November 24, 2017

Activities in – Raising Student Awareness of Cyber Issues

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

Important !
As of fall 2022, the website is no longer accessible. To learn more about digital citizenship, consult The Little Guide to Being an Ideal Applicant.

The website can be used to, raise students’ awareness of issues related to the use of social media, make them more responsible and basically, equip college level students to use social media. The website covers 4 troublesome situations that may arise when using social media and cyber communication:

  • Cyber bullying
  • Off-line meetings
  • Cyber reputation and right to one’s own image
  • Identity theft

The website has already been the subject of an article in Profweb.

Daniel Bourry, the pedagogical counsellor and IT rep at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal met with teachers of 4 different disciplines to see how they could use in their courses.

In Special Care Counselling

Karine Lavallée, a teacher in Special Care Counselling, sees 2 uses for the website.

Preparation for an internship and entry into the work force

In high school, not all students were made aware of the concept of digital citizenship. The website can provide remedial work for those students as well as the basic knowledge they need to acquire of the risks relating to social media and digital identity.

The website will acquaint students with situations they may meet during their internship. For instance, what impression would a client or future employer get if they consult the student’s Facebook page? Also some internship settings or employers require special care counsellors to have a professional Facebook page that is separate from their personal page.

Even if they were told about the issues at some point in their academic career, students often believe that cyber intimidation, cyber attacks on their digital reputation or even identity theft only happens to others. can be used to remind them to protect their digital identity.

Simulation of an intervention process for a vulnerable person

During their internship, students may have to take action following a drama arising from the use of social media. could equip them to deal with these situations.

Karine Lavallée thought about organising a role-play in class for the course Animation de groupes de clientèles et d’équipes de travail.

Before class, the students must consult in order to be well equipped and prepared for the role-play. Each their turn, they must lead a meeting with a group of vulnerable individuals (young adults with an intellectual disability, clients of a youth homes…) For example; a participant raises a question about the misuse of photos of a sexual nature. The special care counsellor must be able to explain the consequences, guide the participants and provide references. The special care counsellor can even be called upon to help the participants with the settings of their social media accounts and mobile phones to increase security.

In Philosophy

Rémi Laroche, a philosophy teacher, believes that can foster a reflection on identity in the course Philosophie et rationalité.

When he discusses the ideas of David Hume or Clément Rosset, in addition to providing his students with texts to read, Rémi Laroche is considering asking them to:

In groups, the students could then engage in a critical reflection comparing the authors’ theories to the notions of digital identity.

In a French as a second language course for adults in continuing education

Olivier Calonne teaches French to adult immigrant students. could be used for an activity to make students aware of cyber intimidation, which is a socio-cultural reality in Quebec.

Olivier Calonne plans to ask the students to address the situation as if they were parents. Using a project based pedagogy he thought of an activity in 2 steps:

In teams, the students choose one of the 4 troublesome situations described on While assuming the role of parents, they address the topic of “How to speak to our children?”
Then they go online to find advertisements that deal with the theme. How do these ads work? Which ads would heighten awareness and engage young people? Are there cultural differences?
The students create awareness campaigns for young people. For example:
  • Organise to broadcast the selected ads in the college or in the college network. Have students vote on their favourite add.
  • Gather student testimonials and post them to a physical or virtual wall (Facebook).
  • Impersonate masked bullies. They must quietly roam the college hallways and place intimidating notes in students’ pockets, or enter a room during a class and place notes on the students’ desks. (Experience real life intimidation.)

In the Community Recreation and Leadership Training Program

Julie Beaumont and Sophie Thibault give 2 courses that deal with the promotion of leisure services: Marketing en loisir and Informatique et promotion du loisir.

They suggest 2 activities where students must prepare by, among other things, consulting the section Cyber reputation and right to one’s own image on the website.

Developing a marketing strategy

In the marketing course, students create a marketing strategy. They analyse the digital image that the organisation projects. Is it positive or negative? The students apply the best practices on all of the pages of the organisation’s website and social media. For this assignment they should use everything they read about a digital reputation on

Creating promotional tools

In the computer course, the students create promotional tools for an organisation (a website, social media pages, a flyer, a brochure, etc.).

They must choose pictures and images that are free of copyright and that respect the right to one’s own image. When they take pictures or make a video in which there are people, the students must have these people fill in a consent form in order to use the photo or video.

About the authors

Catherine Rhéaume

Catherine Rhéaume is an editor and writer for Eductive (previously Profweb) since 2013. She also teaches physics at Cégep Limoilou. Her work for Eductive fosters her interest for technopedagogy and encourages her to try innovative teaching practices.

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