Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students. 

Students will consider how COVID-19 is impacting their life in the way that they interact socially with their friends and family. They will read an article and identify the safety considerations for using social technologies such as Houseparty to connect. Next, they will use the information from the article to reflect on their own experiences using various apps and social media platforms. Using this information, students will complete a planning template and create an informative brochure titled, ‘Safe User Guide’ that will be directed at an audience of their peers.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 9 English

  • Understand that authors innovate with text structures and language for specific purposes and effects (ACELA1553)
  • Understand how punctuation is used along with layout and font variations in constructing texts for different audiences and purposes (ACELA1556)
  • Identify how vocabulary choices contribute to specificity, abstraction and stylistic effectiveness (ACELA1561)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)
  • Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (ACELY1747)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, flexibly and imaginatively to publish texts (ACELY1748)

Year 10 English

  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)
  • Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (ACELY1757)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user (ACELY1776)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of COVID-19. The rapid change to the way we must live, work and interact has seen a rapid uptake in new technologies that allow us to remain connected to family, friends and colleagues.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required


[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

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


Student Worksheet

Safe Houseparty - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will comprehend information from a news article and use this to formulate your own feelings and views.
  • You will plan and create an informative brochure on the safety of using social technologies

Success criteria:

  • You can write an informative text that explains the safe use of social technologies.
  • You can select language and maintain a tone appropriate for your audience.
  • You can organise your ideas strategically through a planning process.


Crashing the party: beware the cyber risks of virtual meet-up apps like Houseparty

Mohiuddin Ahmed, Edith Cowan University and Paul Haskell-Dowland, Edith Cowan University

Social gatherings with friends and family are an essential part of being human. So it’s no surprise, with real-life gatherings limited to just two people, that people are flocking to apps that can keep us connected virtually.

The breakout hit has undoubtedl

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