Tag Archives: digital citizenship

Cyberbullying – Teach Awareness and Responses

As educators, we strive to promote a climate of respect. Bullying behavior is evident on the playground, but it is more difficult to detect and respond to when it takes place online. In addition, students need to recognize cyberbullying. They need to know when the line is crossed and a joke or teasing has gone too far. The first step is to build an awareness of cyberbullying. Next, students should know what they can do and who they can go to for help if they are a victim. Promote a community of responsible digital citizens in the classroom.

What Is a Cyberbully?

cyberbullyingCyberbullies are people who threaten another person by using the Internet to post hurtful or embarrassing messages, images, or videos. Cyberbullies can make a person feel scared, worried, or angry.

Often a bully will say that the message “was just a joke.” Cyberbullying is NO JOKING MATTER and it is NOT FUNNY.

Cyberbullying is illegal. In some countries cyberbullying is a hate crime that can result in a fine or jail time. In other countries, cyberbullying is slander and a lawsuit can be filed against the bully. At some schools, cyberbullying is a reason for expulsion or cause to ban use of Internet at school.

Do Not Be a Cyberbully

Be a responsible digital citizen. Do not be a bully!

  • Do not continue to e-mail someone after they have asked you to stop.
  • Do not post any comments online, using e-mail, chat, or social media sites, which would be hurtful or embarrassing to another person.
  • Do not threaten anyone using e-mail, chat, or social media sites.
  • Do not post or tag a picture of anyone without their consent.
  • Do not share personal information about another person without their consent.

What Should You Do if You are a Victim of Cyberbullying?

When you are bullied it can make you feel worried or scared. Do not ignore the problem. You can stop cyberbullying. To do this:

  • Tell an adult about the bullying.
  • Do not delete the message from the bully. It is evidence.
  • Inform your Internet service provider. They can help find the identity of the bully.
  • If a message contains a death threat or threat to cause bodily harm, contact the police.

What Can You Do to Stop Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying can be done using e-mail, instant messaging, bulletin boards, websites, polling booths, and more.

  • E-Mail: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using e-mail. Often the cyberbully will register for a free e-mail account so no one will be able to guess their identity. They may register for an e-mail address that has a threatening tone such as kickname@live.ca.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the e-mail address of the sender to a blocked e-mail list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. It is possible to trace the source of an e-mail. You can contact the Internet service provider of the e-mail account to try to get the company to delete the e-mail address of the cyberbully.

  • Instant Messaging: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using chat software. Often the cyberbully will change their nickname to include a nasty message such as “Name is ugly” or ” I hate name.” Everyone who receives an instant message from the cyberbully will be able to read the mean nickname.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the contact information of the sender to a blocked list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. If the cyberbully is a student, you can contact their parent or teacher to let them know about the abuse.

  • Bulletin Boards: Cyberbullies post hateful messages to a bulletin board that people can read. The messages often include the victim’s telephone number or e-mail address to get other people to abuse the person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Contact the manager of the bulletin board. The manager can delete the hateful message and stop the cyberbully from posting any new messages.

  • Websites: Cyberbullies create web pages that have mean pictures or hateful information about another person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Most Internet service providers have rules about the content of websites. When cyberbullies create hateful web pages they are breaking the rules. The Internet service provider can request that the bully remove the content on the web page or delete the website.

  • Polling Booths: Cyberbullies post online surveys where people vote for the ugliest, fattest, dumbest boy or girl.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Polling booths are often part of a service offered by an online social community. Most communities have rules about the content members can post. When cyberbullies create hateful polls they are breaking the rules. The operator of the social community can request that the bully remove the poll or delete their member account.

  • Imposter: Cyberbullies will hack into the victim’s account. As an imposter, they will send fake e-mails or post rude comments.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Protect your identity. To do this, create a password that is difficult to guess. Do not tell your password to anyone, except your parent or teacher. Always log out when you leave a computer. If someone hacks into your account, change your password right away.

For more Internet activities and digital citizenship lessons, see TechnoKids’ technology project TechnoInternet.

Updated Internet Activities for Kids

NOTE: The technology project, TechnoJourney was replaced with TechnoInternet. The activities are similar.

