Teachers and others
Are you a teacher? Or do you work with children or young people in another way? Are you taking your share of responsibility for teaching young people about netiquette and privacy?
You Decide is a teaching resource about privacy and digital responsibility for children and young people aged 9 to 18. The objective of the resource is to increase awareness, reflection and knowledge about privacy and the choices young people make when using digital media.
Many dread talking to young people about the use of digital media. Perhaps you think that young people have such a good grasp of it that you don’t have anything to offer? We adults have a responsibility to teach young people about digital judgement, rights and their obligations when using social media. And digital judgement is mostly about ethics and manners. In this respect, even adults without their own digital skills have a lot to offer.
Furthermore, digital judgement is a core component of digital skills, and is concerned with making pupils responsible and safe internet users. This means that all teachers have a duty to talk to their pupils about this. You Decide is a solid support tool that provides you with an excellent basis for teaching pupils or talking to young people about the various issues that surround subjects such as privacy, netiquette and copyright. By learning about rights relating to their own privacy, young people will be better equipped to make good decisions for both themselves and others.
It is also important to remember that adults create friendships together. Through different adults (parents, teachers, daycare staff, nurses, police and others) talking together and agreeing on certain attitudes that we want young people to have, we create a safer and more predictable environment. Young people find it easier to accept rules when everyone else has to follow the same rules. Adults should therefore also talk amongst themselves about these issues in order to act as good instructors and role models, all pulling in the same direction.
The teaching programme consists of articles about relevant subjects, facts, true stories, discussion tasks and films. The videos are linked to various themes and provide a good starting point for stimulating discussion and generating interest among the pupils. The themes addressed include privacy, online violations, digital trails/source criticism and what it means to be social online. You can find all the contents on this website.
Printed pamphlets have also been created in Nynorsk and Bokmål that include the most important parts relating to each topic. These pamphlets can be download or ordered. The pamphlets will be sent free of charge along with posters. Most of the contents of the website is available in Norwegian (both Bokmål and Nynorsk), Sami and English. Pamphlets have also been created for 9-13 year olds in Urdu, Somali and Arabic.
Wide area of application
You Decide is not only for use by teachers in traditional education. The police, youth clubs, health professionals, confirmation course leaders and others also use parts or all of the approach in their work with children and young people. Many parents use it in dialogue with their own children. There is no definitive answer as to how the programme should be used. In some contexts, it’s best to use You Decide in small steps over a longer period of time, while at other times it will be more suitable to work intensively with scheme during periods such as project weeks.
You Decide can also be used during meetings with parents. Many of the assignments and films are well suited to both adults and young people. Conscious and committed parents are important in creating good, safe Internet habits at home.
We have chosen to divide the programme into two parts, one for those aged 9 to 13 and one for those aged 13 to 18. However, this is only a guideline. Different groups of children and young people may be very different, and you must therefore evaluate the assignments in relation to the age group at hand.
Previous surveys have shown a very high level of satisfaction among teachers who have used the training programme in their own classes. Among other things, two out of three teachers replied that they assessed the overall interest of their pupils in the topic to be high or very high. The same number said that to a large or very large extent the material gave rise to discussion and reflection in class. Almost all teachers felt that the programme increased their pupils' knowledge and awareness of privacy issues, and 96% of the teachers stated that they wanted to use the programme again at a later date.
We hope you also think this is a good tool.
Here are some suggestions about how you can use the programme.
Instructions for use of You Decide
There is no separate teacher’s guide or blueprint for how you should use You Decide as part of your teaching. The intention is that you first go through the main article for the relevant subject together with the pupils, and then provide additional facts from the fact boxes and true stories. The films provide a good basis for discussions. When the young people have got to grips with the subject, it can be a good idea to open with discussions around the tasks we have suggested. At the very bottom of each subject page, you will find a glossary of relevant words that may require extra explanation, as well as a review of the most relevant laws and rules in the area.
You can either work through the programme theme by theme or select one theme that is particularly relevant to your group, although we recommend that you start with the theme of privacy, as this serves as a foundation for the remaining themes in the programme. All themes in the programme contain both discussion exercises and individual exercises. This is because some are well suited to discussions in groups, while others are best suited to being thought through in peace and quiet, or for discussions between young people and their parents. We have heard about cases where pupils have got a negative surprise when googling themselves and discovering what other people have published about them online, so consider carefully which tasks you choose to do as a group. Many pupils have also experienced unpleasant things that may difficult to discuss with others in a group, but which it is still important they reflect on. Show caution, but remember that this is an important subject for the pupils to become more familiar with and gain more insight into.
Older pupils teach younger pupils
Some schools have chosen to implement the programme through allowing one year group to teach younger pupils different You Decide themes, for example - upper secondary school pupils teaching lower secondary school pupils. This has worked well because the older pupils learn by teaching while at the same time acting as role models for the younger pupils.
