Week Eight – Cybersmarts

During the tutorial, we learnt about many things about the cyber world.

Teachers have a duty of care in the classroom, but if a scenario like this (look below) happens in the classroom, what would you do?

A teacher had set up an entire lesson by scaffolding and using a remote website hosted in America. The entire class constructed a survey using the mentioned website. One of the students used the survey, but inappropriately. The student created a malicious survey which received lots of attention from classmates. The teacher went to school the next day and almost had to resign.

Could this teacher foresee that the student was going to create something inappropriate from the website? This particular student was on a scholarship and that scholarship was soon rescinded. Should the teacher have foreseen it? Should they have introduced the website from America? Where does the responsibility lie for the teacher? …Where does it end?

Another example was given in the classroom:

If the teacher teaches the student how to write using pen, if the student writes something slander, is it the teacher’s responsibility?

When it is a survey and online, everyone can see it – the public nature of information can hurt a person’s feelings. Nowadays, Facebook and other social networking websites can automatically share surveys or results. It would’ve happened eventually.

So, where does the responsibility end? Teachers can’t be available 24/7 to police what goes on between the students. Although, the one of the many possible faults to the first scenario would be that the teacher didn’t give enough information to the students during the briefing on the activity at hand. The teacher could not have anticipated the slander that has happened. She could have briefed the students about ethical and moral issues. This is just another example of cause and effect. Consequences apply when information that would be reminiscent of cyberbullying is stored online. Once it is online, it’s not as easy to take back.

This video caught my attention in the classroom:

Personally, I found this intriguing because it really shows how students don’t know what the dark side of the cyberspace is. Without actually seeing who you’re talking to, you don’t know how dangerous the other party is. It goes through the things that you shouldn’t do. For example, sharing photos publicly so that everyone could access your images and talk to you. This is purely why privacy settings are put into place.

Although I was once one of these naive teenagers, these statistics peaked my curiosity.

  • 38% of minors on Facebook are under the age of 13
  • More than 50% of parents polled “spy” on their kids’ Facebook accounts
  • 56% parents wanted to protect their child from online sexual predators, but they were also concerned about identity theft, sexting, drugs, alcohol and cyberbullying
  • One out of three parents said their child had already been cyberbullied

Having read all of these statistics, this reminded me of an episode of “The Force: Behind the Lines” that I had seen with regards to a case of a cyber predator attempting to engage with a child in sexual activity. Unfortunately, I can’t find a link for that specific case.

Overall, it was an interesting lesson and these websites: icybersafe.com, Cybersmart helped me further understand the concept of it. A book titled, “Erasing Cyberbullying”, was a campaign to help educate teachers in Australia. It is a cleverly crafted book with a USB shaped like an eraser that contained lots of curriculum designed lesson plans, class projects, teaching aides and animated case study videos to help teachers erase cyberbullying in their schools. I enjoyed this lesson because this is what I’d like to learn more about the impact of cyber space to students.


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