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Position Statement

It is quite evident that technology is the root of problems such as cyberbullying and
online predatory activities. These activities are only on the rise as technology advances.
Statistics have shown alarming rates at which children fall into this vicious online cycle of
putting others down and hiding behind a screen. Technology will not be eliminated from our
society, so we need to implement positive and productive mindsets within children when using
the internet. Teachers need to raise awareness and create respectful digital citizens. The internet
can be an extremely helpful learning tool to advance and expand learning. It can also hinder
children when they become victims or offenders of cyberbullying or online predatory activities.
Realizing how serious of a problem cyberbullying is and acknowledging its negative effects on
children in the classroom, is the first step. As our society and technology advances, it is
important to ensure students safety through a healthy and productive use of technology.
As a result, it is very important for K-12 educators to understand these issues. Teachers
and educators need to teach students critical thinking skills; how to steer themselves away from
danger, and become responsible digital citizens.

Suggestions for integrating online safety into curriculum:

1) Teach students techniques to avoid scams or any predatory sites. Show the
students what to look out for that may be dangerous when running online searches.
2) Teach online safety in social studies class and students will conduct research on
these issues.
3) When students research on the Internet, remind them how to evaluate websites for
authenticity and factuality.
4) Teach students to identify issues with research and for writing project, use
technology and ethics as research topics.
5) When teaching individual rights and freedom in the context of diversity, discuss
how the internet can be used both to support and oppose diversity.
6) In class discussion to help students internalize the messages.
Resources for teachers:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/cyberbullying-toolkit
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/what-schools-can-do-to-stop-bullying.shtml
http://mediasmarts.ca/cyberbullying/resources-teachers
http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/teaching-students-to-prevent-bullying.html
https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/departments-education-and-health-and-human-services-
release-first-joint-policy-brief-use-technology-young-children

Activities:

1. This activity is called the Online Detective. In this activity, students will first
participate in the Media Common Sense survey. They will answer questions such as the
appropriate conducts online; how to navigate through websites; and how to spot scams
and online predatory behaviors. Students will be given scenarios of online behaviors
where they will investigate the issues. Then they will make a presentation to provide
strategies and solutions for these issues. This activity can apply to all subjects and
students of all grades.
2. For this activity, students would create a biography presentation using a Prezi or
PowerPoint. Depending on the age, it could be quite simple, or very involved with many
features and aspects. The biography could be on a person in the content area that is being
taught. It could be on a famous mathematician, their favorite author, a well known artist,
or the current scientist they are learning about. Students would have to find authentic
sources online that are reliable and educational. The teacher would put emphasis on
productive and positive use of the internet and its benefits in the classroom, rather than
for social purpose.
3. This is just an ancillary activity, but I think it would prove pretty powerful for
students: Students will rub a graphite pencil on a piece of paper. The students will then
rub their fingers in the graphite until their fingers are coated with the graphite. The
students will then place their fingers which are coated with the graphite on a plain piece
of paper. The students are then asked to erase the fingerprint so that it cant be seen. (this
is impossible) The teacher can then discuss how every source of the internet connection
leaves a fingerprint. Therefore, every time you communicate on-line, you leave a
fingerprint which cannot be erased.