O7_Cybersecurity recommendations guide

Recommendations handbook and videos from teenagers to teenagers about values and dangers of gaming: Safer Internet Day

Please click the above image to check the provisory version of our handbook

Introducing gamification and mobile technology in educational settings has inherent risks: many teenagers lack digital literacy to make smart choices online and in life.

The focus on social e-gaming is based on its wide popularity among teenagers and the many hidden risks behind e-sports platforms (online predators, scams, cyberbullying, internet addiction…). Taking e-sports and gaming as starting point for wider reflexions made the production of the Cybersecurity handbook a very engaging and successful activity.

Augmented Age of Inventions project is based on the intensive use of mobile technology and a gamified strategy, so we considered as a must the inclusion of a Digital citizenship awareness final product, Cybersecurity handbook: Recommendations from teenagers to teenagers about values and dangers of gaming, based in collaborative work. The building of shared knowledge and experiences can contribute to reduce mobile technology bad outcomes and help the community to provide the skills they need to develop a full citizenship experience in the Digital Age.

So this Cybersecurity handbook: Recommendations from teenagers to teenagers about values and dangers of gaming has been at the first instance a great topic to develop English learning activities, and at the second instance, a valuable Digital citizenship activity enriched by international points of view that can be transferred to everyday practise in our classrooms. It was also a great team building activity that enabled better interactions during the whole week, and better management of the rest of the learning activities because every partner school coordinator and their supporting staff was in charge of each group.

Methodology:

We diagnosed each student’s English skills. Groups were made of 4-6 students, trying to balance local with international students, and good with lesser English skills. Teachers worked collaboratively in international couples, and lead discussions/coached the students, applying Phenomenon Learning methodology.

A first online quiz was sent to participating students to provide the first answers to six different questions related to cybersecurity. A working framework based in Google Slides was provided to each group. The different chapters of the handbook were split among groups in Greece, Poland and Finland.

Technical requirements:

We used both desktop/netbook computers and tablets, according to every partner school technical availability, using each student’s mobiles as secondary resource, and provided a working framework based in Google Slide presentations. The framework included the main points and written instructions to avoid long explanations that would be misunderstood in the case of lesser English performers.

Main findings: 

It’s a must to avoid mixing international with local students. Classroom/learning activity management becomes a very difficult task because students tend to group themselves with their country fellows and misunderstand learning objectives.

Teachers must be set in international teams, to get the most of collaboration and enriched points of view.

In every stage of the handbook making we found that e-sports and gaming are considered as less addictive and risky than social media. Main discussions evolved towards social media, so we focused more on general risks in the digital age.

We found desktop computers and traditional classroom arrangements to be not flexible enough for this kind of assignment. Students tended to move chairs and break groups. Tablets and netbooks proved to be more suitable for this activity.

Huge English skill gaps among group members were solved by providing very clear written instructions in a very structured framework, available teachers in each group and allowing the use of mobiles to help on translations.

Students were able to:

  • Explore the role that digital media plays in their lives.
  • Reflect on the positive and negative impact digital media has on them.
  • Describe the concerns related to access to social media and mobile data, including those related to privacy.
  • Describe the positives and negatives of social interaction in online games
  • Analyze how online disinhibition can cause cyberbullying and brainstorm ways to counter it.
  • Discussed about real digital citizenship cases and issues, boosting their awareness to be a part of a global world with global threats
  • Learn how to effectively deal with cyberbullying.

Teachers were able to:

  • Incorporate digital citizenship lessons into classroom practice
  • Identify the technology skill gaps and provide a solid learning framework
  • Engage with students in debates and discussions about real digital citizenship cases and issues to encourage them to explore and formulate their own opinions on the matter.
  • Encourage students to take care of their own health (ergonomic considerations, the promotion of eye safety) and psychological wellness (prevention of internet addiction) as they engage with the internet.
  • Teach students to protect themselves against such individuals, taking precautions to safeguard their privacy, documents, and computer networks, whether at home or at school.