ISTE Standard 5: Digital Citizenship
Question: When advocating for positive digital citizenship, what safeguards can schools take to help protect their students from cyberbullying?
Technology gives student’s anonymity and with being anonymous comes bravery. The previous ISTE standards have helped me to realize that technology can give shy students a voice; that they become more brave and autonomous when communicating online. This can be such a great feature but at the same time, it can give people the feeling of superiority and authority. According to Common Sense Education (2015), ‘students learn that cruelty can escalate quickly online because people are often anonymous and posts spread quickly.’ Cyberbullying has been in the headlines a lot of late. School aged suicides are becoming more and more common. There were 2 suicides related to the school I work at, just last year. It is our job as educators to teach positive digital citizenship and to also make sure that students have somewhere to turn when they need help.
This article if full of great information that can benefit all school districts! It teaches schools how to set up a Google Voice account that allows students to call or text when they feel that they, or someone else, is being [cyber] bullied or is in danger. Hinduja (2015) wrote, ‘we strongly believe that every school should have a system in place that allows students who experience or observe bullying or cyberbullying (or any inappropriate behavior) to report it in as confidential a manner as possible. It seems obvious that we should be using mediums that youth already prefer. In addition, being able to broach the subject without being forced to reveal one’s identity or do it face-to-face may prove valuable in alerting faculty and staff to harmful student experiences, and help promote an informed response to bring positive change.’ Schools are encouraged to hang posters, send out flyers, and use their automated school wide messaging system to make sure students know the Google Voice phone number. It is also important to make sure that students know that they can call anonymously for any reason and at any time, day or night.
Turn down the dial on cyberbullying and online cruelty. Common Sense Education. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/turn-down-dial- cyberbullying- and-online-cruelty-9-10
Hinduja, Sameer. (2015). Setting up a free bullying and cyberbullying reporting system with Google voice. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/turn-down-dial-cyberbullying-and-online-cruelty-9-10