U2: Understanding online experiences









Relationship skills, Self-awareness, Social awareness


Ages 11-13, Ages 14-18


Timing: 60 minutes

Learning outcomes: learners will be able to…

  • Name online spaces/activities they enjoy and explain why they are enjoyable.
  • Identify the challenges young people may face in these spaces/activities.
  • Define how they want adults to help and support them online.

Key vocabulary: cyberbullying, activities, enjoyment, fun, challenges, risks, difficulties, worries, help, support, strategies.

Resources: Google Slides, ‘My online life’ planning sheet (slide 5)

Key questions:

  • What do you enjoy doing online?
    • Which games/apps do you use to enjoy these activities?
    • Who do you enjoy these activities with?
  • Why are these activities enjoyable to you (and other young people)?
  • What challenges do you/could you face?
    • What do you do to protect yourself and others from these challenges?
  • What can adults do to help you enjoy these activities safely and positively?
  • What could the internet industry do to help you enjoy these activities safely and positively?

Download the activity’s PowerPoint presentation

Starter activity (5 minutes)

Would you rather…?

Ask learners to stand in a group. Read out the following questions and ask learners to stand on the left-hand side of the room if they choose the first option, and stand on the right-hand side of the room if they choose the second option:

    • YouTube or Netflix?
    • Funny pictures or funny videos?
    • No internet for a week or no friends for a month?
    • Go online for 24 hours straight or detox for 24 hours?
    • Music streaming or video streaming?
    • Gaming or social media?
    • Be ‘you’ online or be someone different online?
    • Add any further choices that are relevant to your learners, or ask them to suggest a choice of two online activities for other learners to select from.
Activity (40 minutes)
My online life

Explain to learners that this session is an opportunity to explore what they enjoy doing online and why they enjoy those activities. They will also consider the challenges or risks they might face in these activities and how they would like adults and others to help and support them.

The aim is to produce something that can be shared with parents/carers or adults who work with learners to help them to better understand young people’s online experiences. 

A worksheet is provided on slide 5 to plan ideas and thoughts. Depending on the time available, this worksheet could be the final output of the activity, or it could be used to plan something more creative such as a poster, an infographic, a song/rap/poem or other form of creative media that could be shared – either online or offline.

Learners should work in small groups of 2-4 to discuss their favourite online activities and record these on the ‘My onlife life’ worksheet. They may wish to record their individual thoughts and responses or the most popular ideas from their group.

They should also work together to identify the risks/challenges they face during these activities and strategies/tips they know to help reduce or manage those risks.

Finally, they should record ideas for how they want trusted adults to help and support them online (e.g. talk regularly about my online experiences, be interested, don’t be judgmental, etc.). If time allows, encourage learners to consider what steps they would like the game/app providers to take to help them enjoy their favourite online activities more safely.

Plenary (15 minutes)

Provide each group of learners with an opportunity to share what they have created with the whole group. If there is not sufficient time at the end of this session, you may wish to plan for learners to share their creations and ideas in a future session.

Discuss with learners if any of their creations are suitable to be shared more widely e.g. through social media platforms or video-sharing sites, or through other methods of communication that might reach parents/carers.