Internet Activities for Kids

TechnoJourney internet activities

TechnoJourney internet activities have been recently revised, with new and improved lessons for elementary and middle school grades. The Internet is constantly changing and so are TechnoKids projects! TechnoJourney is a fun introduction to the Internet and it has just been completely updated. Have your students become Internet savvy with TechnoKids authentic online experiences.

Teachers, do your technology curriculum objectives include any of the following?

internet activities

  • internet safety
  • digital citizenship
  • research skills
  • copyright awareness
  • cyberbullying
  • e-mail etiquette

TechnoJourney teaches these concepts and more with fun, engaging activities. Students travel the Internet with a passport in hand. Choose a destination: Visitor’s Center, e-Library, e-Media Center, e-Playground, e-Mail Depot, or e-Cafe. At each stop students explore the sites, complete activities, and receive a stamp in their passport. This online expedition allows students to discover the wonders online as they learn the importance of responsible digital citizenship.

TechnoJourney internet activities

Learning objectives achieved in TechnoJourney internet activities include:
  1. demonstrate responsible, ethical, and safe behavior
  2. use search strategies to locate online resources
  3. bookmark web pages and organize them in a folder
  4. assess trustworthiness of web-based information
  5. watch educational and entertaining videos
  6. play online games, listen to music, view webcams
  7. communicate with e-mail using netiquette
  8. prevent cyberbullying
  9. communicate using chat
  10. evaluate forms of social media

internet activitiesWhen you order TechnoJourney you receive a teacher guide, digital student worksheets, and customizable resources. Additional materials such as an Internet map, Internet passport, Internet citizenship card, assessment tools, and enrichment activities support learning.

Transform your students into Internet experts with TechnoJourney internet activities!

New Product Release for Google Apps

Teachers using G Suite for Education will be excited to know that another project in the new series has just been introduced by TechnoKids. Following TechnoQuestionnaire, TechnoTimeline, and TechnoMap, the fourth all-new project is TechnoDebate. This project is a unique approach to exploring a controversial issue. Student partners collaborate to simultaneously work on a digital document arguing two sides of a topic. TechnoDebate develops critical thinking skills, persuasive writing techniques, and an appreciation of multiple viewpoints.

Use Google Slides to Make an Animated Debate

Using clip art characters and callout bubbles, each debater states a resolution, presents a constructive speech, delivers a counter argument in a rebuttal, and summarizes their position. Cross-examination is done at the end of the debate by audience members using the commenting feature. Optional extension activities are included for participants to cross-examine opponents and for a judge to select a winner.

Digital debate using Google Slides

Use Google Apps to hold a digital debate

Technology Integration Ideas

TechnoDebate integrates into curriculum. Students can debate on a wide range of topics. Teachers can include project activities as part of a social studies, language arts, history, or science unit. Suggestions include:

  • Citizenship Debate: Care about where you live. What does your community require? How can you help people in need? What action will improve the quality of life for others?
  • Democracy Debate: Become a stakeholder and state your perspective. Should a law pass? Is a rule fair? Should development proceed? Who should pay for an initiative?
  • Ethical Debate: Analyze a moral dilemma to understand diversity in values and beliefs. Is an action right or wrong? Are you for or against an issue? Are the motives of people good or bad? Is a decision justified or unwarranted? Is it helpful or harmful?
  • Advocacy Debate: Highlight a problem with the status quo. Why is there a need for change? What makes the current situation unacceptable?
  • Proposal Debate: Determine which course of action is the best. Why is Plan A better than Plan B? What are the advantages to a new plan? Why is the current system ineffective?
  • Literature Debate: Discuss events that happened in a story. Was the decision made by a character right? Did the character deserve to win? Were the actions of a character fair? What choice should a character make? Should a character have done that action?
  • Historical Debate: Think like a historian. Investigate a time in history to gain a better understanding of the people and events. What evidence suggests current understanding of a historical event is wrong? Was a historical decision fair to all stakeholders? What would a significant person say in a debate about an issue during their time?
  • Environmental Stewardship Debate: Discover the balance between human needs and the sustainability of the environment. Is economic growth or nature more important? How should humans adjust their behavior to protect the environment? Who should have access to natural resources? What needs to change to protect the environment for future generations?

