they would feel if they were Rani and Aruna in the below online conversation.
Part 3 of the lesson, half the students in the class were given a secret note with the sentence “You’re weird” written on it. Once they were in pairs they had to give it to the other person and gauge their reaction. Instantly there was a range of different reactions and we discuss a range of different contexts for which the statement was made. eg It was an ‘in joke’ so the receiver wasn’t offended. or The person was trying to make a joke but the other person didn’t get it. To, the person was being mean and deliberately hurtful. The students quickly realised that those words could be completely taken out of context. 4W students were able to link back to their own experiences especially when using email. Furthermore, we discussed how sometime emojis can be a help but also be a hindrance by clouding the meaning of the message.