Are you a language teacher?
You Decide has been translated and used in more than 20 countries.
There’s a lot that adults can discuss in relation to this topic. Here are some tips for discussion topics and tasks for parent meetings, theme evenings or just as thinking exercises around key issues relating to children’s privacy and netiquette.
Adults create friendships together
There is an old expression that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. Common attitudes and rules in parental groups and between home and school are extremely important to create a good basis for good digital judgement amongst young people. The more in agreement adults are about the rules, the easier it is to get young people to respect them.
- What do you think it is like in your community with regard to the use of digital media? Do the adults agree they should work towards the same goal?
- What rules does the school have in relation to the use of digital media? What rules do parents of the children in the class have? Do the rules match? Is there agreement amongst the parents about where the boundaries are? (When should children get their first mobile phone, when should they have their own profile on various social media, what are the rules for Internet usage and time spent on social media or computer games...)
- What should our relationship be like - what can adults do to promote friendship, respect and tolerance between young people?
- How can you as an adult contribute to safe and good experiences online together with young people?
- How can we as adults contribute to children being provided with a responsible, safe and healthy attitude towards the Internet?
- How can we as adults be good role models for young people’s Internet usage?
- What can you do if your child is being bullied or is bullying online or via a mobile, or you are a witness to unwanted occurrences on social media?
- Which common rules should we as adults have if we discover something that may be cyber bullying or when something else unpleasant occurs?
- How can you as an adult contribute to young people’s experiences online being a natural topic of conversation at home?
- How can you establish a good balance between young people’s right to a private life online and your own responsibility to ensure safe use of the Internet?
- As someone with teenagers, how can you find a good balance between being a responsible adult while also allowing them independence as they approach adulthood?
Parental involvement to counter hate speech
With work to prevent hate speech and cyberbullying, it is very important that children and young persons do not receive conflicting signals from school and home with regard to what it is OK/not OK to say and do to others on the internet (and elsewhere). Parents and carers are perhaps the most important role models for children and young persons. Children and young persons obtain many of their attitudes and values from the home and research shows that this also includes bullying behaviour. Long-term prevention requires that pupils, teachers, school management and parents are all involved in and agree on what kind of school environment they want both on and offline.
Recommendations on how to involve parents:
- Get the pupils to hold "crash course" in social media for parents
This can have a number of positive effects. Firstly, it is more likely that parents will attend when it is their own children holding the course. Secondly, pupils are likely to know more about social media than their parents and this can help spread knowledge among their parents and thus lead to increased confidence and trust. The pupils will also gain strength as they will feel that their expertise and interests are valued and being taken seriously. Such an approach can also include a section where pupils, teachers and parents jointly reflect on how they should behave towards each other, both on and offline. Guidelines or a "code of conduct" can also be developed together.
- Crises as the basis for long-term action
When crises arise, such as in cases of widespread bullying, and one has the attention of parents, it is important to think long term. To avoid ending up in the same situation in the future, one must not only resolve the specific crisis at hand but also look at how one can work on attitudes and create a positive culture. Something positive can thereby emerge from the "crisis".
- Parental cooperation should be encouraged
In order to create a culture where parents and carers talk among themselves and share responsibility for helping to create a positive school-home cooperation, steps should be taken to ensure that parents can learn from each other. "Inspiration evenings" or "mini courses" in which different parents are responsible for themes and content can be arranged at regular intervals. This provides the conditions for cooperation with parents which helps you to create a positive culture which also makes it easier to work together to solve common challenges.
These recommendations were drafted following a workshop run by the European Parent's Association in which representatives from parent committees across Europe (including Norway) participated.
Source: The European Wergeland Centre
Better class and school environment
The classroom and school environment is characterised by pupils’ social contact online.
- Talk about language online
- Make children aware of considering consequences and that content online may be permanent
- Cooperate with parents: clarify what the child should learn at school and what parents’ responsibilities are
- Be clear that vulnerable children with poor parental oversight are most exposed to harmful Internet usage. As a teacher, you meet all children and have a special responsibility to keep an eye on them.
Source (in Norwegian): Redd barna
Pictures of children online
Parents, schools, nurseries and leisure activities all publish pictures of children and young people online and on social media on a large scale basis.
- Is this free from issues?
- What kind of role models are we when we publish pictures of young people without asking for their consent first?
- Do all staff and parents have the same attitude towards the publication of pictures of children online?
- What challenges can it create if parents have different attitudes to this?
- Where do you think the boundaries should be? (type of content, other people’s children, quantity of pictures, videos...)
- How do you think it feels to speak out if someone has published pictures of your child without asking first?
- How can we as adults contribute to creating good attitudes and online habits amongst young people when it comes to publishing pictures and other personal information?
- Does your school/nursery have a thought through, good approach to the issue? (Have you discussed the issue internally, do you have a good consent form, do you have a conscious attitude in relation to the issue...?)