AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner addressed in this presentation:Standard 1: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.1.3.5 Use information technology responsibly.Standard 3: Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.3.1.6 Use information and technology ethically and responsibly.Standard 4: Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.4.3.4 Practice safe and ethical behaviors in personal electronic communication and interaction.
Technology trends today have a profound impact on society. The impact is felt in our schools with the increasing number of students utilizing electronic devices of all kinds. These tools are exciting and provide access to vast amounts of information and social networking opportunities. We can be connected in ways never thought possible. Communication can take place through the internet and cell phones around the clock. We have access to vast amounts of information at the click of a mouse or touch on a cell phone. With this utilization of technology comes responsibility, for ethical use of technology, as well as personal character development. This brings us to the issue of cyberbullying, a negative side effect of our digitally connected world, one that we must understand and prevent. First, let’s revisit the issue of bullying and its definition.
DanOlweus is the creator of the Olweus Bully Prevention Program and author of Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. He states on the Olweus Web site, “Even with a school's best efforts, bullying can affect the safety and wellbeing of the entire student population. In order to stop bullying, it needs to be addressed at every level of a student's experience.”
This definition includes three important components: Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
This is what probably comes to mind for most of us when thinking about bullies. We think of students intimidating others on the playground. A bully might take another student’s swing every day at recess or tell others they are slow, dum, or fat. The bullying might be physical such as trapping these students or pushing someone off the slide. Bullying may also be verbal with students making secret club lists leaving the same girl out every time. We deal with these types of bullying issues in school every day and have in place an anti-bullying policy and program. What do we do when the bullying goes electronic? So, what is cyberbullying and how is it different?
According to Bill Belsey, President and creator of bulllying.org, “cyberbullying involves and imbalance of power, aggression, and a repeated negative action just as in traditional bullying.” Cyberbullying can involve insults or threats. Spreading lies about someone or excluding a person from a group is known as social or relational bullying.
There are characteristics that make cyberbullying different:Anonymity: As bad as the "bully" on the playground may be, he or she can be readily identified and potentially avoided. On the other hand, the child who cyber bullies is often anonymous. The victim is left wondering who the cyber "bully" is, which can cause a great deal of stress. Accessibility: Most children who use traditional ways of bullying terrorize their victim at school, on the bus, or walking to or from school. Although bullying can happen elsewhere in the community, there is usually a standard period of time during which these children have access to their victims. Children who cyber bully can wreak havoc any time of the day or night. Punitive Fears: Victims of cyber bullying often do not report it because of: (1) fear of retribution from their tormentors, and (2) fear that their computer or phone privileges will be taken away. Often, adults' responses to cyber bullying are to remove the technology from a victim - which in their eyes can be seen as punishment. Bystanders: Most traditional bullying episodes occur in the presence of other people who assume the role of bystanders or witnesses. The phenomenon of being a bystander in the cyber world is different in that they may receive and forward emails, view web pages, forward images sent to cell phones, etc. The number of bystanders in the cyber world can reach into the millions. Disinhibition: The anonymity afforded by the Internet can lead children to engage in behaviors that they might not do face-to-face. Ironically, it is their very anonymity that allows some individuals to bully at all.
Some ways studentscyberbully:Harassment – sending offensive, insulting and rude messages.Denigration – posting or distributing information about someone else that is derogatory and untrue.Flaming – this is “fighting” using electronic messages with angry or vulgar language.Impersonation – hacking into someone’s social networking account and sending or posting vicious or embarassing material about the person to others.Outing and Trickery – divulging someone’s secret or tricking someone into revealing secrets then forwarding it to others.Cyber Stalking – threatening someone repeatedly through online activity that make the person afraid for their safety.
Why is cyberbullying on the rise? Here are some statistics regarding the use of technology among teenagers. This study, conducted by SameerHinduja and Justin W. Patchin of the Cyberbullying Research Center, surveyed a random sample of approximately 4000 youth between the ages of 12 and 18 from a large school district in the southern United States. Data were collected in February of 2010 from 41 different schools. There were some interesting statistics indicated in the study as follows……….
