Closely associated with intellectual property – but slightly different – is plagiarism.
Cyberbullying may be the area where parents and teachers are most concerned about kids behaving ethically. Though it’s not yet clear if digital media have actually increased how much bullying is going on, there’s no doubt that online bullying can have a much longer lifespan and reach a much larger audience than traditional bullying.
The good news is that many youth who witness bullying do something about it. Sixty-five percent of the students in MediaSmarts’ YCWW survey said that they had done something to help someone who was experiencing online meanness .
Some of the most common ethical decisions youth face online revolve around intellectual property, but teaching kids to respect intellectual property can be particularly challenging because they may not see this as an ethical issue.
You may not realize it, but you have a lot of power when you’re online: you can cheer people up, make them laugh, and help to make your school, your town or even the whole world a better place. The flip side is that what you do can make things worse, too. That’s why you have to think about what you say and do online, and try your best to do the right thing.
Doing the right thing online mostly comes down to the three R’s of respect: respect people’s privacy, respect people’s feelings and respect people’s property.
As the Internet has become more and more central to our lives, our online and offline identities have become less and less separate. Where the Internet was once a place where nobody knew we were dogs and we lived Second Lives as customizable avatars, today we mostly surf the Web as ourselves.
The last few weeks have shed an unprecedented light on the use of digital media to spread and inspire hatred. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the perpetrator in the attacks on Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament buildings, appears to have been motivated in part by exposure to online postings by a self-described member of the Islamic state, and the Federal government has already stated that it intends to create tools to remove online content that promotes the “proliferation of terrorism.”
In this lesson, students consider the importance of the written and unwritten rules that make it possible to learn and play together, online and offline.
In this lesson, students begin by considering one of five scenarios that illustrate unhealthy relationship behaviours relating to digital media: pressuring others to share private content, cyberstalking, harassment and abuse of trust. Students then relate the scenarios to their own experience by brainstorming other examples of these behaviours and voting on which they feel are most relevant to their lives. The teacher then leads a guided discussion on the reasons why unhealthy behaviours may be more common when we communicate through digital media and ways in which they can be avoided or mitigated. Finally, students act out their own scenario in which they portray young people successfully dealing with one of the unhealthy relationship behaviours.
Whether it’s to prepare for the future job market or just to manage the lives they already lead online, young Canadians need to be digitally literate. But what exactly is digital literacy, and how can we ensure that all Canadian youth are learning the digital skills they need?