26.03.2019
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Securing the online world for teenagers

Nowadays, technologies are deeply rooted in the everyday lives of not only youth but adults as well. It is absolutely senseless to restrict using mobile phones and tablets in the lesson. However, what we, teachers, can do is to limit and direct the technologies exploitation within the classroom and warn our students of possible dangers. In this article, we suggest ideas on how to warn teen students against possible dangers that technologies might imply and how to demonstrate the beneficial exploitation of technologies

What should teachers do?

Be a good role model. Don’t surf the Internet excessively every free minute between the lessons. Promote live communication. Moreover, students can follow you in social networks, so it is better not to post edgy or defamatory content.

Integrate educational discussion boards relating to technologies in your routine. There is a significant number of debatable topics that are worth discussing during the English lessons. Some of them are provocative societies in social networks, bullying, discrimination, online payments, and many others.

  • Some time ago societies, such as ‘Blue whale’, stimulating teens to suicide and harming themselves emerged in social networks. It could be a good idea to discuss them in the lesson and to bring matters to a head that a teenager can always ask for assistance if someone is pushing them to do things they don’t want to do.
  • A lot of young people don’t understand the consequences and power of their words on the Internet. In this way, bullying appears. To prevent it, a teacher can show an educational video or a short film, such as ‘Strain’, ‘Hey’ or ‘I’m truly sorry’, discussing the reasons and the results of such behaviour. Here you can watch the video about how to work with video unusually. Students can think of ways to prevent bullying among people of their age.
  • It is hard for an inexperienced adolescent to identify fraud on the Internet. Include this topic while discussing shopping or modern technologies. Do not underestimate their value in books. img Skyteach
  • One of the 21st-century skills is Citizenship. Teens should be aware that every person should have equal rights. Discuss stereotypes relating to nationalities and genders and bring in the idea of equality to students’ heads. Get more ideas here.

Negotiate. It is absolutely senseless to forbid using mobile phones and tablets during the lesson. In case the lesson is not very interesting for a teen, he or she will always try to be on the phone. What teachers can do is to make an agreement. First, students work hard and do the activities suggested by the teacher, and they can use mobile phones if they need to look the word up or add it to their vocabulary list. If students follow the rules, they are to be praised with such a bonus that might seem attractive to them. You can read more about class management in our article.

Get to know how teenagers use technologies. Probably, they can use the technologies in a different way than we (adults) do. The simplest way to know that is to ask and discuss. Teens like using Instagram*, VK, Tik Tok, etc. and the least that teachers could do is to find out what this social network is related to and how it can be used during the lessons.

And the most important: get the most use of technologies to demonstrate teens how technologies can be used safely and in educational purposes. Thus, implement technologies in your classes:

  • For example, ask a student to show the last photo or video from stories of an Instagram* blogger they are subscribed to and to describe why they like it and what they consider particularly interesting for them.
  • Suggest students create a video on Tik Tok in groups and pairs and suggest them to share an opinion about these videos in English.
  • Challenge students making posts on Instagram* or VK in English every day during the week. Let them share what they do, visit, eat, drink or think.
  • Let students film their typical day and create a 3-5 minute video. A student can comment on what he or she does in the video in English, or do it in class during video demonstration. Set the minimum word limit. You can start every lesson with one-two video dairies of students. With the help of this activity, you will not only engage in English learning but establish closer relations in the class and build rapport.
  • Create a video guide for your city. In case you have a topic ‘Travelling’, “Motherland’, ‘Great Britain” or a similar one, it could be interesting for students to present different attractions of their city to tourists. Suggest them using unusual place and present it in the most attractive way. Probably, the students have seen different travel shows, e.g Basic vs Baller, so that they know what format they can stick to.
  • Suggest them installing different educational apps. For example, LingvoScreen app. In case a student wants to unblock their phone, they should choose the correct translation of the word. In this way, key vocabulary will be studied much quicker 🙂

In other words, demonstrate that technologies can be used not only as entertainment but in educational purposes as well.

*Instagram belongs to Meta Platforms Inc., whose activities are recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation.

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