Cyber Bullying

ONLINE CYBER BULLYING GAME: Complete brochure in relation to cyber bullying and how we can prevent it in our schools?

Cyber Bullying

The issue of cyber bullying is perhaps one of the greatest contributing factors towards the reluctance of educational institutions to implement further utilisation of online technologies within the classroom. According to the Office for Internet Safety cyber bullying is defined as ‘bullying which is carried out using the internet, mobile phone or other technological devices’, with repeated aggression in generally a psychological form. Cyber bullying can have severe emotional and social consequences for an individual with the ease of misinterpretation, wide scale publishing’s and inability to remove information being a major concern for child protection. Many schools attempt to avoid the issue all together by banning or discouraging the use of online sites such as social networking and blogs.

Whilst the Office for Internet Safety has clearly identified the many forms of cyber bullying such as personal intimidation, impersonation, exclusion, personal humiliation and false reporting; and the severity of these issues in relation to a child’s safety at school and at home, it is important that schools do not compromise their students education in an ever modernising society with the fear of cyber bullying resulting. As seen in the previous blog entry, Web 2.0 and online interactive sites have the ability to greatly enhance the learning of students with a variety of learning styles, exposing them to information and insights not otherwise available. It is for this reason that schools should attempt to take preventative measures to reduce the possibility of cyber bullying as opposed to preventing the use of online interactions all together.

Schools should educate their students on how to best care for themselves and others and how to make informed decisions when using the internet. An anti-bullying policy should be implemented within the school that implicates the students when using online sites both at home and at school. Children must also be provided avenue to report any forms of bullying anonymously and be encouraged to do so (Office for Internet Safety).

If the physical school environment promotes positive relationships and discourages acts of traditional face-to-face bullying, it is much more likely that the online environment will reciprocate these actions and behaviours and cyber bullying will be of much less prevalence.

Office for Internet Safety. (n.d) Get with it. A guide to Cyber bulying. Retrieved from http://www.rcysostenibilidad.telefonica.com/es/ media/pdf/Get_with_it_Cyberbullying_Booklet. pdf

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Social-Constructivism

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It’s about bringing the puzzle pieces, together!

Social- Constructivism combines the ideals of Vygotsky’s 1978 constructivist theory by which learners personally construct their own learning based on their experiences, with the social aspect of doing so in an interactive environment. The constructivism model focuses on learner centred instruction with evidence students are more greatly stimulated and motivated when they are encouraged to discover things for themselves and build their own reality based on their experiences (Enonbun, 2010). The way in which learners are best equipped to be active in constructing their own learning is to interact with both the people and the resources within their environment. This is where web 2.0 becomes a powerful in the 21st century classroom.

Web 2.0 is according to Enonbun (2010, p.  20) viewed as a ‘second generation of web development and design that facilitates communication and secures information sharing,… and collaboration on the World Wide Web’. It is advanced in comparison to Web 1.0 where information is simply readily accessible, where as web 2.0 allows the content to now be modified on the learners terms- becoming an interactive and constructive environment. Web 2.0 tools include those such as wikis, blogs, social networking sites etc where students can erect their own learning setting that they can go on to share with others beyond their immediate classroom environment. They can modify and edit their own content dependent upon their chosen interactions with other sites and individuals, stimulating their active involvement in the maintenance of content and assisting in broadening the critical understandings of socially constructed learning. (Enonbun, 2010)

This online form of social-constructivism provides many opportunities for enhancing the learning experience as well exposing children to wider society in a variety of forms. It does however pose some social and educational risks in the learning environment. Underdeveloped countries would be unlikely to have access to web 2.0 reducing their social learning capacity, also having an effect on those who do have access with these learners not having the opportunity to interact with and gauge an insight into the views of these learners in these countries. The opportunity to modify and edit any information negotiates the validity and integrity of the not only the content but also the learning, with limited privacy also being major factor. (Enonbun, 2010)

Social Constructivism provides students with greater opportunities to draw relevance between their classroom learning and the outside world in a way in which suits their individual learning needs, but this must be done in a safe and controlled environment to ensure learning beneficiaries are the result and student safety is not compromised.

