Monthly Archives: March 2009

Can you hack it??

Print these activity sheets so students can learn that computers and electronic files are property and explore the reasons for, consequences, and ethics of teen hacking.

Lesson 1

  • Distribute Activity Sheet 1.
  • Have students read and complete the page individually or in small groups. NOTE: Postpone discussion until students have read and completed Activity Sheet 2.

Lesson 2

  • Distribute Activity Sheet 2 and have students read and discuss all except the activity.
  • Then have students revisit Activity Sheet 1 and make changes or additions.

Lesson 3

  • Conduct the activity on Activity Sheet 2.
  • Explain that “peer court” is a way of keeping first-time juvenile offenders out of the juvenile justice system. It focuses less on the law and how teens broke it and more on the rights and wrongs of a person’s actions. (Make sure students understand that teens who take this alternative route must first acknowledge that they broke the law.) Peer court roles are taken by volunteer high school students, except for that of the judge, who is a real judge. Members of the jury are permitted to question the defendants and others. Sentences cannot include jail time or fines, but may include writing assignments (such as letters of apology or research), restitution, attendance at workshops or counseling sessions, home restrictions, and community service.
  • Make sure each student has a role in the mock peer court and then conduct the role play. Remind students to focus on the ethical decisions made by the defendants.

Considering Copying??

Print enough of these 3 activity sheets so students can consider possible ways to copy others’ works using the Internet and learn that many forms of copying are illegal or unethical.

Lesson 1

  • Have one student cut apart Activity Sheet 1 and place the slips of paper in the paper bag.
  • Group students in pairs. Allow each pair to draw a slip of paper from the bag and discuss the situation described.
  • Invite one pair of students at a time to role play the situation described. One student plays the person described and the other plays the creator of the work being copied. NOTE: Postpone discussion until students have read and applied the information on Activity Sheet 2 and 3.

Lesson 2

  • Distribute Activity Sheet 2 and 3.
  • Tell students that many Web sites have copyright notices explaining who owns the material and (sometimes) how it can be used.
  • Explain that some artistic works are in the public domain. Public domain works include government documents and works whose copyright has run out. Such works are available for use by anyone.

Lesson 3
Have students revisit the situations on their slips of paper and revise their role play to reflect the information on Activity Sheet 2 and 3. Guide students to consider the following:

  • Copying photos, animations, greeting cards: These are all copyrighted works and should not be displayed on a personal site without obtaining permission.
  • Copying photos and paragraphs of text for a school report: School reports are considered fair use, but the creators should be credited.
  • Copying and rearranging paragraphs of text for a school report: Rearranging copied paragraphs is plagiarism, unless credit is given to each source. If the intent was to make it the student’s work, then the ideas would have to be put in the student’s own words.
  • Copying passwords to enter systems without permission or paying: This is illegal.
  • Copying and selling music files: In all cases these works are copyrighted and the creators may have not given permission to copy them.
  • Copying and giving away software: The software creator is being denied a right to earn a living because the friend would otherwise have to purchase the word processor. This is illegal. Software typically comes with information about the purposes for which copies can be made.
  • Copying movies for personal use: Movies are copyrighted works. By not paying to see the movie, you are denying the creators a right to earn a living.

Terrible Texting: cyberbullying on im and text messaging


Some teens say and do terrible things to each other online because they don’t see the direct effects of their actions. So what should you do if you’re cyberbullied? Watch this video and follow up with this activity.

Stuff to Know

  • Never respond to harassing or rude comments
  • Save or print the evidence
  • Talk to your parents or guardian if you are harassed and get help reporting this to your ISP, school, or local law enforcement if you feel threatened
  • Respect others online
  • Only share your password with your parent or guardian
  • Change your passwords often
  • Password protect your cell phone
  • Use privacy settings to block unwanted messages
  • Think before posting or sending photos – they could be used to hurt you
  • Contact the site administrator if someone creates a social networking page in your name

Social Networking: Post to be private



Setting your page to private is smart, and a step in the right direction — but who’s on your friends list? Don’t give just anyone access to your world. Watch this video about social networking. Use these activity cards to follow up the video.

Stuff to Know

  • Keep your personal information private
  • Only add friends you know in real life
  • Set your page and blog to private
  • Use a nickname that doesn’t identify your location, gender, or age
  • Never meet in person with anyone you have first met online
  • Alter your pictures before you post them to remove identifying information
  • Profile and photo share only with people on your friends list
  • Don’t post your plans or whereabouts on your site
  • Ignore harassing or rude comments posted on your profile
  • Think about the possible consequences of the information and photos you post
  • Never post sexually provocative photos