Public Debate Format

In TechnoDebate, students learn how to structure a debate. The student workbook includes illustrated, step-by-step instructions to:

Create a debate using Google Slides

  1. Take a stand: Each side will state their position on the topic. This statement is called a resolution.
  2. Present a persuasive argument: Each side will build their case by presenting three arguments using evidence such as statistics, expert opinion, or observations to support their ideas. This is called a constructive speech.
  3. Prepare a rebuttal: Each side will examine the arguments made by the opposition to find weaknesses. They will explain why the ideas presented by their opponent are flawed. This is called a rebuttal.
  4. Summarize ideas: Each side will summarize their main points and emphasis why their position is correct. The summary should make an appeal to the audience.
  5. Invite audience participation: The presentation will be shared with audience members. The audience will ask questions to which the debaters will respond to defend their position. This is called a cross-examination or crossfire.
  6. Judge debate (optional): The teacher, panel of peers, or audience members will determine which side presented the strongest arguments and were the most persuasive.

Sample Debates Included

To engage student interest and to provide an example of a completed debate, samples are included in the project resources.

How to Create a Leadership Photostory

This blog explains the seven steps to producing a Photostory about leadership. A Photostory shares a message using only images. The individual images are sequenced together to produce a video. A Photostory can be time consuming to complete. You should allocate roughly eight classes.

Why a Leadership Photostory?

This year the school launched a leadership initiative based on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. To help students learn more about the habits the Grade 2 students created a Photostory. In each photo, a student held a sign they had created to promote leadership. These images were sequenced into a video that played on the television screen in the front foyer of the school.

leadership signs

Grade 2 students create signs based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students

The goal of the project was to have students gain a deeper understanding of the 7 habits while applying effective leadership skills. The diversity in activities made it possible to interweave each of the seven habits into learning. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students are:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

How to Create a Photostory

Creating a Photostory is a student-driven activity. Students collaborate to learn how to use technology, plan the content of the Photostory, create signs, take photos, select the best shot, produce the final video, and acknowledge the contribution of others. If time is limited, you can make the activity more teacher-directed, however that will reduce some of the learning. Here are the seven steps:

  1. Photography Practice
  2. Planning Meeting
  3. Leadership Sign Creation
  4. Photo Shoot
  5. Select Best Shot
  6. Produce Photostory
  7. Share PhotoStories about Leadership

Step 1: Photography Practice (1 class)


Students learn how to use cameras to take high quality photos.

You need to teach your students how to responsibly handle camera equipment and capture photographs. Here are some lesson suggestions:

  • Tripods: To ensure the safety of the school’s camera equipment, inexpensive tripods can be purchased from a local discount store (for only $10). Often inexpensive tripods are not very tall, which makes them the perfect height to mount cameras for use by Grade 2 students. Tripods also add a professional touch to the assignment, encouraging students to recognize the value and significance of the task.
  • Recruit Volunteers: Students will need extra support during this practice activity. Ask a parent to assist during this lesson.
  • Team Up: Students need to be divided into teams. Now is a good time to provide tips for collaboration. Observe how group members interact. If necessary make adjustments now, as teams will be working together for the remainder of the project.
  • Student Driven: Begin the lesson by modelling how to use the cameras. Be clear on your expectations for proper care. Now step back. Give your students a chance to become photographers. Encourage students to direct models (other team members) on how to pose. After several photos are taken, students should switch roles.
  • Celebrate: After class (during a break or at the end of day), transfer images from each camera into a folder. Show students the collection of photos. Everyone will enjoy seeing pictures of themselves and their friends.

Step 2: Planning Meeting (2 classes)


Students have a planning meeting.

Next, schedule time for students to reassemble into teams to plan the content of their leadership message. There are many decisions to make including:

  • Which of the seven habits should we choose for our topic?
  • What unique message can we each create related to the leadership topic?
  • Where is the best location to shoot photos of the leadership signs?
  • Are any props or clothing required to help communicate the leadership message?

