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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Re: Cyber bullies

Despite my recent blog entry about Cyber Bullying, there is still so much more to say about the topic.

As we educate our students on the benefits of social media, we should also alert them to the dangers. There are various approaches to cel phones in schools.

As Wes points out, labeling is an important part of image. If the phone is to be used for education, it is called a "mobile learning device" to emphasize its educational importance. However, students, parents, and teachers should be aware of the technology's dark side.

As exemplified in the case of the cel phone's educational name, "mobile learning device", parents should be aware of the differences between "bullies" and "Cyber bullies".

The many phases of bullying.
1.Olden days:
Size: large, often older or taller than the average kid.
Skills: Cruel nicknames, stealing lunch money, extreme snowball accuracy.

2. New Wave
Size: varied
Skills: everything nice, note encoding

3. Cyber Bullies
Size: varied
Skills: social media

The Olden Days bully was easy to spot, and thus became a stereotype. The problem with identifying a new wave or cyber bully in the classroom is that they could be anyone. The new wave bully was the first bully to break the stereotype, mainly because they were often girls. Passing nasty notes and not inviting certain people to parties were not as easy to spot as bloody noses. Bully proofing girls is harder than teaching them not to get into fist fights. Now that bullies can be armed with cel phones or bully after school hours, the threat is growing.

Phoebe Prince killed herself after receiving threatening text messages-texting, and bullying, can become criminal.

While I agree that social media, be it Twitter or cel phones, can be used for education, we must understand their goods and bads before allowing them into the classroom. Monitoring and strict lesson structures are key components to keeping cel phone, or "mobile education" focused. Before we can use cel phones for education, we have to stop using them for bullying.

To end on a positive note: two lessons to stop a bully

1. Emotional Intelligence
2. Empathy

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