Today, I am taking a different spin with my post. This one is all about work. For those of you who are new to my blog, whether here or on Blogger, I am a middle school counselor. I enjoy working with this age and love teaching/informing them of new things. We actually learn from each other. They keep me hip and knowledgeable about the everyday life of our youths.
This past week, I have been going into classes to discuss Cyber Safety. I am going to share with you a modified version of my lesson that I utilize with my special education students. My lessons with them are more on an elementary level. This lesson is presented to them over four class periods, because I want to make sure they fully understand the message I am presenting to them.
Here is an outline of what I present:
- Complete and discuss modified Pretest for Bullying: this is a worksheet to test their prior knowledge.
- Define: repeated, intentional behavior in order to hurt, take advantage, embarrass or inflict harm on someone else. You are deliberately trying to hurt someone and show that you have power over them.
- View Brain Pop Jr. Video on Bullying https://jr.brainpop.com/health/relationships/bullying/
- Review Brain Pop Jr. Quiz orally with the class.
- 4 Main types of Bullying
Physical: hitting, pushing, shoving, damaging property, hiding or stealing something that belongs to someone else, forcing someone to do things they don’t want to do.
Verbal: teasing, taunting, insulting, name-calling, etc…
Relational Aggression or Social Isolation: spreading rumors, refusing to talk to someone, isolating or making someone feel rejected from your group.
Cyber-bullying: the use of technology or electronics to bully someone.
Informing vs. Tattling (Form found here) Adopted from Family Volley
- View Brain Pop Jr. video on Internet Safety https://jr.brainpop.com/health/besafe/internetsafety/
- Review Brain Pop Jr. Quiz orally with the class.
What are some devices used and ways people cyberbully?
- Cell/Smart Phones
- Video game consoles (i.e. Xbox Live)
- Smart Watches
- Social Media
Speaking of Social Media, by a show of hands who has…
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler, Vine, Kik, YouTube, Ooovoo, Yik Yak, Ask.fm, Omegle, Whisper, Pheed. Newer ones like WhatsApp, Among Us, Fort Night and other gaming applications ( You would be surprised with the number of students who have multiple sites at this age).
How many of you have your sites set to private? How many of you realize that just because it is set to private, it is never really private? (Explain and give examples) [Update: Many of these sites are obsolete and new ones are developed each year]
Personal Identifiers- Do not post personal information about yourself or others. Be careful when taking selfies (are you displaying your school logo/ID, background- can it tell where you are located. Be careful about “checking-in” or adding your location. Don’t post too much info. You should never post your full name, address, birth date, phone number, passwords, etc… Anyone can track you.
I do not show the following video to my special needs students, but I do share it with my others. I am adding a link here because I think you will find it very useful. Source: YouTube
Anything you do online is tracked and can be traced
- IP address
- Every keystroke is saved
- Marketing strategy…see advertisements along edge of pages
- Sharing Wi-Fi…this is dangerous…password protect yours
- Sharing Passwords…that’s a no no.
- Review Cyber Smarts slides from Carol Miller (A national recognize school counselor) http://www.themiddleschoolcounselor.com/search/label/Cyber%20Safety
Here is another video I have incorporated into my lesson, but not with my special education students. I end the lesson, with the others, with this video and you will see why. My students love it and its a great way to wrap up my lesson.
I end my lesson with a bingo game for my special education students. Here is a copy of the bingo cards I use. All of the terms are covered throughout the lessons.
Some pointers for parents.
Know what your child is doing online. You are their parents, not their friends. You have a right to monitor EVERYTHING they do. It is for their safety. I preach this to my students all the time and I practiced what I preach. I had total access to my boys social media accounts until they went to college. I still had access, but just chose not to always go through them. I taught them certain values and expectations and expected them to carry through with them.
Now, I’m not a sheltered parent. I know what young people are facing in today’s society. The pressures they are facing each day is incomparable to what we ever experienced.
Talk with your child about the dangers of the internet and show them the correct way to use it. If you allow them to have social media sites, closely monitor their actions. Set boundaries as to what they can and cannot do online. Be willing to listen to them when they present you with a situation.
I was very open and honest with my boys. I told them about experiences I had while in high school and college and how they are making decisions everyday that could affect the rest of their lives. I don’t expect them to be perfect and I know they will make mistakes. But we learn from them and grow.
My hope is for my boys as well as my students to be better prepared when faced with life’s challenges and they know that I am open to talk
to with them about anything. Is it easy? Hell no! It is easier for me to talk with my students at times than with my own. Why? Because they are my babies. My counselor hat goes out the door and mama hat is in full effect because all we want to do is protect our babies, right? As far as my students, I have an open-door policy and I encourage you as parents to do the same. If they are willing to talk, talk with them. If you don’t take the time and push them away, it could be a decision you’ll always regret.
How are you keeping your children cyber safe?