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“There’s a lot of information out there about how these apps and games are encouraging people to move more.” When using new technologies like tracking apps or games with students it’s always important to review online safety with students, help students understand online privacy settings, and who may have access to their “tracked” information.Additionally, helping students examine the purpose behind apps collecting personal data and how they are using the data should be part of the conversation.How can you help to foster good digital citizenship?Bullying Awareness and Prevention week is this month (Nov 13-19) and while there continue to be cyberbullying cases in the media, there’s also some good news.
The 2015 H&PE Curriculum includes expectations around online behaviour in the Personal Safety and Injury Prevention component of the Healthy Living strand, in the Human Development and Sexual Health strand and through the Living Skills—the personal, interpersonal and critical and creative thinking skills that are woven throughout the curriculum.
For example, a student with social anxiety can chat with friends online while a student who is gay or questioning their sexuality can find a supportive community of peers.
The Internet can also be a powerful learning tool—whether students are increasing their vocabulary by looking up a word on their e-reader, searching for information online or conducting an Internet search as part of the inquiry process.
“I always tell my students that they shouldn’t be posting anything in chats or direct messages that they wouldn’t say to someone’s face,” adds Brent Gordon, a grade 6 Health and Physical Education (H&PE) teacher at Don Mills Middle School in Toronto. He also regularly reminds his students that they do not have the anonymity online that they think they have, and that online actions have real-world consequences. As we’ve seen in recent high-profile cases of cyberbullying (such as the Amanda Todd case, in which a BC teenager committed suicide following ongoing bullying and cyberbullying) these real world consequences of online behaviour can be devastating.
The dangers posed by online predators are also very real—and students are being exposed to these risks at younger and younger ages.