Cyberbullying, Internet Safety and Netiquette Lesson Plans for High School Students
Digital media has permeated every area of students’ lives, both at home and at school. With the growing use of technology in the classroom has come an increased need for teaching them how to become responsible digital citizens.
Digital citizenship refers to anyone who uses the internet, and other digital technology, in a responsible and appropriate way. Problems arise when students don’t follow basic rules and regulations on internet safety, proper online etiquette (netiquette) or engage in digital bullying (cyberbullying).
Incidents of digital harassment are on the rise with 9% of students in grades 6-12 having experienced cyberbullying. This percentage is even higher among high school students with 15.5% of students (grades 9-12) reporting being electronically bullied in the past year.[i]
Education Helps Raise Awareness
Promoting education and raising awareness are important tools when it comes to the responsible use of educational technology and software in the classroom. Digital harassment, in the form of texting, sexting, instant messaging and social media, often leads to serious changes in a student’s behavior. The effects of persistent cyberbullying include lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, changes in appetite, lack of interest in regular activities and poor performance at school.[ii]
Incorporating cyberbullying, internet safety and netiquette lesson plans into the curriculum is one way to deal with this growing problem. However; this tasks educators with the need to find resources they can use to teach students the do’s and don’ts of online communication.
Simply confiscating student’s cell phones while they are at school and casually monitoring their internet use in the classroom is not enough. Kids can, do and will find ways around these restrictions so teaching them proper internet safety and netiquette techniques is extremely important.
The difficulty many educators face is exploring best practices for using technology in the classroom along with finding ways to seamlessly integrate internet safety presentations and videos into the curriculum.[iii] Lesson plans for cyberbullying should address not only what to do if one of your students has been a victim of online bullying, but also discuss how not to be a bully themselves.
Using Age Appropriate Internet Safety Lesson Plans
It’s important to use age-appropriate lesson plans for elementary, middle school and high school students to successfully engage with your students. How you teach cyberbullying, netiquette and internet safety to a 3rd grader is vastly different from teaching these subjects to a 17-year old high school student.
Sites like Netsmartz, an educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, offers many internet safety lesson plans that you can add to your curriculum. Netsmartz groups their materials into Primary (Ages 5-7), Intermediate (Ages 8-10), Middle School (Ages 11-13) and High School (Ages 14-17) so you can quickly find the perfect digital media lesson plans to use in your classroom.
Engage Students with Peer-Led Education
Placing students in the role of educator is often successful, especially among high school students. Peer-led education draws on the credibility that students have with their classmates. Look for lesson plans that let students take part in online activities and/or watch videos depicting real-world situations. These educational sessions should end with open discussions on how they can avoid similar situations.
Journaling is another great way to learn how to deal with negative online interactions. This allows students to write about and share their own personal internet experiences while learning alternative methods for dealing with their anger other than resorting to online fighting.
Another good tip is to find lesson plans with printable handouts to continue the learning outside the classroom. You can give these materials to your students and encourage them to bring them home and share with their friends, siblings and parents.
Addressing Internet Safety at FETC 2019
The Future of Education Technology Conference has many resources for educators to learn how to deal with some of the digital media issues their students face daily. During the session, “Cyber Safety for You and Your Students” you’ll discover how to teach your students the rules of internet safety to make sure they use technology responsibly, while “Cyber Safety & Digital Citizenship” shows you great ways to help your students deal with current digital technology issues such as social media bullying, textual harassment, sexting, online predators, technology addiction plus more.
FETC 2019 includes many great workshops and sessions focused on internet safety, netiquette and cyberbullying including:
- On Trial: What I Learned About School Law and Cyberbullying
- Doing the Right Thing: Digital Citizenship in 2019
- Future Ready Citizens: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities
- Student Privacy and Intelligent Personal Assistants in Classrooms
- 39 Smart Ways to Use Smartphones in the Classroom
Register today to join us at the Future of Education Technology Conference and learn more!
[i] Facts About Bullying. Stopbullying.gov. Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov/media/facts/index.html.
[ii] Nixon, Charisse L. Current perspectives: the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126576/.
[iii] Cyberbullying Videos to Use in Presentations. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved from https://cyberbullying.org/videos.