A young person being filmed talking to camera. She is holding a dog and a sign behind her reads

Lesson plan: Using power for good

Timeframe

This exercise should run for about 30 minutes, but we recommend allowing for the flexibility to adapt to group dynamics and discussion.

Outcomes

  • Students have reflected on the power that comes from being hidden behind a screen and recognise that this power can be used to harm other or used for good
  • Students have explored innovative ways to use their online power for good through leadership and action
  • Students have had the opportunity to personally contribute to a broader youth-driven movement

Description

This is a dynamic exercise that involves students watching an episode of PROJECT ROCKIT, brainstorming the forms of power that people have due to being behind a screen and exploring the ways that they themselves can use their online power for good. By the end of the activity, you can aim to have your students committed to one or more positive actions that work for their confidence levels.

You’ll need access to a data projector with audio and a whiteboard to brainstorm group responses.

Instructions

Prior to class, write the following quote on the whiteboard. For context, this is one of the most famous quotes from the Spiderman film and comic series:

WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

Ask students if they are familiar with the quote and what it means. Field several responses, drawing attention to the idea that responsibility comes with all forms of power (political, social, financial) – not just for superheroes. Once you’ve captured the basic idea, explain to students that you are going to watch the following episode of PROJECT ROCKIT TV, which explores specifically the power that we have online, when we’re behind a screen.

 

After the episode, the next step is to collectively brainstorm the different ways that power plays out online.

First, together list some different actions of people who misuse their online power.

Misuse of online power

  • Spreading gossip
  • Sharing photos without permission
  • Faking that you’re someone else
  • Taking a private conversation and making it public
  • Trolling / being a keyboard warrior

Next, together list some actions that students could take to use their online power for good.

Using online power for good

  • Lifting people up with compliments
  • Challenging online hate
  • Posting content that reflects your ethics
  • Educating yourself on different social issues
  • Reaching out to people you’re worried about
  • Join an online discussion group to educate yourself
  • Sharing positive messages that reflect what you want to see and hear (get inspo here)
  • Start up a group in your school to educate other students about how to challenge online hate

In creating the second list, challenge students to think of a specific way that they could take action. Remember:

You don’t have to be a hero to use your online power for good

As a final call-to-action, here are some ideas to kickstart student action with PROJECT ROCKIT:

1. Check out our ‘get inspo’ centre to download quotes for social media, explore positive messages and (with parental permission) they can upload their own.

Spread positive messages

2. Help them to educate themselves on how to shut down online hate, create positive content and and give support to those who need it.

Get skills

3. Share ways to join PROJECT ROCKIT and stay connected with hundreds of thousands of other young people as part of Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice.

Get involved

4. Consider booking a PROJECT ROCKIT workshop for your class to support a positive online and build social leadership within your student community.

Find out more

This lesson plan is provided as part of PROJECT ROCKIT Digital Ambassadors, powered by Facebook and Instagram. You can learn more about this partnership here.