Ally Dellacioppa's Portfolio Page
The intent of this course is for educators to become informed about bullying and cyberbullying and what they can do to help create a bully free environment within their schools. The focus will be on utilizing participants verbal, intellectual, and attitudinal skills.
Bullying has long been a fixture and area of concern in our nation’s schools. Within the last decade, the prevalence of new digital technologies has greatly increased and thus created a breeding ground for a new form of harassment known as cyberbullying to occur. The issue has become widely publicized by the mass media within the last few years due to a string of teenage suicides induced by cyberbullying.
Clearly something needs to be done to combat the issue and prevent further tragedies from occurring. The question of what exactly should be done is one that has perplexed many people. The role and responsibility that schools and teachers have in the prevention of cyberbullying is not as clearly defined as that of traditional bullying mainly because most occurrences take place off school grounds and during non- school hours. Furthermore, it is difficult to monitor as the perpetrator can remain anonymous and the victim is often afraid to report anything. Even with legislation in place such as New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act that legally requires school districts to take action against bullying and cyberbullying, the problem remains complex.
2. What is to be learned:
Learners will become informed about cyberbullying, the mediums through which it can occur, the signs showing that a student may be being bullied online, and most importantly familiarize themselves with effective strategies in helping to prevent it from occurring.
3. The Learners:
In general, this course would be useful for anyone who deals with children on a regular basis who want to learn more about how to keep them safe in a digital world. Participants could come from of a wide range of backgrounds including teachers, principals, parents, or other school personnel. However, most activities and instruction will be geared towards the role teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school level have in preventing cyberbullying.
4. Instructional Context:
All instruction will take place online and participants are thus required to have access to a computer with working Internet connection. Instruction will vary by units but will mainly include resources such as readings, videos, or lectures. Participants will be assessed through a series of activities directly dealing with scenarios related to cyberbullying.
5. Exploring the problem and solution:
Participants will continuously explore the problem/dangers of cyberbullying throughout this mini-course. Through the activities, projects and other various assignments, students will be able to recognize a variety of useful solutions to this complex issue.
The main goal for this mini course is for participants to gain a better understanding of specifically what cyberbullying is, the dangers of it, and how they as teachers can work to make sure no student is bullied both in and out of their classroom. The end result is to help correct some of the misconceptions people have about the issue and allow teachers to spread their new understanding to others who can also use it to create bully free environments.
By the end of this course participants will be able to:
- define cyberbullying and the dangers of it (verbal)
- cite examples of how it can take place at the elementary, middle, high school, and higher education level (verbal)
- compare and contrast cyberbullying to traditional forms of bullying (intellectual)
- identify several measures teachers can take in order to prevent bullying (verbal)
- identify actions parents can take for children to be safe online at home (verbal)
- propose an initiative to their school's principal that they feel will be the most effective in creating a bully free environment based on the needs of their schools students (attitude)
What is cyberbullying? What constitutes cyberbullying as opposed to traditional forms of bullying?
1. The learner will complete a brief pre-test to assess their prior knowledge about the issue.
2. The learner will read the unit’s introduction to cyberbullying and watch a short video introducing the topic.
3. The learner will brainstorm as many examples of cyberbullying they can think of in five minutes in a Wordle document.
3. The learner will discuss and answer with their classmates the following questions: After reading the text, watching the video, and completing this unit’s activities: What answers from your pre-test would you change? What were you most misinformed about? What were you most surprised to learn about cyberbullying? What was the most eye-opening aspect of the unit for you?
Unit 2: Putting Yourself in the Victims Shoes What are some of the emotions experienced by victims of cyberbullying? What are some commonalities they have and warning signs they show (if any)?
1. The learner will watch a short video about a young teen who chose to end his life after being a cyberbullying victim.
2. The learner will research two newspaper articles about two additional victims of cyberbullying.
3. The learner will analyze the behavior, actions, warning signs (if any) of those who were bullied.
4. The learner will identify any commonalities between victims.
5. The learner will work within groups to read various scenarios related to cyberbullying and answer a set of questions pertaining to each scenario.
6. The groups will then report to the larger class their answers and share what they have come up with.
Unit 3: The Role of Others
What can teachers, principals, other school personnel do to curtail and prevent cyberbullying? What can parents do to help ensure their childrens’ safety online?
1. The learner will access a set of resources designed for educators, parents, and peers to help preventcyberbullying.
2. Based on their findings, the learner will create a pamphlet, brochure, interactive poster or presentation etc that emphasizes the dangers ofcyberbullying and outlines specific steps educators, parents and other students can take.
3. The learner will view and critique the projects of his/her classmates.
4. The learner will report what they have learned and discuss which steps they feel would be the most effective, which they feel would be the least effective or least realistic in combating cyberbullying.
Unit 4: Creating a Bully-Free Environment
What are schools legally obligated to do in the face of cyberbullying? What are the limitations they face? How can you apply your learning to help create a bully free environment within your school district?
1. The learner will read and analyze NY’s Dignity for All Students Act Amendment catering to cyberbullying within schools.
2. The learner will discuss what they feel to be the biggest obstacles districts face and share experiences as an educator including any kind of training or instruction they have received regarding it.
3. The learner will research their school’s bullying policy (usually found in the Code of Conduct) and answer a set of questions based off it.
4. The learner will identify the strengths and weaknesses of their schools policies.
5. The learner will propose an initiative to his/her schools principal to combat cyberbullying to best fit the needs of their school and student body.