The behavior of young people on the Internet is simply an extension and reflection of the attitudes and forms of discrimination adults models on a regular basis in the physical world. Online activities that support communications for interpersonal, recreation, commercial, education, and government purposes have enabled variations of so-called Internet culture to emerge throughout the amorphous realm of cyberspace where youth and adults interact in ways that extend their activities, experiences, and associations. They do so in largely unmonitored, unregulated, and unsanctioned ways. What a person would rarely —if ever— contemplate doing in person, they may do online because they can, or believe they can, get away with it. When it comes to bullying online, this is especially true of youth and young adults. Hence, online bullying by and among youth and young adults is today an integral aspect of what we will explain as the digital culture of contemporary youth.
Cyberbullying, or what some people call “Internet aggression,” “Internet bullying,” or “digital harassment,” involves using computers or other information computing technology (ICT) devices, such as personal digital assistants or cell phones in which the Internet is relied on to support various types and combinations of written or audible interpersonal communications such as e-mail, instant messaging, texting via cell phones, and myriad other social computing activities including electronic gaming, blogging, chatting or posting messages, images and videos onto web pages and so on, to embarrass, harass, intimidate, threaten, or otherwise cause harm to individuals targeted for such abuse.
Before digital media, bullies in school focused on their targets in person. Teachers and schools could witness the bullying and take steps to prevent it during the school day. Cyber bullying has taken school-day bullying to the next level, however, seeping into evenings and weekends and making it harder for schools to intervene. But cyber bullying training for teachers can change all of that, creating a safe, supportive environment for all kids—even after school hours.
Cyber bullying is now ubiquitous and involves to varying extents tens of millions of children, adolescents, and young adults throughout the world, as well as older adults and especially vulnerable populations of people such as the elderly and individuals with special needs. Essentially anyone and everyone who stands out for some reason in comparison to a dominant individual or group is vulnerable to being picked on in person and/or online. Children attending primary school, adolescents of secondary school age and young adults in colleges and universities are now constantly at risk of standing out and being portrayed online in ways that incite others to intentionally embarrass, harass, intimidate, or threaten them. When this happens they will become victims, offenders, and/or witnesses of incivility online or in person, one form of abuse leading to another as aggressive behaviors spin out of control through a ganging up process commonly known as “piling on.”
Cyber bullying is an issue for many students. According to Cyberbullying Research Center about 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online and 30% of them have had it happen more than once. Although most children are not bullied on the school premises, half of those who had been cyber bullied noted that they had been targeted by another student from school. As this problem grows, it’s important for students, parents and educators to understand the effects of cyberbullying and what can be done to prevent it. This course takes a holistic look at the issue and includes information on the types of cyberbullying, how students can protect themselves and what actions can be taken to address it after it happens. It aims to provide teachers with a critical knowledge concerning the phenomenon of youth bullying. It focuses on both traditional bullying that usually takes place on school premises and cyber bullying, which occurs via information and communication technologies. With a social-ecological perspective, the seminar explores the boundaries of these phenomena, and analyzes the characteristics of youth involved and the social-psychological processes that underlie the different roles youth play in bully-victim-bystander dynamics. It also covers the prevention and intervention strategies available at the international level.
After the completion of the course participants will be able to answer to the following questions:
- What is bullying? How can I recognize it?
- How do new information and communication technologies modify traditional bullying behavior? Is “virtual” bullying less “real” than face-to-face bullying?
- What are the risk factors for (cyber)bullying? And its consequences for youth?
- What role do the family, school and peers play?
- How can bullying and cyberbullying be prevented? What can schools, parents, and the society do about them? What really works?
For more information click here Confronting Cyber-Bullying In Schools (PDF)