1. Hi Phil,
    I also use by teacher “power” to shut down an uncomfortable or troublesome discussion situation, probably due to teaching so long in a private Catholic school system. But having completed a mini research project this summer on cyberbullying, I have discovered that if the students cannot dialogue appropriately in f2f situations, they bring the same disfunctional behavior to on-line dialogues. We need to provide opportunities for them to engage in on-line social relationships were we can monitor them and help teach appropriate skills for the on-line environment. The entire thought of bringing my “hellcats” into an on-line blogging situations scares the hell out of me. But I plan on doing it.

  2. Hi Cindy,

    I would be really interested in hearing more about your mini research project. My experiences in the Digiteen project this year have really convinced me that the only way to really have an impact on the online behaviour of teens is to engage them in dialogue and give them safe opportunities to learn from their mistakes.

  3. This was a very troubling mini project. Another TLITE student and I investigated 4 or 5 research projects and sites on cyberbullying. It was deeply disturbing to find out that the impact of some of the cyberbullying caused the suicides of far more young people than we might want to know about. The biggest thing seemed to be the kids perceived idea of anonymity. They seem to think that because they are not f2f with another person they can say anything they want and get away with it.
    We also found out that there is a real need for District policy on cyberbullying. Many Districts do not have any type of policy for students who bully on-line. The catch is that the bullying happens off school property and where is the line where the school has responsibility. That was a very, very interesting ethical and legal issue for which we found no resolution.

    This is a really good site: http://www.cyberbullying.ca/ by Bill Belsey.

    One of the main things from that little investigation was exactly what you are talking about. The kids need to be taught the skills they need to have online social relationships that are appropriate and in order to do that we have to not use that teacher “power” and shut down the dialogue as well as provide opportunities to learn from their mistakes. (Many of the students who become involved in cyberbullying also bully in “real time” and many are girls- although there seems to be some discrepancy about that stat)

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