Student Safety & Bullying

Bullying by text
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Although my students are all digital natives and I am a digital immigrant I can still teach them to be respectful and ethical digital citizens, one of the best ways to do this is by modelling and highlighting good practice.
Another technological goal I have with my students is rather than let them just consume (which is what 90% of the population do) I try to encourage them to create using technology, for example using measuring devices/probes and programmes to record and present data.

The issue of bullying has always been an unsavory one and difficult to deal with. These days the attention seeking and social power that bullies crave can be achieved through technology particularly for girls where rumors, gossip & intimidation can be spread easily. Boys can use this method but also tend to adopt a more physical approach. I find one of the saddest aspects of bullying is that it is reflective of normative behavior and can develop into future adult behavior. The solution is not easy and multifaceted but some positive directions would be to identify the issues and stop it escalating, build empathy and nurture an environment where this kind of behavior is not validated. A clear written statement of school policy, as always, is a good place to start. Here is the one we have in our AUP at ISB:

Cyber-bullying is not tolerated at ISB.
ISB becomes involved when students’ online activities impact at-school life and community.  In other words, if the actions of students outside of school have an effect on students feeling unsafe or uncomfortable at school, then ISB administration will act and remedy this.  Additionally, if members of ISB staff or its community are targeted, then the school administration will get involved.

I was very impressed with the comprehensive technology curriculum on the Common Sense Media website. It is aligned with the Digital Citizenship standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and runs from K -12 dealing with issues such as digital society, rights & responsibilities, safety & security, etiquette, law & ethics and lifelong learners. Each section has clear targets, teacher notes and a variety of  student activities. Well played!

 

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