As the data shows, many of the students sampled have cell phones, using them for many functions. They are texting, instant chatting, and posting on social networking sites.
Text messaging is used widely among adolescents on a frequent basis.
According to the gender research conducted by Hinduja and Patchin, adolescent girls are significantly more likely to have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes (25.8% vs. 16%). This difference disappears when reviewing experiences over the previous 30 days. Girls are also more likely to report cyberbullying others during their lifetime (21.1% vs. 18.3%). The type of cyberbullying tends to differ by gender; girls are more likely to spread rumors while boys are more likely to post hurtful pictures or videos. This leads us to the question, why do students bully?
Information about bullying suggests that there are three interrelated reasons why students bully:1. Students who bully have strong needs for power and (negative) dominance.2. Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other students.3. Students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with material or psychological rewards.
These are some of the warning signs of cyberbullying. Students who are being cyberbullied often appear sad, anxious, or moody. They may avoid school or withdraw from normal social activities. Their grades may drop or their attitude about school becomes negative. After using the computer or cell phone they may seem down or depressed. Some of these warning signs are also signs of traditional bullying.
Bullying in any form can have serious effects on students. Whether it’s traditional bullying or cyberbullying, the impact is long lasting, often very detrimental to a student’s well being. Children who are bullied often become sick, get headaches, stomach problems, and may have trouble sleeping. They are often scared, can’t concentrate, and grades slip. There have been cases of students becoming so depressed that they have suicidal thoughts. Some children have committed suicide as a result of repeated and unrelenting bullying.
RyanHalligan was only 13 when he committed suicide after years of being bullied, both traditional and cyberbullying. Ryan’s father John dedicated the site to Ryan’s memory and to educate parents and educators on the warning signs of depression. Ryan had been dealing with problems in school regarding bullying which carried over to online activity. Ryan’s depression overwhelmed him after a popular girl at school pretended to like him online and said she would be his girlfriend when school started. When school began and Ryan looked forward to this relationship, the girl admitted she was only joking and her friends were all in on it. Ryan was humiliated in front of everyone and his depression sank lower and he ended his life. John Halligan writes on his blog, “It’s one thing to be bullied and humiliated in front of a few kids. It’s one thing to feel rejection and have your heart crushed by a girl. But it has to be a totally different experience then a generation ago when these hurts and humiliation are now witnessed by a far larger, online adolescent audience. I believe my son would have survived these incidents of bullying and humiliation if they took place before computers and the internet. “ JohnHalligan does not blame one person or group for Ryan’s death. He stresses being aware of the impact bullying has on young people, how powerful online communication can be, and how to prevent bullying.
In a random sample by Hinduja and Patching, of 12-18 year olds, 20.4% reported they had been cyberbullied in their lifetime. 17% reported they had been bullied one or more, two or more times, in the last 30 days. This data would suggest that cyberbullying is an issue we need to focus on. As educators we need to be aware of cyberbullying, identify the warning signs, and seek help within the school. We also need to work closely with local law enforcement when appropriate.
John Palfrey is the Co-author with Urs Gasser of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. Hestates in an interview with Kurt Eisele-Dyrli, “Educating Digital Natives”; “One crucial aspect of what schools need to do is to start a conversation grounded in real practice, to find out what young people are involved with online and get them to talk about it. The same rules about bullying apply to cyberbullying. It’s more complicated in some respects because these environments keep changing.”
The nature of online communication and twenty-four hour access to digital devices makes it tough for teachers to observe cyberbullying. We must however, create an anti-bullying atmosphere at school, educating students regarding appropriate behavior. It is our job to make school a positive and safe environment for our students. If we become aware of bullying activity we must take immediate action. Information must be provided to parents, administrators, and anyone else who may offer assistance. Cyberbullying goes way beyond the playground and classroom walls. While parents and teachers are not with students twenty four hours a day, we should be tuned in to their needs, helping them develop self-esteem and positive social relationships.
