This week we focused on digital security and how to keep safe in the face of security issues such as scams, identity theft and cyberbullying. I chose to reflect on cyberbullying because as a parent of two young boys addicted to all things digital, this subject is close to my heart.
Cyberbullying is defined as the act of using technology to deliberately and repeatedly threaten, humiliate or intimidate someone (Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2010). As a parent, the thought of my children being victims of cyberbullying is distressing. Whilst I appreciate bullying has played a part in school life for decades, the move from playground to internet, enables bullying to take on another dimension where it can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As a teacher, in a digital world, it is my responsibility to educate children on being responsible and ethical digital users. This includes lessons on understanding what cyberbullying is, and what is appropriate and inappropriate online behaviour. Students need to be able to discern between real and fictional people, and how to protect themselves. This is a frightening aspect of the digital world that cannot be ignored.
Australian Communications and Media Authority [ACMA]. (2010). Cyber[smart:] say no to cyberbullying! Retrieved from: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Cyberbullying