Playlist teacher guide - Technology

Playlist information

Playlist summary

This playlist explores some of the challenges and issues related to interacting and maintaining relationships online.

Playlist purpose

The content of this playlist supports students to:

  • Identify and challenge inappropriate behaviour online
  • Understand how to deal with online abuse and harassment
  • Consider some of the issues that arise in online relationships and how to effectively deal with them.

Please note that some third party websites may not operate in all internet browers. If you're having difficulty accessing a site, try using alternative browsers (such as Chrome) in the first instance. If you're still unable to access the site, contact us.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the legal and ethical implications of using technologies and social media platforms to establish, maintain and manage relationships.
  • Understand rights and responsibilities when using online communication platforms and tools to interact with others.
  • Understand the potential risks and consequences of sharing personal information and intimate images online, both with and without consent.
  • Understand the steps you can take if online relationships become disrespectful.
  • Propose practical strategies for managing situations when online relationships become abusive or unsafe.

Key messages

  • The use of online communication technologies has changed the way people interact, including how they interact in intimate relationships.
  • Everyone needs to know their rights and responsibilities and understand the role of consent and the impact of coercion when sharing and receiving intimate images and personal information.
  • Sharing personal information or intimate images with others through social media platforms and online technologies requires consent and trust.
  • There are laws that apply to online behaviour and serious consequences if these laws are broken.
  • Disrespectful or abusive online relationships can have serious impacts on your health and wellbeing.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 10, Year 11, Year 12

Australian curriculum links

Investigate how empathy and ethical decision making contribute to respectful relationships.

Plan, rehearse and evaluate options (including CPR and first aid) for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety and wellbeing may be at short or long-term risk.

Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others.

Media items


Type: Video.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: As technology progresses, we are given new ways of relating to one another as well as enriching our relationships. What are some of the problems that come with this? And how do we adapt and stay safe?

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think technology improves our relationships with others? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Depends
    Discussion points:

    From the internet and social media, to phones, apps, games and television, technology is an essential part of our lives. Many young people – often referred to as ‘digital natives’ – haven’t known it any other way.

    Research shows that the skills needed to create a safer and more positive online environment are respect, responsibility, reasoning and resilience. This means when using the internet we demonstrate:

    • respectful communication,
    • responsible use of technology,
    • the ability to reason and critically evaluate the things we see and hear online, and
    • the resilience to withstand harmful conduct or contact online.

    These are the behaviours and skills that will help us all thrive in a connected world. If young people understand and develop these key skills, then there is less chance of being caught up in a disrespectful or abusive relationship online.

    To discuss this further explore the following questions:

    • How do we keep everything that’s good about technology but reduce the negative things that can happen?
    • What online behaviours do we think are acceptable?
    • What toxic social norms need to be called out online?
    • What opportunities and challenges come from the technology you use?
    • What could you do as a bystander to challenge negative behaviours and promote better social norms?

Digital you … forever?

Type: Page.

Duration: 6 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Your digital identity is everything about you that exists online. How long does it stay available for others to discover? This page helps you consider what information is suitable to post online when crafting your digital identity and managing your digital reputation.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Have you ever had a social media post that was misinterpreted and taken the wrong way? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    Discussion points:

    Speaking through written text means we can be misunderstood because we haven’t got body language, facial expressions and hand gestures completing our messaging. However, it is not just the chance of being misinterpreted that is the problem. Some interactions on social media can be intentionally meant to hurt you.

    Check out some advice from about the Good, the bad and the ugly of Insta here to get some great practical strategies for dealing with things when it goes wrong.

Digital reputation | What comes up when…

Type: Video.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: eSafety Commissioner. ()

Summary: A short video discussing how employers use Google search to check the digital footprint of a potential employee. The video shows how quickly someone can get a digital picture of a person from Googling and looking at social media profiles, and how this can influence career and study opportunities.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Is it OK to tag your friends in a photo you put on social media without asking them? Answers
    1. a.Absolutely, it’s your photo and your profile
    2. b.Nah definitely not, ask first then post
    3. c.Depends on what the photo is of
    Discussion points:

    Social media and online technologies provide young people with a range of benefits and opportunities. Young people can maintain social connections and support networks that often wouldn’t be possible without online technologies. The communities and social interactions young people form online can be invaluable for bolstering and developing their self-confidence and social skills.

    Social media sites can help young people develop public ways of presenting themselves. They can help refine key personal skills in the online context in order to establish, manage and maintain friendships and social connections.

    It is important to be conscious of what is being shared against your profile as your digital footprint is very easy to access through a Google search.

    To explore this further, ask students to Google themselves and see what turns up. Ask them to collate the search results and decide whether their digital footprint portrays a positive or negative image of them to employers.

Digital footprints

Type: Video.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: TEDx. ()

Summary: 'In cyberspace, a visible history of our lives exists.' A spoken word poem by Michelle Clark ponders the responsible use of the internet for our wellbeing. She discusses how our digital footprint can impact our personal livelihood and advises to give care and thought to our digital reputation.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you have your social media accounts set to private so you decide who sees and shares your posts? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.I don’t know
    Discussion points:

    Your digital footprint is not only formed by what you post, but also what others put online about you. A passive digital footprint is created when data is collected without the owner knowing, whereas active digital footprints are created when a user, for the purpose of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media, deliberately releases data.

