Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Preventing cyberbullying through education and learning.
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place over digital devices such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets. Within these devices, the bullying is presented through texts, social media, forums, games and any other app or platform that allows communication between users.
Traditional bullying continues to be the most common type of bullying, however, with the vast majority of young people owning their own mobile device, it would not be surprising if cyberbullying becomes the most dominant form of bullying in the future. With that said, statistics show that cyberbullying on mobile devices is the most common, and how many of us carry these devices around with us all day, every day?
It has not gone unnoticed that we are introducing technology to children from a very young age. Most children have access to a tablet in their infant years and eventually they move onto laptops and cell phones. This means, that as educators and parents, we need to be teaching the new generations about online safety from as young as lower primary. This may seem daunting; however, it is essential, especially noting that young people who experience cyberbullying are at a greater risk of suicidal behaviours and self-harm. All things considered, the following quote comes to mind.
“Plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” Howard Ruff
I understand that there is a lot of emphasis on building a solid foundation for academics at this age, but let’s put this into perspective, what about when lack of social and life skills education eventually has detrimental affect on that young person’s education? If they haven’t been given the knowledge on cyberbullying and online safety, their academics and most importantly, their wellbeing, could be affected later down the line when they have difficulty with their mental health, or end up in an unsafe situation. Protecting and preventing through education is key in ‘blocking out’ cyberbullying and keeping our young people safe.
We believe our mission statement is very fitting with regard to this post, “Helping young people now and in their future”. We must remember that the victims of cyberbullying are not just children and teenagers, unfortunately this type of bullying can happen to anyone, at any age, and is not uncommon in adulthood. This post is not intended to raise fear, because when used properly, technology can be a truly amazing tool for us to connect, learn and inspire. However, it is important that young people are aware of how to deal with the people out there who misuse technology and moreover, make sure that young people are aware of the implications of their own online behaviour and how it can affect others.
Your Call to Action...
I hope you do your part and implement this into the education of the young people in your care! If you don't have time to develop your own cyberbullying content, or you are looking for inspiration, we have a whole range of high quality FREE and paid resources for you to use, click here to take a look!
What are you doing in your classroom to prevent cyberbullying? We would love to find out in the comments below!