Navigating Online Hate with 4th Grade Students

On February 5, 2024, Ivana Vadlja, a dedicated computer science teacher at the First Primary School in Čakovec, spearheaded an impactful workshop as part of the SPADATAS (Stop! Block! Say!) project. This session aimed to equip 4th grade students with essential tools to navigate the digital realm, particularly in confronting online hate and negativity.

In an increasingly interconnected world, understanding how to respond to hate speech and unacceptable behavior on the internet is paramount. The workshop fostered insightful discussions among the students, encouraging them to discern between acceptable and unacceptable online conduct. Through engaging activities and open dialogue, they explored effective strategies to address and prevent online violence and hate speech, while also learning crucial methods to safeguard themselves online.

One notable aspect of the workshop was the students’ proactive approach in reframing negative comments. They brainstormed creative ways to transform derogatory remarks into constructive criticism and well-meaning advice, fostering a culture of positivity and support in their online interactions.

By actively involving the students in these discussions and activities, the SPADATAS project not only raises awareness but also empowers young individuals to become responsible digital citizens. Through education and proactive engagement, these students are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the online world, fostering a safer and more inclusive digital environment for all.