My “Kind” of Internet

Facilitate a discussion about being an "upstander" and creating a kinder, more welcoming online community.
Ages 8-10 / 30
min Activity
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Objectives

  • Engage in a conversation about digital citizenship and positive ways to interact with others online
  • Learn about how to be an online "upstander", who speaks up and intervenes when someone is being bullied or treated unkindly

Supporting Research

Digital citizenship is the responsible and ethical use of technology, encompassing online safety, digital literacy, and respect for others in digital spaces. By fostering digital citizenship skills, children are empowered to make informed decisions, respect others’ rights, and create a safer and more positive online environment. This activity aims to cultivate students’ diplomacy, kindness, and collaboration as they discuss behaviors that promote healthy digital spaces.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners

Instructions

  1. Engage students in a conversation about digital citizenship. You might ask:
    • What are some ways that you communicate with others online? (e.g., through messaging apps, social media, video / computer games, etc.)
    • What are some benefits of being able to communicate and interact with others online?
    • Do you think there are any downsides or challenges? Have you ever experienced any of these yourself, or seen them happening?
    • Imagine being part of a healthy, positive online community. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?
    • As a digital citizen, or a person who uses technology to engage with others, how should we act in order to create this healthy, positive online community? What skills should we practice?
  2. Use this Kahoot! game or slideshow to help students learn about being an online “upstander”, who creates a kinder, more welcoming online community. These resources describe different examples of cyberbullying, and suggest actions that students can take in order to speak up and intervene when someone is being bullied or treated unkindly online.

    As you facilitate these lessons, ensure that students are not using “blaming language”, and mentioning specific classmates or people. Instead, redirect them to address the underlying behaviors and actions. For example, instead of saying: “Bob is a cyberbully because he posts embarrassing photos of other people”, redirect students to say: “When I see embarrassing photos of others being posted online, I think they might feel sad or upset, so we should be more careful and considerate of each other.”
  3. Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions:
    • Did our conversation help you learn something new, or consider a different perspective?
    • How can you practice kindness and respect when interacting with others online? Are there specific skills that can help you? 
    • Sometimes, it can be difficult to speak up and intervene when we see others being treated unkindly. What are some ways that you can ask for help, and support others in doing the right thing?

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.