This section has been developed to help generate discussions about respect, friendship and online conflict including cyberbullying.
Talking to and interacting with others is a key aspect of many of our lives online. This section of the toolkit aims to empower young people to be positive and respectful communicators who are resilient to conflict and know how to respond appropriately when they encounter disagreements. This section also looks at online friendship and encourages young people to treat others with respect and kindness, just as they would do offline. Finally, this section will directly tackle the issue of cyberbullying and provide young people with a range of strategies to respond with if they are the victim of such behaviour.
Using the internet to communicate can offer exciting opportunities for young people, especially if they find face-to-face interactions more challenging. Being able to have a voice and to participate, in a way that they might be excluded from doing so offline, can be a hugely empowering experience for young people with additional needs. We also know the internet can be a great source of support and can provide access to communities of likeminded individuals.
However, not all interactions online will be positive. For young people with SEND, witnessing or being the target of unkind and hateful actions can be particularly hurtful. Furthermore, young people with additional needs may need more support to understand how their own actions online can affect other people. Whilst there is no single way to behave online, it is important to discuss the meaning of respect and why it is necessary. Young people with additional needs can be best supported in this area by exploring appropriate boundaries, discussing access to support and reporting tools and establishing positive rules and expectations.
An introduction and advice for educators on teaching this topic Key vocabulary to share with learners Starting point discussions to introduce key concepts Teaching point activities designed to deliver key messages in a variety of styles A quiz for recap and assessment Ways to revisit and extend the learning A document to share beyond the classroom (with parents, carers and residential staff)
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