Archive for category Year 4 – Mates are gr8

Year 4 – Mates are Gr8 introduces the concept of ‘Netiquette’


1. CyberBullying
2. Netiquette
3. Email Rules
4. Digital Citizenship
5. What is a ‘search’?
6. Back it up!!

Understanding and Empathy

Habit of Mind Focus #3: Listening with understanding and empathy

When completing these activities and thinking about the concepts, students should put themselves in the shoes of other people.  They should try to understand what it is like to be bullied online, or how someone feels when they receive an email where the text is all capital letters.  They need to understand others, and devote mental energy to another person’s thoughts and ideas and make an effort to perceive another’s point of view and emotions.


According to Tom Wood from The Wood Verdict,

Cyber-bullying is any harassment through technology.
It is unprovoked and unwarranted.
It can be 24/7, compounded by an audience watching, and can be viewed over and over again.

The CyberBullying Research Centre defines CyberBullying as the

willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

Traditional bullying takes place in real time and place – confrontation in the playground or demanding money at the canteen.  CyberBullying takes place anywhere, anytime with any number of methods.  Via the internet, you can be intentionally targeted, or people can write nasty things about you somewhere else for all the world to see.

However, if we all followed this golden rule, things could be much different …

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:31

Click here for types of bullying behaviours.

Teacher DirectedWatch this movie about CyberBullying

Teacher Directed

Ask these questions to get a consensus and general understanding of CyberBullying and how it can be perpetrated:

1. What are some examples of CyberBullying?
2. What are some ways that people are CyberBullied?
3. Why is CyberBullying so hard to stop?
4. Why do people think they can get away with it?
5. How would you feel if you were CyberBullied?



Netiquette is a term used to describe internet (net) etiquette. What is etiquette?  Etiquette are the basic rules that enable people to get along.  you know, being respectful of others’ belongings, using your manners, cleaning up your rubbish, those sorts of things.  Without these rules, society would not function.  Without Netiquette, the internet would be a very nasty place indeed.  This video will help enhance your knowledge of Netiquette.

Here are the 10 Rules of Netiquette according to David Chiles from

  1. Spell check and proof read all written internet communication because errors diminish the credibility of the message.
  2. Do not write in all capital letters because all caps are considered shouting when written on the internet.
  3. Tell the truth online because honesty creates the best online experience. Do not lie in account profiles.
  4. Do not do things online you would not do in reality. Be yourself, you are not anonymous.
  5. Do not flame or respond to flames because personal insults are uncivilized and netiquette is civilised.
  6. Do not spam or follow pop-up and spam links because they can lead to viruses, spyware, and malware.
  7. Be conservative in email you send and liberal in email you receive because quality is better than quantity.
  8. Do not send email at night because normal people sleep at night. You need a break from the computer!
  9. Shop secure sites with Transport Layer Security (TSL) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) because it protects your data.
  10. Use discretion when sharing information online for personal and professional privacy reasons.
(Source: Network Etiquette,

Here is a video of these 10 rules

This video demonstrates why your netiquette needs to be good!


Email Rules

[Email Etiquette @]If you are using email for business or personal use, you always need to follow certain acceptable basics.  Here are some tips for students when using email, based on tips from the NetManners website (

  • Start with a greeting
  • Spell the recipients name correctly and address him / her with the appropriate level of formality.  For example, think of how the language would differ between and email to you friend and an email to the Principal
  • When finished, read the mail back to yourself and fix any errors
  • Use emoticons in personal email to set the tone.  This will ensure people don’t misinterpret your email 🙂
  • Use manners – Please and Thank You
  • Be specific and clear in your communications
  • If you find yourself becoming angry or emotional, walk away from the computer and consider face to face or phone contact
  • DON’T USE ALL CAPS – it is akin to yelling
  • Make sure that the recipient can ready the email.  You don’t need to have fancy fonts on a bright green background
  • If you receive an email by accident, tell the sender and delete without reading
  • Do not forward emails without the knowledge of the sender
  • In a conversation, reply to the previous email so that the email string is kept intact for you reference

This video from explains the inverted pyramid of writing and how it relates to email.  The inverted pyramid has the most important information at the top, so that if a person doesn’t read all the way down, at least they received the most important information.