    It can be daunting trying to manage your digital footprint when so much of your time is spent online. Ask students to explore Google Alerts as a tool that can help them keep track of their active and passive digital footprint.

Intimate relationships online

Type: Page.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Most relationships now have a strong online component to them, with technology facilitating an important part of bonding, intimacy and closeness with a partner. How does the Relationship Field Model help us navigate how we relate online?

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. What proportion of your relationship interactions do you think happen online? Answers
    1. a.Less than a quarter
    2. b.More than a quarter but less than half
    3. c.More than half
    Discussion points:

    As online dating becomes a more popular way of finding a partner there are a few issues that arise. A key issue is about how quickly the dating applications allow you to make a decision about whether someone is worth getting to know better or not. Often there is a very basic profile that you will immediately react to and swipe left or swipe right. But how do you know that what you are swiping for or against is actually the real deal? As a society we are starting to make judgements about people based on a very narrow slice of who they are as a person.

    To explore this issue further discuss the following questions:

    • How do you know whether who you think you’re talking to online is actually the real person behind the screen?
    • What are the qualities and characteristics you are looking for in a partner?
    • Can these qualities and characteristics be missed if all you see about a person is their online profile?

Thank U, Next: Are dating apps messing with…

Type: Video.

Duration: 13 minutes.

Source: BBC Stories. ()

Summary: This BBC TV episode tells the stories of three people who display an intensive use of technology for dating. How does the use of dating apps affect their mental health? The video also interviews a psychotherapist who discusses addiction, and how the apps could be used and improved for happier outcomes long-term.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. How important are physical looks when it comes to finding the perfect partner? Answers
    1. a.Extremely important
    2. b.Important
    3. c.Not important at all
    Discussion points:

    Tinder has taken the singles world by storm: swiping through photographs of users deciding whether or not you’d be interested in having a chat. If you decide that Tinder, or another online dating app, is up your alley, make sure you’re careful of your personal safety. Meet people in public places, and don’t give anyone too much of your personal info at the get-go. Also remember that, with Tinder, by judging people based only on their physical appearance means there could be lots of great people that you won’t get to meet because you swiped left.

    To explore some other ways to meet new people that are offline, check out these suggestions from other young people.

Online representations of relationships

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: The idea of what a healthy and respectful relationship looks like can be heavily influenced by what we see online in images and videos. Online, intimate relationships are often portrayed in a way that bears little resemblance to a realistic and rewarding relationship in real life.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Does the way you represent yourself and your life online accurately reflect who you are? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    Discussion points:

    The way relationships are often portrayed in the online space is far from what real life is like. It’s important to remember that most things that are published online are highly curated version of people’s lives. Pornography definitely falls into this category.  There are links between pornography and dangerous attitudes toward sex. Porn is leading to unrealistic expectations of sex. Porn affects how young people see relationships, sex and intimacy before most of them have even had their first kiss or held someone’s hand. Many young people believe there's an expectation on them that they should be doing this sort of stuff if they are in a physically intimate relationship.

    The acts depicted in most pornography is “selfish sex”, which warps the views of young viewers. There’s no tenderness, there’s rarely ever kissing or affection, there’s no kindness or asking, or care about the other person. It’s about getting what you want and getting out, and often consent is not asked for or given … it is assumed or in some cases a “no” is ignored.

    More boys and girls report engaging in anal sex in heterosexual scenarios, with both viewing it as just “what happens” and the norm. Most sexual acts that are depicted in porn are also very aggressive and the message porn is sending to young people is that it’s sexy to be aggressive.

    Excessive consumption of porn is also leading to documented increases in the number of boys who are psychologically impotent. There is growing evidence that older teen boys arecoming forward with symptoms of erectile dysfunction problems. Some of these boys have never had a girlfriend so when they do try to be intimate, they’re not aroused.

    For further information about how to talk to young people about porn, take a look at the eSafety Commissioner website.

Staying safe online

Type: Page.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: A practical how-to guide for staying safe online, maintaining your privacy and protecting your identity. Included here are ways of finding help and support, reporting harassment and image-based abuse, and noticing controlling behaviours.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Have you ever experienced harassment or abuse online? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    Discussion points:

    Digital harassment and abuse can range from behaviours such as name-calling, social embarrassment and offensive language, through to sexual harassment, unwanted sexual behaviours, exploitation or abuse (such as by taking or distributing intimate or sexually explicit images without permission), as well as threats and cyberstalking.

    Questions like this one may prompt students to disclose harassment or abuse they have been subject to. More information on managing disclosures is available here.

    For further information about how to support students to stay safe online go to the eSafety Commissioners website.

Activities and extras

To explore these themes further with your students, check out The YeS Project, a digital and social health program encouraging young people to act as positive leaders and supportive friends, available on the eSafety Commissioner’s website here.