We must teach social skills, ethical decision-making, and conflict resolution. These must be taught in the context of digital learning and in the utilization of electronic devices.
The digital revolution is upon us and we must help keep our students safe.
Technology & Responsibility <br />Attribution: “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/dkuropatwa/4285762190/sizes/m/in/faves-44940340@N05/#cc_license<br />
“A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."- Dan Olweus<br />Attribution: “They’re Warm Now… http://www.flickr.com/photos/mangee/200168929/in/faves-44940340@N05<br />
Traditional Bullying<br />Attribution: “Bully” http://www.flickr.com/photos/trixer/3531445744/in/faves-44940340@N05/<br />
"Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others." – Bill Belsey<br />Attribution: “Keyboard 2” http://www.flickr.com/photos/spadgy/313251515/sizes/m/<br />
83% of adolescents sampled used cell phones at least weekly.<br />Attribution: “Teenagers and Cell Phones” http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/2722304966/sizes/m/<br />
78.3 % of adolescents sampled reported using text messaging at least weekly.<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmin/3357778371/in/faves-44940340@N05/<br />Attribution: “Texting…do not disturb”<br />
49% of adolescents reported using facebook weekly and 37.6% reported using myspace.<br />http://www.facebook.com/<br />http://www.myspace.com/<br />
Warning Signs of Cyberbullying<br />A child may be experiencing cyberbullying if he or she: <br />appears sad, moody, or anxious <br />avoids school <br />withdraws from or shows a lack of interest in social activities <br />experiences a drop in grades or decline in academic performance <br />appears upset after using the computer or being online <br />appears upset after viewing a text message on a cell phone <br />
What do we do?<br />Get Involved!<br />Attiribution: “In the Computer Lab” http://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/43995673/<br />
Review the school district guidelines for computer safety with students.<br />Supervise students during the school day using computers or digital devices.<br />Recognize bullying behavior and take action.<br />Follow school discipline procedures and board policy for cyberbullying incidences<br />Help Prevent Cyberbullying<br />
We Must Teach Students Necessary Skills<br />Social skills<br />Ethical decision-making<br />Conflict resolution<br />Attribution: “Textual Revolution”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/dayland/2873143171/in/faves44940340@N05/<br />
Digital Responsibility is a must!<br />Attribution: “Day 256: And So It Begins” 7794@N04/4311030134<br />Attribution: “Text Messages”<br />Attribution: “eye phone”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebolasmallpox/3536804299/sizes/m/in/faves-44940340@N05/#cc_license<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/maximalist/377052869/in/faves-44940340@N05/<br />
So….<br />Attribution: “CornerBannerLeft”<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjames/439136155/in/faves-44940340@N05/<br />and make our school and community a…..<br />Attribution: “ Bully Free Zone” http://www.flickr.com/photos/pointshoot/2500644518/sizes/m/in/faves-44940340@N05/<br />
Works Cited<br />Belsey, Bill. “Cyberbullying: Always On? Always Aware!” Cyberullying.ca. Cyberbullying.ca, n.d. Web. 1 May 2010. <br /> <http://www.cyberbullying.ca/><br />Halligan, John. “Ryan’s Story.” Ryan’s Story Presentation, LLC. 2009. Web. 1 May 2010. <http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/><br />Hinduja, Sameer and Justin W. Patchin. “Research.” Cyberbullying.us. Cyberbullying Research Center, Feb. 2010. Web 1 May 2010.<br /> <http://www.cyberbullying.us/research.php><br />Olweus, Dan. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Olweus.org.Hazeldon Foundation, 2010. Web 1 May 2010. <br /> <http://www.olweus.org/public/index.page><br />Palfrey, John, and Kurt Eisele-Dyrli. "Educating Digital Natives." DistrictAdministration 45.10/11 (2009): 25-26. Academic Search <br /> Complete. EBSCO. Web. 1 May 2010.<br />Willard, Nancy. "Social Networking, Part 2: A Toolkit for Teachers." MultiMedia & Internet@Schools 13.4 (2006): 18-21. Academic <br /> Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 May 2010.<br /> <br />