Talkin’ Cyberbullying and Makin’ Comics

cyberbullying activity

We’re nearing the final lessons in our Digital Life unit and the other day, we focused in on cyberbullying. You would think that students would be getting an earful about this kind of bullying every year, but … no. When I asked how many of my students had ever had a teacher talk about it with them, only a few hands went up. Yikes. More hands went up when I asked if parents talked about it. But not too many more.

We began with an activity around a scenario that involved using a website to attack someone else, and discussed the situation and the possible responses. Then, I shared three videos: a Brainpop video about cyberbullying that did a fantastic job of explaining not just what it is but also strategies for victims (but you need a Brainpop account to access it), and then two videos from the CommonSense Media site. The two videos were personal vignettes from two girls who had been the target of cyberbullying, and how they responded and how they felt.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room as they girls talked about their situations. It was powerful. (And I can’t say enough about the CommonSense Media resources and curriculum around digital citizenship and digital life. I’ve been very impressed.)

Next, we went on the laptops and went into one of our communities: Bitstrips for Schools. Students have now begun a comic activity that is supposed to represent some ideas on how to prevent or deal with cyberbullying. They didn’t get too far and we will pick it back up after our February break (although I suspect some of them will work on the site over vacation). But I am going to poke around in the site and see what they have been up, and share out a bit tomorrow.

Peace (in the panels),
Kevin

 

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