Cyberspace manners

Focus: Positive online behaviours
VELS: Level 1
Objective: For students to develop an understanding of polite and safe ways of communicating online.

Discussion prompts

  • What are some ways in which we show good manners at home and at school?
  • How can we show good manners when using the internet?

Teaching ideas

Teaching Idea 1:

Role Play Activity – Engage students in simple role plays where they enact situations demonstrating both positive and negative forms of communication. Use these role plays as a stimulus for discussion.

Teaching Idea 2:

Y Chart – As a class or in small groups have students brainstorm what positive communication and manners in the real world look, feel and sound like. Then adapt this to web behaviours.  How can students display manners and positive communication in an online environment?

Teaching Idea 3:

Students explore the concept of cyberspace as a means of communicating with real people within their school.

See: Cyberspace at School

This lesson introduces students to the internet and gives teachers the opportunity to model appropriate communication using technology. The student activity involves students drawing their interpretation of communication online.

Sending Email – Students explore how they can use email to communicate with real people within their school, family, and community.


What’s real?

Focus: What’s real online?
VELS: Level 1
Objective: For students to develop and understanding of the difference between real and fictional content and real people and fictional characters.

Discussion prompts

Bring in a selection of books (picture story books and non-fiction books) about people the students would recognise, such as sportspeople, celebrities or media personalities. Read one or two of the picture story books and discuss the non-fiction books. Which of the characters in these are books real? How do they know?

Teaching ideas

See What is real? on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

This comprehensive unit contains six lessons, all approximately 45 minutes in length. Some of the learning outcomes include:

  • differentiating between real people and fictional characters
  • listing uses of the internet
  • explain that participating online involves interacting with others who may or may not be real.

Protecting my online identity

Focus: My online identity
VELS: Level 1
Objective: For students to develop the understanding that there is a difference between personal information that should be kept private and personal information that is safe to share, and not everyone they meet is trustworthy.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Icon Game

As so many websites now display logos for a wide variety of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it is important that students can recognise and understand these images.

Display the homepage of Carnegie Cyber Academy on a projector screen. See: Carnegie Cyber Academy

Begin by explaining to the students that this site contains activities for students to learn about cybersafety. The site is student-orientated in its design with cartoon animations and bright colours. Looking more closely around the site discuss the elements of the page:

  • links
  • controls to play embedded movies
  • search bar.

Now focus on the social media button in the top left hand corner. 

  • Do students recognise these logos?
  • Are they safe to click?

Now visit: Act Wild

This site, again designed for students has many similarities to Carnegie Cyber Academy.

Can students:

  • identify links
  • recognise Social Media icons?

Going further...

Create a matching game using the logos and names for a range of web services. Once students have learnt which logo corresponds to common social media websites, have students sort these pairs.

  • What are they?
  • Which are OK to click?
  • How old must you be to use these?

Teacher References

Teaching idea 2: Hector’s World 

See: Hector's World

Episode 1 – Details, Details: Students learn that not all information should be shared online.  Lesson plans and supporting material are available.

Episode 2 – Welcome to the Carnival: Students learn that some information is precious or special because it applies just to them.  Students learn that this personal information is valuable and should not be shared online or in real life without a parent or teacher’s permission.

Episode 3 – It’s a Serious Game: Students begin to understand some of the qualities that can be used to assess if a person is trustworthy and to identify situations in which it is wise to turn to a trusted adult for help.

Teaching idea 3: ACMA – Unit of Work – Sharing Personal Information

See Sharing personal information on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

Activities 4–6 on pages 4–5 of this resource focus on sharing information online and who is accessing your information. The previous three lessons in the unit give a good introduction to personal identity and adults you can trust.