This week’s topic alerted me to many of the dangers that both children and adults alike can be subjected to in the online world. Identity theft, scams and cyberbullying are all important issues to be aware of as users of the online community.
For the weekly tasks I chose to focus on cyberbullying as I felt this would be one issue that would be most relevant to me as a future educator and an issue that I would almost certainly come into contact with. While the task only called for discussion on one news article, as this is such a prominent issue in today’s society, there were an abundance of news articles on this topic and I found myself reading through several articles on a variety of elements regarding cyber bullying. I found a lot of the research both confronting and worrying and set out to find preventative strategies and ideas to create awareness.
Cyberbullying is the bullying or harassment that occurs through technologies such as computers and mobile phones. Perpetrators will use SMS, e-mail and Facebook to spread their message. (University of Gothenburg, 2010). One news report I found stated that Australia has been ranked number one in online harassment, with one in four children reporting being harassed or bullied on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013). The article reiterated the relevance of this issue in a primary school setting with the reveal that 80 per cent of Australian children under 10 are now active on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013).
One reason cyberbullying can cause so much harm is the inability to escape the harassment. In cases of face-to-face or playground bullying, the bullying stops once victims are away from the bully, this is not the case in cyberbullying (University of Gothenburg, 2010).
As educators, an awareness of this bullying is a step in the right direction in addressing the issue. Research conducted by the University of British Columbia suggests the need for programs aimed at reducing cyberbullying in particular. This is due to the assumption that the many established programs aimed at preventing bullying cover cyber bullying as well and this is not always the case (University of British Columbia, 2012).
I believe as educators we need to teach students how to act responsibly and safely online and similarly show an interest in their safety and the sites they like to visit (University of Gothenburg, 2010) in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of this online aggression.
There is some useful links below that has a lot of useful hints and information on how to be cyber smart.
Australia ranked one in cyberbullying. (2013). Mandurah Mail. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.mandurahmail.com.au/story/1727945/australia-ranked-one-in-cyberbullying/
ETCB Organization (2013). End cyberbullying 2014. [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfT2qqrqzgo
Ranjan, A.(2014). Cyberbullying vs Bullying [Image] http://www.techtricksworld.com/cyberbullying/
University of British Columbia. (2012). Cyberbullying and bullying are not the same. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413122202.htm
University of Gothenburg. (2010). Cyberbullying: A growing problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104939.htm