Go, stop, or proceed with caution?

In an activity during the meeting, students were given a number of realistic examples, some also mixing the offline and the online world. The question with each situation was whether it presented a dangerous situation. In groups, they had to agree if in such a situation, the persons in the examples could go ahead, proceed with caution, or stop immediately. While some situations were clearly safe or clearly the opposite of safe, some situations caused intensive discussions among the groups (and later in the complete group). The different possible view-points on seemingly clear situations showed students that the online world (as well as the offline world) can hold hidden dangers. During these discussions, students exchanged both advice and more personal stories of themselves, their friends and family having been in similar situations.

The realization that the invented situation of this exercise made almost everyone remember a personal example emphasized for all students the dangers of the internet. Of course, they will not stop using it. But when encountering “strange” situations, they will – as the exercise suggested – proceed with caution or stop.