5 Mar 2015

Week 8- Cyberbullying

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This Monday’s class was focused on cyberbullying and cyber safety.  Although it feels as though we have been digging into the issue of bullying quite heavily for the past 3 weeks, the focus really was on the role of social media/internet on the bullying issue.

Cyber or electronic bullying: “broadly defined as bullying performed via electronic means such as mobile/cell phones or the internet”- (Olweus, 2012)

“Punishments may make us feel better or safer, but other options can yield actual results.”(Bauman)

Here are the resources that we assigned:

  • Holladay, J. (2011). Cyberbullying. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 76(5), 4-9.
  • Olweus, D. (2012). Cyberbullying: An overrated phenomenon?. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(5), 520-538.

Supplemental Resources:

Once again, I am amazed about the level of community that has been developed in this class- which speaks to the community building process that we are working on!  I really love watching how engaged students are in their discussions and the level of questions that have been brought to the literature circles each week.  I also am enjoying participating in the activities that are chosen by the community co-creator groups each week– it is a real joy to be in a facilitating position now.

Here are the activities:

Opening Circle:  Norming & Animal selection

We needed to review circle norms this week as there has been an increase in side conversations (a symptom of comfort as a group?).  I felt it really had an impact on the listening and circle go-round that focused on the question:  If you were an animal, what would you be?  This was such a fun question and the variety among the class and the reasons for the selection were so interesting.  There is a lot of potential to expand on this question- to group animals, discuss differences and how that may play out in a collaborative setting, etc.

Literature Circles:  cyberbullying

It is clear that students are getting to the point where they are comfortable debating with each other.  Since this is such a short course (10 weeks) I decided I would assign groups early, do a lot of inclusion activities and keep the groups together throughout the course rather than make other groups.  Of course, in a classroom I would alternate between different groupings and individual work- but we need to make choices.

Here are some of the key issues that were raised:

  • What language do students use- site- actionable option- power of words.
  • How do we relate to students?- difference in social media and is this gender specific? Different formats?
  • Should we ban cyberbullying? How do we police online? How is this possible?
  • Is safety and security greater than freedom of speech?
  • Is cyberbullying as detrimental as physical bullying?
  • How can we teach parents to use social media properly (counter-intuitive)?
  • Are parents accountable- cyberbullying and accessibility?
  • Can we use restorative practices work online?- foundation in culture
  • Need to make anti-bullying efforts related to students (not related to their actions)
  • Digital tattoos vs right to be forgotten?
  • Do teachers have the responsibility of monitoring cyber action outside the classroom?
  • Who is bullied? Multiple means for same person?
  • Is poor self-esteem a result rather than cause of bullying?
  • How do we involve community (parents)?
  • In what ways can we use technology to address the issue of cyberbullying and cyber safety?

Energizer:  Balloon Activity

Each person has a balloon tied around their ankle and must walk around to pop someone else’s balloon by stomping on it. A variation could be that there are 4 teams (4 different coloured balloons) and once only one colour of balloons are left, that team wins.

Fishbowl Activity:  Problem-Solving

I have discussed this in another post- see here.  I really like the fishbowl for problem-solving or generating ideas/modelling group discussions.  I am not sure i would use this for serious issues…. Know your class and it is all about relationships.

FISHBOWL- a great strategy to do decision making.  While in a full circle, we had a participant share a concern to the group.  There was a seat opposite the student where participants from the outside circle could jump in, sit and share a suggestion and then return to the outer circle.  There are many variations- check out Student Fishbowl or Teaching Strategy

Closing Circle:  Red/Yellow/Green- Traffic lights

I really liked this reflection!  Students were each given 3 different colour circles and reflected on the question:  How comfortable are you with dealing with bullying issues in our next practicum?  We did a stand up and declare yourself (random times stand and share response).  This allowed students to pass if they wanted and also to make a public declaration.  There was a great variety to the answers and I can see this as very effective in the classroom setting.

Check for understanding- post on desks and have students move erasers to where they feel they are while working through problems; post by door and have students touch colour on way out

Self-regulation- identify where they are in emotion & strategies to improve

2 more weeks…..


1 Response

  1. it was reported, but nhitong was done. Now more laws and policies are passed regarding bullying, but we need to do more to change the culture of bullying, build good character and restore civility.Together we can make a difference. Family, friends galore, schools, churches, YMCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc join the Nationwide Rock It Across America Challenge to help change the culture of bullying, encourage a safer learning atmosphere and environment for students and educators while kids get fit and healthy. United, teamwork and connected there is power showing nationwide support that all of us are on one accord affirming every child is important and bullying is not acceptable. Rock It is a fun, new and unique character building exercise CD/DVD created by diverse groups of kids who want to make a difference, that has anti-bully input, builds self-esteem, builds confidence, encourages kids to achieve and instill values while providing an effective workout.

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