Friday, December 3, 2010

Realities of Cyberbullying

It's all about community.  Every child has the right to a safe learning environment.  It is our responsibility to ensure that we are providing that for them.  We need to provide opportunities for children to accept differences.  Foster conversations that allow children to listen to others' opinions, even those they disagree with.  Literature is an engaging and safe way for children to explore their views about themselves, others, & their world.  Use cooperative learning to ensure that children work with a variety of peers.  They need to work with both genders and a variety of learning styles, ethnicities, and abilities. 

Child development is key.  Much of what is happening online, would happen in person, but to a lesser degree.  Much of what they are doing is typical behavior, but it is amplified because of the public arena of the web.  Elevens worry about popularity, argue, and are impulsive.  Twelves are uninhibited.  Thirteens easily hurt others' feelings.  Teens believe they are invincible & that it will never happen to them.  These all play a factor in how they interact with others on the web.  While they are developing a larger capacity for empathy, they still don't understand the ramifications of their actions.

Knowledge is power.  Many children are venturing into the realm of social media unattended and untaught.  They don't know the true purpose of the sites they are using.  They don't know how to use them appropriately.  They don't know how to communicate on them.  They need to realize the reality of web 3.0 ~ what happens on line stays on line.  Everything has a url that someone somewhere can access.