I wanted to commence this week with two cautionary tales from my daily newspaper which highlights the plight of young people using the net for social purposes. Whilst these stories are not unique, they indicate the tip of a growing iceberg. I wonder how many other stories are happening today just like them and how the guardians of young people can act to limit the opportunity for such tragic outcomes:
These incidences should bring home to us the necessity of configuring very clear guidelines of internet engagement. It's not a 'free for all' and is clearly a highly dangerous opportunity that permits strangers direct access to the young and vulnerable. Just as Teen Second Life has a very stringent policy that gatekeeps that environment, we are duty bound to inform and guide activity on the web.
Teachers can be proactive with this issue by
- acknowledging bullying exists
- co-creating enforceable rules of engagement
- using classroom tools:
- that allow teacher/student moderation of comments
- that have a real administration who can track down and remove cyber bullies.