TIP: Parent Letter
To help students prepare I sent a letter home informing parents about the Photostory. A request was made to remind students about the props they may need to bring in for the photo shoot. For example, the group that had selected synergize had decided to wear sport team jerseys and bring in trophies they had won. You may also want to send home a parent letter.

Step 3: Leadership Sign Creation (2 classes)


Students create signs.

Each student needs to create a sign with their leadership message. Prior to beginning, have a discussion about design with an emphasis placed on making letters that are easy to read. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Gather Materials: Decide if your students are going to paint, draw, or use the computer to create their signs. Once a decision has been made be sure to gather the necessary materials or schedule computer lab time.
  • Check Spelling: You do not want any spelling mistakes in the signs. Be sure to proofread each student’s sign before they apply paint, start to color, or print.

Step 4: Photo Shoot (1 class)


Student-photographers direct the photo shoot.

Students reassemble into their teams to take photographs of their leadership signs. Taking all the photos in one class can be a challenge. Read these helpful tips:

  • Recruit Volunteers: Have parent volunteers assigned to each group. Since this is a leadership based activity, the majority of decision making and time management strategies should be student-driven. However, having an adult available to assist group members is a good idea. You may want the parent volunteer to carry the equipment to the photo-shoot location to make sure that it is secure during transit. Please note, photos should be taken by student-photographers.
  • Allow Preparation Time: Students may need time to change their clothing or gather props. Allocate time prior to the start of the photo shoot. This will make sure that everyone is prepared.
  • Take More Than One Shot: Have student-photographers take three to four photos of each model. This will allow the person to select the image they like the best.
  • Transfer Photographs to a Shared Folder: Each group needs access to their photos in the following class. Copy the photos from each camera’s memory stick into a group folder that students can easily access.

Step 5: Select Best Shot (1 class)

Although digital cameras allow an image to be previewed, often the screen is too small to determine the quality of the shot. Students need to select the best shot. Either individually or as a group have students view the photos taken during the photo shoot. They can either rename the shot they want to use for the PhotoStory, delete all unwanted shots, or copy the “best shot” to another folder. The shot should:

  • Have a Sign that is Easy to Read: The leadership message should be clear. No letters should be covered.
  • Include a Clear Shot of the Model: The face of the student-model holding the sign should be viewable. It is best if they have a happy expression.
  • Have a Neutral Background: The background should not attract attention. The focus should be on the sign.

Step 6: Produce Photostory (1 class)

Students can use a range of software to sequence images together to produce a photostory. MovieMaker and PhotoStory are two options. For this leadership activity PhotoStory was used. This software was selected because the computers were still using Windows XP (NOTE: Although originally designed for Windows XP, PhotoStory does work on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers) AND because the software has a Motion option that makes it easy to zoom in or out of the leadership message.

How to use PhotoStory:

  1. Open PhotoStory.
  2. Click Begin a new story. Click Next.
  3. Click Import Pictures. Select the pictures for the PhotoStory. Click OK. Click Next.
  4. Click Next again.
  5. Click the first picture. Click Customize Motion.
    1. Click the Specify start and end position of motion checkbox. Resize the box to go around the leadership sign in either the Start or End position.
    2. Set the duration to 8.0 seconds.
    3. leadership sign

      Set the Motion option to focus on the leadership sign.

    4. Click Save.
  6. Click the Go to Next Picture arrow.
  7. Use skills to apply custom motion to EACH picture.
  8. Click Close when finished. Click Next.
  9. Select music or skip this step. Click Next.
  10. Select a save option such as Save your story for playback on your computer. Click Next.
  11. Click View your story to watch the video.
  12. Save the project, then click Exit.

Step 7: Share PhotoStories about Leadership (1 class)

Have students watch each other’s videos about leadership. You may want to discuss the leadership skills required to create the photostory. For example:

  • What strategies did students use to stay on-task
  • How did students stay organized?
  • How did working as a team make the activity easier?

This activity took several weeks to complete. When the videos were complete, a master file was created and played for all students in the school on the television screens in the front foyer.