We know our kids are communicating and collaborating online as a regular part of their lives – in fact, their online “lives” are just as real to them as their “physical” lives. So, what happens online can be just as hurtful as more traditional playground bullying.
The Talent Show:
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The Kitchen Table:
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Basically, we’re dealing with a new playground: the digital playground.
These videos are great conversations starters – both at home and at school – for discussing appropriate online behavior, and online safety. Here at school we have had some fantastic discussions with students after watching these videos – often it takes an entire hour (or more) to really build student’s understanding of these short public service announcements.
If our kids are out on the digital playground every day, using tools like instant messaging, Facebook, cell phones, and blogs, then:
- Who is teaching students about responsibility online?
- When do we start to teach these skills?
- What role do parents play?
Here at school we are discussing these big issues with our students. However, it is critical that these same types of discussions are happening at home as well. The message of online safety and appropriate behavior needs to be infused into any online activity that students participate in – both at school and at home.
Often even casual conversations while playing online can prompt a real, influential learning experience for students.
We know that:
- Cyberbullying is harmful to children, and it happens more often than we know.
- Educators and parents must teach children Cybersafety from an early age so that they can safely interact with others online
- Communications and conversations with your child/student is important in deterring and detecting cyberbullying.
It’s important to realize that there are a variety of ways that students can experience cyberbullying. Here are 8 forms of Cyberbullying:
- Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
- Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean, or disturbing e-mails to an individual
- Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation
- Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name
- Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images
- Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
- Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
- Cyberstalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
Along with cyberbullying, we need to think about online safety, another excellent video to prompt conversations is Think Before You Post:
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Action Items for Parents:
- Where is the computer in your home?
- What sites do your children visit often?
- Does your child have their own cell phone?
- Who are your child’s friends online?
- Do you talk about these things at home?
Keeping the computer in a commonly used space, and being a part of your child’s online life are the first steps to preventing cyberbullying and teaching online safety.
Web links to help parents talk to their children about online safety:
- Stop Cyberbullying
- Media Awareness Network
- Bully Online
- Internet Super Heroes
- NetSmartz Workshop Real Life Stories
- National Crime Prevention Council – Cyberbullying
Here is the presentation we used today: