According to Roblyer and Doering cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person and is the online version of school bullying (Roblyer & Doering 2013). The development of cyber bullying is quite alarming as it is more invasive than bullying at school as it can occur anywhere anytime, creating a sense of invasiveness. This blurring of formal and informal spaces can create logistical issues, as the question of responsibility and culpability is far more complex when dealing with cyberspace.
I currently work as a peripatetic teacher at a Catholic School, and have come into indirect contact with some of their policies. The school is very clear on acceptable and unacceptable use of ICT with students with clear rules and boundaries, such as use of social media at the school, no recording of any class content without the teachers consent and no use of phones during class. This partly seems to be about limiting students using unmonitored networks during school hours. These rules align with the Western Australian Catholic Education Commission acceptable use policy (Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia 2016). Overall from what I have witnessed the rules seem to work fairly well with students generally following the rules. I think there could be a greater amount of communication about the necessity of these rules as there seems to be a disconnect between students and teachers about security and privacy, with students complaining about the school accessing their emails and reading private messages.
I think an effective way of dealing with cyber bullying is to use communication and education as preventative measures against cyber bullying. Having a frank and open discussion about cyber bullying coupled with clear repercussions for those who are found to be involved with harassing a student online and support for those involved with bullying seems to be a positive approach towards the issue of cyber bullying. I also would be very interested in utilising several resources I found on the e-safety website (Australian Government office of the children’s e-safety commissioner 2017) which included resources on Digital citizens, cyber safety and the stand alone lower secondary cyber bullying lesson plan.
Australian Government office of the children’s e-safety commissioner (2017) Classroom Resources. Retrieved from https://www.esafety.gov.au/education-resources/classroom-resources
Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (2016) Retrieved from http://www.ceo.wa.edu.au/AboutUs/Governance/Policies/Documents/Education/Policy%202B8%20Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology%20Use%20by%20Students.pdf
Roblyer, M., & Doering, A. (2014). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: International Edition, 6th Edition, Pearson.