(Source: Writing Your Way,

Parental Advice   Parents have an important role to play in regards to email use.  Parents need to monitor their children to ensure that they are using the internet correctly and writing appropriate messages to their friends via email.  The Kids Email Toolbar  is a safe email service for kids and families.  Children can have a safe email account while allowing parents to be aware of any correspondence their children send and receive.

Parents can download the Kids Email Toolbar here.


Digital Citizenship

Anyone using the internet is a Digital Citizen.  Let’s break down the term ‘Digital Citizenship’:

Digital – Involving or relating to the use of computer technology

Citizenship – the status of a citizen with rights and duties

Why is digital citizenship important?  Do you want to get the best out of using the internet and keep yourself and others safe and healthy in an online world?

Use these materials to learn what it takes to become a positive digital citizen. 

(Source: Digital Citizenship,

This video helps explain Digital Citizenship:

Digital Citizenship means that you take the societal rules and etiquette that you exercise in real life, and use them on the internet.  Use your manners, be nice and be careful – just like the way you would interact with people in the street or at the beach.  This video explains it well:


What is a ‘search’?

What exactly is a web search?  What happens when you go to Google, type in a word and click ‘Search’?  Watch this video to find out how Google comes up with your search answers:

Google also collects information from your searches to place ads on your search answer page.  Google know that if you do a lot of searches about surfing, you might like to go on a surf trip, buy a surfboard or surf clothes.  So, it will put those types of ads along the side of your search results, and even at the very top, in the hope that you will click on an ad instead, and make them some money.

When using the internet to search for information, you need to use as many sources of information as possible.  Don’t believe the first website you visit.  Why?  How about these reasons:

  • The information may be incorrect
  • The information may be biased and have a certain point of view
  • The source may be unreliable
  • The information may be out of date
  • The source may be purposefully out to deceive
  • The source may be trying to harm you or your computer
The search results at the top of the page are usually the most popular, but are they the most reliable?  Here is an example of two websites with different information.  I wanted to find the Birthday of a professional surfer.  I found two biographies, but they had two different dates:

If I had just believed the website on the left, I would have gathered incorrect information.  Because I checked more than 1 website, I was able to challenge the information to find the correct answer.

Google provides us with some important search tips:

  • Keep it simple but be specific
  • Always use 3 or more sources of information
  • Describe what you need with as few terms as possible
  • Choose descriptive word
  • Every word matters – all will be used
  • Search is always case insensitive (lowercase means the same as UPPERCASE)
  • Punctuation is generally ignored
  • Phrase search (“search words”) – By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change
(Source: Google,

Try highlighting essential words.  Google will usually ignore words like ‘and’, but if they’re essential to your seach then you can highlight them by putting a + sign in front of them.  Using + and – signs, you can also highlight specific words that you do or don’t want to feature in your results.  For example you could search for a recipe for chicken caesar salad without anchovies by typing caesar salad recipe +chicken -anchovies.

(Source: Pocket-lint,

Google also has other innovative search methods. Watch this video and see how students of all abilities can use Google Search:

The following video shows how Google’s special search features, like Google Earth and Google Maps, can lead to amazing discoveries:


Back it up!!

Ever worked really hard on something on your computer, only to lose your work because you forgot save it or you saved it in the wrong place?  Maybe you saved it a USB storage drive, but lost the drive at school.  Maybe your computer crashed and all your music, which was only stored on the computer, was lost forever.  If it hasn’t happened to you yet, believe me, it will one day.  How can we protect our valuable data so that it won’t be lost?  Here are some suggestions:

1. Use the rule of 3.  Have 3 copies of all your work – the original working copy, a backup copy and a backup of the backup

2. DO NOT use a USB stick as the storage device for your one and only copy of an important file.  These devices can get stolen, break or be lost easily.

3. Use a USB stick only for transporting a copy of  a file

4. Your computer is prone to crashing or being stolen.  Don’t store your only copy here – regularly back up to a reliable external hard drive, and create a CD ROM backup of files every month or so.

5. Get into the habit of making multiple copies of the one file when you finish.  Save them in different locations.

6. Cloud storage allows you to save files via the internet, on a server in another part of the world.  There are many free services that allow 1 or 2 gigabytes of storage.  You can also pay money and store all your data in the cloud.

7. If you store data via cloud storage, remember that your files are being managed by another person in another part of the world.  Sensitive data should not be stored via cloud storage.

8. To maintain regular backing up routines, you can use free software such as SyncToy to automatically sync your files to a back up drive


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