Diva Girls’ March Break Workshops: Workshop 1

Today at Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre we had the Diva Girls come in for their first workshop of the week. Today, the girls were challenged on how internet savvy they are.

We started the workshop with a media quiz, which consisted of questions about internet safety such as: meeting a stranger they’ve been talking to online in person; receiving content that they’ve felt has been inappropriate; chat room safety; giving personal information online; and more. After completing the quiz, the girls wrote about what they learned from the quiz in their journals.

During the second half of the workshop, we watched a video about internet safety. It contained four different scenarios - two narrative pieces and two documentaries, and covered topics that are possible when young people and teens are online. The video featured introductions by “Gossip Girl” star Jessica Szohr.  

The first video was called: “Clicking with Caution,” and it was about how easily young people can be manipulated into letting online sexual predators into their lives when using chat rooms or social networking sites. Young people can easily be tricked by answering simple questions asked by an online predator posing as a friend; or by posing as someone who is the same age as them. This video showed young people how to protect themselves from people they meet on these websites who may be dangerous.

The second video was about Cyber Bullying, and the name was: “Best Friends Forever.”
This video taught how web sites, blogs, social networking, e-mail, and instant messaging can all not only cause, but escalate online bullying. This video gave examples of the snowball effects and consequences of cyber bullying and how they should handle these situations.

Maintaining Anonymity while online was also covered: Teenagers tend to reveal personal information online without realizing it. Watching this video demonstrated how young people can avoid accidentally sharing personal information with strangers that could put them in danger.

The last video was entitled: “Gamplan: Safety and Online Gaming.” This was the last portion of the video.  Internet gamers gave advice on how to handle online situations that could escalate, such as leaving a situation that could become heated. The gamers also gave advice on the potential dangers of excessive gaming. Although gaming has become a popular hobby, if not used responsibly, gaming too can be harmful.

After the videos were finished, we met as a group to recap the afternoon’s topics. The girls learned a lot from the videos, and understood the messages about internet predators and how to stay safe while online.

To view the “Clicking with Caution” internet safety campaign, please click the link below:

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