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What I Learned From Cyber Civics

On his last day teaching sixth graders a full year of "digital citizenship" lessons, Cyber Civics teacher Peter Kelley received this from one of his students. We just had to share it with you.

Cyber Civics

Dear Mr. Kelley,

I learned a lot from Cyber Civics. It helped me use the Internet more wisely. It taught me the difference between digital drama and cyberbullying. It also taught me how to be an upstander and how to deal with cyberbullying. This class taught me so much.

When I go on social media I am much more careful than I was before I took this class. Anything that I post stays online and will never disappear. I know not to post inappropriate things online because everyone will see it and do you really want that? I learned that you should not post or comment anything offensive or rude. That can turn into digital drama or even cyberbullying. So now I know how to use social media in a safe way.

The difference between digital drama and cyberbullying is hard to understand, at least it was hard for me to understand before this class. Digital drama is not intentional, repeated, and harmful. Cyberbullying is intentional, repeated, and harmful. It is not an accident. Cyberbullying and digital drama are very different, but both can be hurtful.

How to be an upstander is very easy but sometimes it can seem like a lot of work. There are

three ways to be an upstander. You can do or say something nice to the person being hurt, you can tell a trusted adult, or you can tell the bully to stop. All of this seems like it might take you some time, but it could help someone from being hurt online, and that's why it's important.

I also learned there are also three things you should do if you are being cyberbullied. First, you take stock, which means you take a screen shot of the evidence. Number two is you stop or block the bully. Step three is to talk to a trusted adult.

I think this class has helped me become a better person online and I owe this all to my amazing teacher Mr. Kelly. He taught me so much this year.

Image by Nirzhar Pradham Photography.

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