A Lesson in Digital Literacy – Balancing Online and Offline Relationships

During my time as a Career Education 10 teacher, I would teach Digital Literacy as a whole unit. We would talk about how to be online, what to do online that is right and wrong, how to be safe online and all things with having an online personality. I would also teach about the less commonly talked about aspect of being online, how to balance your other relationships as well. Often, social media can take over our whole life and instead of interacting with our friends and family in person we stay glued to our phones and we have to find a good balance.

The following lesson allows students to learn the risks associated with relationships and social media. It looks how being online can affect your relationships offline and shows the consequences of no maintaining your healthy relationships.

A key note to lesson is that the students will have already created an online journal for reflection writing.


Lesson: Balancing Online and Offline Relationships

Using the video provided, have a class discussion and enter an entry in the online journal.

Step 1: Pause at 3:00 and have a class discussion using the following questions:

  • How does the video make you feel so far?
  • Can you relate to the situation and relationship?
  • How would you react?


Step 2: Watch the remainder of the video. Following the video use the following questions to have a class discussion:

  • What changed?
  • How do you feel now? Why?
  • Can you relate to the situation?
  • What shocked you the most?
  • How do you communicate in relationships today? Using technology or in person?
  • How do online and real-life relationships differ?

After a discussion have the students write in their online journal a reflection to the video stating their feelings, how this has or will affect them in the future and their overall final thought of the video. In a second paragraph have them summarize the class discussion that was had in the class.


How does this relate to Digital Literacy and our Curriculum?

This lesson relates to BC’s Digital Literacy Framework as it directly teaches Digital Citizenship. In it we talk about internet safety, privacy and security, relationships and communication. If we look at Weiss’s 2017 info graphic, it can relate to the socio-emotional literacy as it helps students “know how to avoid traps as well as benefit from digital communication” (Weiss. 2017). It does this by showing us that online profiles and personalities are fine to have as long as we do not let it take every aspect of our life.


Province of British Columba. (n.d.). Digital literacy. Retrieved from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/teaching-tools/digital-literacy

The Unplugged Project. (2015, October 15). Relationship Status: Online [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt_SKeGPRcE

Weiss, D. (2017, December 2). The essential elements of digital literacy for the 21st century workforce [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://enabley.io/the-essential-elements-of-digital-literacy-for-the-21st-century-workforce-infographic/

1 Comment

Add yours →

  1. Matt, this is great. I wish I had had as thorough a lesson when I was in high school. I particularly liked the reflective aspects that you have included for your students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2023 Matt Burford’s Portfolio

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