Activity Five: Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Part I: In Assembly--Rosalind Wiseman

Digital Rights and Responsibilities can be defined as the privileges and rights extended to all digital technology users and the behavioral expectations that come with them. In early January, we were very fortunate to have noted author and educator Rosalind Wiseman spend two days with our faculty, students, and parents. During her time here she shared her insight on a number of topics, including respect, dignity, and conflict resolution. Her presentation to the 7th and 8th grade students, a portion of which is shown below, addresses several aspects of digital rights and responsibilities:

Part II: In Advisory

Rights and Responsibilities often include issues related to acceptable use policies, citing sources, using technology to cheat, and cyberbullying/threatening behavior. While these are all serious issues, Cyberbullying is especially topical given recent events in our community.

Consider the following transcript of an online conversation (adapted from the Ad Council video resource shown below):

Pigtailluvr: Megan, ur a tramp
Catsrcool: (silence)

Pigtailluvr: Ryan told told us that u made out. He said that ur breath smells like garbage. Everybody knows. He almost puked.
Catsrcool: (silence)

Pigtailluvr: He said that ur the most desperate girl he knows, besides ur Mom. How many boyfriends does she have anyway? Lots? Ur make up makes u look like a clown. That zit is huge! Zit face. God ur ugly.

Discussion Questions:
  1. What would you do if you were catsrcool?
  2. How can SEAL work in this situation?
  3. Do you ever hear comments like that?
  4. Who could catsrcool go to? Is that likely to happen?

Part III: At Home--Continued Conversation

Parents also had the opportunity to hear Ms. Wiseman and are encouraged to speak with their children about the issues she raised. As a conversation starter, families may wish to view this clip together:

The National Crime Prevention Council maintains a collection of resources aimed at preventing cyberbullying. Students and parents should visit their site to learn more about how to foster and protect our digital rights.