Enonbun, O (2010). Constructivism and web 2.0 in the emerging learning era: A global perspective. Journal of Strategic innovation and sustainability, 6(4), 17-27. Retrieved from http://www.na- businesspress.com/JSIS/EnobunWeb.pdf

Personal Learning Environments and eLearning


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In a relentlessly technological developing world, it is quite inevitable that e-learning may be the foremost contributing factor towards either our success or failure in the future workforce and in society in general. E-Learning refers to the manipulation of handheld technologies that provide access to wireless and mobile phone networks that aim to support and extend opportunities for learning. Personal Learning Environments (PLE’S), concern a new approach to using these technologies for learning, by which consumers become the producers of their own online learning environment. (Attwell, 2007)
Attwell (2007) theorises that Personal Learning Environments play a significant role in lifelong learning and informal learning and account for all different styles of learning. For example, in order to remain an active and relevant member of the workforce in the changing world, constant updating of skills and development of knowledge is of growing necessity. Personal Learning Environments can provide this ongoing learning, allowing workers to maintain their employability through assembling their learning from a variety of contexts and learning providers; including formal and informal education and practical training, into the one place. Attwell (2007, p. 3) also suggests that PLE’s ‘could allow a learner to configure and develop a learning environment to suit and enable their own style of learning’. That is visual learners for example could organise their information to be visually appealing and stimulating whilst auditory learners may choose to use sound recorders and audio features to present their learning. Each to their own.
Whilst e-learning and PLE’s provide learners with a more holistic, personalised and accessible learning environment where students are responsible for their own learning, the limitations of this pedagogy must also be recognised. This form of learning environment can pose a great level of distraction to students, with the possibility the focus being lost to the technological side as opposed to the content being presented. A heightened risk of cyber bullying and reduced internet safety is also an issue, with an inability to access the required devices also a problem for some families. It is also essential that there be curriculum to support the device, in order for the online learning to be of some relevance to the immediate classroom learning.
Attwell, G (2007). The Personal Learning Environments – the future of eLearning? eLearning Papers, vol. 2 no. 1. 1-8 . ISSN 1887-1542.

Using Interactive Whiteboards to promote Intellectual Quality

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The endorsement of Intellectual Quality  throughout all lessons is of great necessity in ensuring that students tap into deeper levels of thinking and understanding as opposed to just attempting to rote learn endless amounts of information. According to Kent (2008), Interactive Whiteboards enable the ongoing promotion of Intellectual Quality much easier to achieve.

This modernised form of technology provides endless opportunities for constant interaction with and manipulation of content, as well as lodging easily accessible resources that can be altered for any stage group. For example, a simple labelling activity for an early stage 1 class can be changed into an activity for stage 2, which may pose questions that require critical thinking and reflection before than going on to label the same diagram. Interactive Whiteboards also offer features of high ambiguity and randomness that ‘promote higher order thinking… lead substantive conversations… and present knowledge open to multiple interpretations’ (Kent, 2008, p. 21); all of which are key components in enabling the development of intellectual quality.

However, according to well known educational theorist; Vygotsky (1978), the physical utilisation of concrete materials is the most essential methodology in assisting children in constructing their own knowledge, with interactions between teachers and students promoting the zone of proximal development. The construction of one’s own knowledge has the greatest influence on ensuring that intellectual quality is promoted, with teacher-student interaction providing guidance and direction when building an understanding.

Whilst it appears Kent (2008) was accurate in stating that Interactive Whiteboards enable the ‘easiest’ promotion of high levels of intellectual quality, it is only when they are used in conjunction and reinforced by additional teaching methodologies where communication and interaction between the children and their educators is prevalent, that they become the most effective in achieving this purpose. ‘The difference between high quality and average quality teaching with an IWB,… is the quality of the underlying teaching’. (Kent, 2008, p. 25)

 

Kent, P. (2008). Interactive Whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers. South Yarra, VIC: Macmillan Publishers.