Face [less] Book

In the light of the missing 13 year old girl in Victoria, I have updated this post. How much more do we need to supervise and be a part of our children’s’ internet world!

Earlier this week, I heard a report that a principal from a local public school had completely banned his students from using Facebook. In fact, he is so passionate about this issue, that he patrols the Facebook world daily by randomly entering student names and then forces them to shut down their profile. (Does he know the students will find a loophole in this system? I thought of a way round this in about 2 seconds).

So, as it happens, a parent came in about 2 days after this report to say that her student had been cyber-bullied on Facebook. This is interesting as I feel that we have educated our students about appropriate online behaviours, discussed consequences of online posting and enables safe sites for them to have their voice. And yet… here we are again.

We embarked this afternoon on reminding the students about appropriate online behaviour. We used a couple of new online resources that we have discovered to prove our point.

Check out this YouTube clip – Childnet International – Cyber Bullying – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNumIY9D7uY

   This clip is in a video-diary format and shows the jouney of a middle-school boy being cyber-bullied. It shows how the bullying started, persisted and how it was resolved.

One of our students said “I was reminded how bad cyber-bullying is and how it’s not a joke to some people”.

Another excellent resource is www.cybersmart.gov.au. This site has been developed by the Australian Government and provides a range of resources; clips, lesson plans, worksheets and quizzes. We showed the students just a snippet of the site and they then had the opportunity to play with the site. The ACMA also have posters and a CD Rom that is available for FREE!

For middle school, www.theline.gov.au is great for discussing moral dilemmas including cyber-bullying.

Soooo, what has been the outcome then…

The following day, three Yr 5 girls came to me before school and began with this statement “Miss Morrison, you know how you said that you understand that students need a voice?” “Hmmm…” I responded. The students then proceeded to tell me that they had set up a blog for Yr 5 to “give them a voice”. The girls had even printed out little business cards with the blog details on them to give to all of the students and teachers. They explained that some of their parents, us teachers and themselves would be monitoring the posts. Let’s hope it takes off!

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