This week I will be gathering resources on cyberbullying in preparation for an upcoming school board meeting. As I explained in a recent post, school districts in the Sacramento region are dealing with troubling, even tragic, stories of bullying/cyberbullying at a number of school sites. As a result of media coverage on the very real, very negative impact of bullying on students (targets, bullies, bystanders) within and beyond the school day, I think/hope all districts are revisiting this important topic.
As the co-curator of both a district and a global digital citizenship site, I am always on the lookout for new resources, lessons, and research. I really appreciate timely resources from two of my favorite digital citizenship organizations: Cyberbullying Research Center and Common Sense Media.
Cyberbullying Quiz – What the Research Shows – Professors Sameer Hinduja (Florida Atlantic University) and Justin Patchin (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) are the co-directors of the Center for Cyberbullying Research. As researchers, they delve into and provide “up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.” I highly recommend using their newly released Cyberbullying Quiz to jump start faculty discussions. The quiz is short (15 true/false questions) and each answer also includes the supporting research.
In addition to the quiz, Hinduja and Patchin have published a comprehensive Cyberbullying Fact Sheet that is written for educators, administrators, and parents. If you are looking for a professionally done handout for a Parent Night, I’d recommend the Fact Sheet.
Common Sense Media, although not solely focused on cyberbullying, is also constantly updating and adding to their resources. The awesome Kelly Mendoza, director of program development for Common Sense Media’s education programs, recently hosted a webinar with Dr. Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University: Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use. Both the audio and the video are excellent – as is the content! I learned a few new terms from Dr. Englander, such as self-cyberbullying:
“Another issue that is a little peculiar that you may have never heard of is something called self-cyberbullying. This is a problem where kids essentially go online, they create a second persona online, and they use their second identity to cyberbully their first identity themselves. And then they take evidence of this to either their friends or to adults, and they say essentially ‘see, I’m being cyberbullied.’ It’s one of these issues that I thought was going to be very rare. However, we’ve been tracking it for three years now, and we’ve found that about 15 percent of kids admit to doing this.”
Dr. Englander is also the director and founder of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, or MARC, “an academic Center in public higher education, committed to a public health model for bullying and cyberbullying prevention for the state of Massachusetts.” MARC’s K-12 cyberbullying “evidence-based” curriculum looks excellent, including their videos. I will definitely be sharing the K-5 video, Meanness Is Like Littering, with my district community:
Dr. Englander also champions the Great American No Bull Challenge, which includes wonderful student-created videos such as Numbskull:
In addition to cyberbullying research, lessons, and videos, I am hoping to add links to printable posters to cyberbullying my cyberbullying resources. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.