Category Archives: Debating issues


This post is dedicated to the “pitfalls” of a shortsighted way of using any social media. Though I am much in favour of the use of technology and the Internet and social networking in the educational field, I see that lots of parents nowadays are worried about their children having free access to the Net.  What are your parents’ worries?  What are the “hidden” perils you can encounter when surfing the net or using social media?  What social media do you access?  Why?  What are the advantages of using certain networks rather than others?  Discuss in pairs and be ready to report your considerations back to the class.

I am firmly convinced that we cannot underestimate the possible dangers we may encounter on the Net, yet I think that if we are trained to think critically (and we are!!!) and we know what being a responsible user of any media implies, then we are left with more advantages than disadvantages and we can undoubtedly benefit from being online.

This is what a high school junior wrote on her blog.  How do you interpret the line in bolt type?  Provide some examples.

Today, we have the world at our fingertips. Literally, with the touch of a fingertip or the click of a mouse, we can be connected to someone from another country, stream live footage to family members, or update friends with pictures and statuses. To say the society we live in is technologically advanced would be an understatement. With everything available to us, it seems as if anyone with opposable thumbs can document, broadcast, and stream just about anything — with smartphone in hand of course. The list of innovations society has crafted is a long one, capping off at the most recent apps and tools available to us on a daily basis. Our ability to interact in this way can be a great thing, as long as that power is used for good and not for evil.

I believe that teenagers should start using social media responsibly, so let’s begin this journey and let’s be in charge of our use of social media so that we can stay safe online.

Watch the following video and say in what way it raises awareness as to the dangers of a wrong use of social media.  Write in your copybook the questions that are posed and be prepared to answer them.

Most people believe that they can have a private life online as long as they configure their privacy settings.  Is that enough? Who can affect your online life? Watch the video and take notes of the things the adult makes the adolescent think of:  he is sure he is safe online, but what is he not aware of?

What are the Dos and Don’ts when using social networks? What do the following images make you think of?

Now watch the following videos and say which one in your opinion is the most effective in raising awareness as to a correct and safe use of social media.  Substantiate your choice. If you were asked to create your own video, what would you add?  What different features would your video have compared to the ones below?

Young people sometimes are capable of uncouth behaviour.  They can use words aimed at victimizing an easy target, generally someone who has low self-esteem, who is emotionally vulnerable and relies a lot on other people’s opinions.  There are teenagers who jumped to their death after being repeatedly bullied by a group of peers, bullying that took place mostly online. Why should individuals mostly of your age and older, harass you through hateful messages on social media outlets?  Why would a teenager ever prod another teenager to “Go jump off of a building?”  Why should ever some teenagers have fun over bullying a peer?  These are questions that myself as an educator find difficult to find an answer to.  Watch the following video and say what you think?  Would it be useful if our school made an awareness video like this or do you think that cyberbullying is not a problem in our school? Our town? Our region? Our country?

On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media outlet, it requires little effort to harass someone. While many of these sites were created for harmless networking and fun, they have instead turned into some of the greatest tools to harm others with.  Why?  Oftentimes, those responsible for misusing social media are not even aware of what they are doing wrong. This is the reason why we’d better equip ourselves with some knowledge about cyberbullying.  The more you learn about it, the more means you give yourself to help others as well as  yourself.

There are many institutions and also personal individuals who do a lot to fight cyberbullying.  Look at the effective videos two students created.  What aspects do you find impactful and useful?




Become a courageous and relentless spokesperson of an ethical use of social media, become an ambassador of Cyber Ethics.

Some social media, such as Tumblr and allow users to send anonymous messages to anyone else with an account. Would you obscure these social networks?  Why (not)?  Some messages include snide remarks and hateful comments aimed towards innocent people. The animosity of the comments makes it very easy for users to be ridiculed, harassed and shamed. How would you confront a cyberbully?  Think of possible questions you would ask a bully?  Think of possible actions that should be taken for the victim and both for and against the cyberbully.

What do these young adults speak up about? They are against cyberbullying and they warn you against it, yet they claim their right to use the Internet in a responsible way.

Teens should stop hiding behind smartphones and plotting to take down their next innocent victims. Bullying is not a joke, whether it takes place in person or behind a keyboard, and it’s time for teens to begin acknowledging that.  So speak up and let everybody hear where you stand.

Creato con Padlet

What does it mean to be a responsible digital citizen of the 21st century?

We will try to find it out together.  You all know of the dangers of a careless use of the Internet, of an improper use of technology.  You also pointed out the advantages of technology and the many chances it offers.  Now it is up to you to investigate further and to deal with the following topics.  Our aim is to establish a culture of proper use of the technology.  After listening to your classmates’ presentations, you will certainly earn the badge of “digital citizen of the year” if you pass the online test!

Let’s play this game first.  Get in groups and with your tablet decide which island you want to visit.  Be prepared to report on what you learnt.  Then say what you think of these games devised to teach kids about Internet safety and of a responsible use of technology.  What would your game be like?  Have you ever thought of inventing a game with a didactic aim?

Along with cyberbullying there are other aspects of online safety  that I think we should investigate together. I would love you to work in groups and deal with these possible pitfalls. Find out what they are and how you can protect yourselves from them. What tips would you give to teenagers to keep away from these online dangers?

  • Sextortion
  • Sexting
  • Tagging
  • Identity Theft
  • Online Predators or Cyberstalking
  • Online grooming
  • Online gaming addiction

What do you think they are? Match the images with the online danger.

Now it is your turn to become an ambassador for online safety.  I would like you to choose an online hazard and to think of the best way to raise awareness as to the problem.  What is it about?  How can you spot the problem?  How can you solve it?  How can you sensitize teenagers to it?  Choose a catchy title, an involving image and a thought-provoking video.  You will have 15 minutes in class to inform your classmates as to the risks and the solutions to the online risk you chose.  If you want you can experiment with the application thinglink yourself or spark adobe or any other application we have used so far.

Click on the following interactive image.  There are different videos and links I posted to help you with your investigation.

I would love to conclude with the Commandments of Computer Ethics and I wish this investigation has helped you in your awareness and knowledge of staying safe online:

Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

  1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
  2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.
  3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people’s files.
  4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
  5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
  6. Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid.
  7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
  8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
  9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write or the system you design.
  10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration of and respect for your fellow humans.

Copyright: Computer Ethics Institute Author: Dr. Ramon C. Barquin

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