Activity Introduction

Quick summary: We have a complex relationship with our mobile phones that is more than screen deep. Mobile phone use and the impact it has had upon society is a is a contemporary social issue with far-reaching effects on our community’s safety, health and wellbeing. In this lesson, students watch a short clip featuring Associate Professor Mike Arnold comparing the impact of mobile phones on society with the impact of the introduction of rabbits on Australia’s ecosystem. Students relate this idea to their own lives by using a continuum to show how much attention they pay to their phone. They use a diary to record the amount of time they spend using their phone on a typical day then watch an excerpt from It’s People Like Us that highlights people using their phones while driving. Students reflect on their own phone use habits, the health and wellbeing implications of those habits and any changes they would need to make before they start driving a car.

 

It’s People Like Us is a documentary film created as part of the Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) Towards Zero road safety strategy. It explores society’s relationship with mobile phones – especially the use of them while driving – and the responsibility that we all have to keep ourselves and each other safe on the roads.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students know how much they use their mobile phones.
  • Students understand that phone use can have positive and negative impacts.
  • Students understand that they can make choices about how and when they use their phones.
  • Students understand that road safety is a shared responsibility.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education

  • Critically analyse and apply health information from a range of sources to health decisions and situations (ACPPS095)

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 achievement standards: Students apply decision-making and problem-solving skills when taking action to enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Topic: Social Issues.

Unit of work: It’s People Like Us – Health and Physical Education.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – (printed) one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Students’ personal mobile phones/devices, Daily Phone Use Record (printed) one per student.

Keywords: distractions, documentary film, driver training, ecosystem, health and wellbeing, inattentional blindness, It’s People Like Us, mobile phones, multitasking, personal reflection, personal responsibility, positive choices, road safety, wellbeing, young people.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students know how much they use their mobile phones.
  • Students understand that phone use can have positive and negative impacts.
  • Students understand that they can make choices about how and when they use their phones.
  • Students understand that road safety is a shared responsibility.

Success criteria: 

  • Students describe how they use a mobile phone during a typical day.
  • Students identify if they should or shouldn’t change their mobile phone use habits.

Teacher content information: By the end of today, most of us will have checked our phones over 150 times: on the toilet, in the car or at the dinner table. But, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves - is there a time and a place? Is our mobile phone use affecting our health and wellbeing?

It’s People Like Us is a 22 minute documentary that follows five real Australians who, just like us, have found themselves drawn into their screens, sometimes at the expense of common sense

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Young drivers aged 18 to 25 years are twice as likely to make a phone call and four times more likely to text [while driving].

1. Watch The Introduction of Rabbits as a class.

It's People Like Us | The Introduction of Rabbits (https://youtu.be/gWyak_qMnVY)

2. Consider the following quote from the video:

“If we introduce mobile phones to people’s lives, the way they live their lives, in all sorts of dimensions and in all sorts of ways, needs to adjust to the agency of the phone” - Associate Professor Mike Arnold

Write down, in your own words, the point that Professor Arnold is making about the impact of mobile phones on people’s lives:

3. As a class, go to www.itspeoplelikeus.com.au and view the ‘While No One Was Watching’ photo essay by Cory White (found at the bottom of the webpage).

Note one thing that you found interesting or surprising about the photo essay:

4. What is one thing that you do while also using your mobile phone? (E.g. eating breakfast, w

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