Media and technology are at the very center of our lives. Our devices are powerful tools readily available in the palm of our hands that have the ability to educate, empower, entertain, and inspire. But along with great opportunities, they can bring some challenges. AT&T and Common Sense Education have collaborated to create three robust lessons and activities for high school students around cyberbullying, hate speech, and fake news -- and most importantly, how to tackle these issues, use technology for good, and become #LaterHaters ambassadors.
In this self-directed lesson on cyberbullying and digital drama, students explore online resources and learn about different types of thorny situations online. They see examples of both intentional and unintentional forms of cyberbullying and learn that their response can potentially diffuse a situation — or escalate it.
The lesson has five parts and includes examples of specific actions that people take to spread the love and create positive outcomes. The lesson concludes with a short knowledge quiz, a call-to-action to take the #laterhaters pledge, and a PSA-creation activity.
Countering Hate Speech Online
This self-directed lesson explores the topic of online hate speech and guides students to consider some of the reasons for its recent rise (21% increase since 2012, Social Media, Social Life, Common Sense Media, 2018). Students learn about the roles that xenophobia and "recommender" algorithms play, and how counter-speech can be used to take a stand against hateful messaging and cyberbullying.
The lesson is broken into four parts, exploring online resources and activities. It concludes with a short knowledge quiz and prompts students to brainstorm their own ways to take a stand using counter-speech.
Hoaxes and Fakes
This news literacy lesson challenges students to take a deeper look at news stories, and in particular, the videos and images that accompany them. Students learn how advancements in facial recognition and video-editing have made it more difficult to differentiate credible news from hoaxes and misinformation.
In the five parts of this lesson, students explore online resources that show how new technologies work, as well as how to use "lateral reading" to think critically about news. The lesson concludes with a short knowledge-quiz and a reflection on how concerned we should be about the danger of "fake news".