With the introduction of social networking, mobile phones, chat rooms and instant messaging services this is an issue that is becoming increasingly more evident within society. Technology is a great tool and has so many benefits for students in the classroom and also in their home environments. However, in order for students to use this technology it is also important for teachers to be aware of, and educate students on cyberbullying.
I read up on an activity recently for schools that educates teachers and students on cyberbullying and how to handle it. I found it intriguing and informative and it really got me thinking about this rising problem within our society. As stated ‘cyberspace knows no boundaries and a target has no reprieve or safe haven from his or her tormentor’ (2010, p. 22). Therefore this has me thinking more strongly as an educator to teach students about good behavior towards others, and to have them understand that any kind of behavior on such levels whether in person or online is not acceptable, that it can have disastrous results. Students need to also be aware of what they are posting online, and I believe, and these activities reiterate that as an online user of different websites students have the ability to ‘lock their profile, blog or webpage – allowing only selected friends access to their information’ (2010, p. 22) as well as making sure they are aware that they can block certain numbers from their mobile phone calling list.
The exercises and activities within this booklet then have very well set out worksheets, invaluable to teachers and students as they really need to be aware of this issue. One page has a few questions and scenarios that really get students thinking, and maybe even subconsciously aware that this behavior is not acceptable. The more you subtly reiterate this behavior in a negative fashion I believe the more responsive students will be. If they think they may be doing this to a student, they may take a step back to think about how it could be effecting that individual. Often students don’t speak up if it is happening to them either, and this may allow students to quietly mention to you at the end of class they feel they are in a situation of cyberbullying and are not sure what to do.
The worksheets and activities go on to include mock journal entries on how students may be feeling in vulnerable situations, how to write blogs and deal with that kind of community online and also legal implications of some kinds of bullying. This not only opened my eyes up to this concept more but I felt it to be a great resource to use in schools. Even if the worksheets aren’t used directly, activities can be based around the sheets to provide a more hands on approach (which may stick in students minds more).
A great read and great resource!