Cyber Bullying

Bullying is no longer just physical. The introduction of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and new communication tools such as text messaging and instant messaging has brought a new dimension to child protection issues and in particular bullying. These technologies are being abuse and used by children and young people to harass, intimidate and annoy on another. These can range from harmless to quite damaging and upsetting. There have been cases of teenagers committing suicide from being cyber bullied. The majority of the time these children do not seek help and so the problem continues to increase to the point where it becomes unbearable. Cyber bullying can be psychologically damaging  and can take the form of nasty messages, emails and saying hurtful things on message boards, and even pretending to be someone else and/or accessing someone else’s account and causing trouble. When this behaviour is intense and repeated constantly, this is classified as bullying.

According to the Office for Internet Safety, Ireland, there are many different ways technology can be used for cyber bullying. This includes personal intimidation, impersonation, exclusion, personal humiliation, and false reporting. The reason why many children and teenagers do not get help is because they feel threatened that the bully will hurt them further if they do, and this can be particularly prominent throughout school environments. These technologies are spaces for young people to express themselves without the influence of adults, therefore adults and teachers can be unaware of cyber bullying.

Cyber Bullying can be stopped. Children and teenagers need to be made aware of cyber bullying and to tell an adult when they see it happening or if they get bullied themselves. It is imperative that the bullies be stopped. Teenage victims of cyber bullying in particular should be able to express their concerns with anyone who can do something about the issue. As cyber bullying does not just occur in school environments, parents need to be aware of their child’s activity on the internet and need to monitor signs of any bullying that may be occurring and help to stop it and prevent it for good.

Office for Internet Safety (2008). Get with it. Brunswick Press, Dublin.

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Prevent Cyberbulling!

http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/viewing/L940/index.html

Anti-Bullying campaign. The link above describes phsiycal bullying, but you can adapt this for your class to entail cyber bullying. The children have to create flyers and public brochures to make people aware of cyber bullying and ways to prevent it.

The Learning Federation. (2012). Anti-bullying campaign.

Retreived from http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/viewing/L940/index.html on 8/4/12.

Education Services Australia Ltd.

Social Constructivism

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This week’s blog is on social constructivism. Like Personal Learning environments, social constructivism is a relatively new learning theory that is another move away from traditional teaching and learning pedagogy. Learning is a social activity, and is done in a variety of ways and in a variety of different settings, learnt and taught to different people of all ages.

According to Oluwafisayo (2010), learning can be viewed from two different perspectives. These are traditional teaching and learning pedagogy, and progressive education. Traditional pedagogy entails the teacher imparting all knowledge to students through the medium of the traditional text book and by “isolating the learner from all social interaction and seeing education as a one on one relationship between the learner and the objective material”. Progressive education on the other hand recognises the social aspect of learning which requires interaction and conversation between people, either peers or student to teacher. Teaching is the foundation of many educational processes, and one of these is social constructivism.

Fosnot (1996) suggests that social constructivism is where learners actively construct their own knowledge and meaning from their experiences. The theory has its foundations in philosophy and psychology which suggests that reality can only be sensed through experiences and as each experience is different, each person has their own unique view of reality (Satish and Munsung, 2004).

Education has to be changed to adapt to an ever changing world, particularly the 21st century. Children born from 1992 are considered to be the “net generation” as they have never known life without the internet. (I am part of this generation myself!). Having grown up with the internet and now studying to be a teacher, I can see that the internet plays a large role in the implementation of social constructivism in classrooms and education today. Social constructivism therefore offers a new perspective to education in this “new age of information” (Oluwafisayo, 2010) where new technologies are constantly and rapidly being developed. Social constructivism allows students to be in control of their own learning and allows the learner to play an active role in acquiring new information to previous knowledge.

Fosnot, C. T. (1996). Constructivism: Theory, perspective, and practice. New York: Teachers College.

Press as cited in Oluwafisayo, E. (2010). Constructivism and Web 2.0 in the Emerging Learning Era: A Global Perspective. Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability.  Vol. 6(4).

Oluwafisayo, E. (2010). Constructivism and Web 2.0 in the Emerging Learning Era: A Global Perspective. Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability.  Vol. 6(4).

Satish, M. and Munsung, R. (2004) Enhancing educational learning through some TQM principles. The International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management. Vol. 21 (8) Pp. 801-816 as cited in Oluwafisayo, E. (2010). Constructivism and Web 2.0 in the Emerging Learning Era: A Global Perspective. Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability.  Vol. 6(4).