Friday, June 13, 2014

Cyberbullying Intervention Plan

The use of the Internet among young people has grown every year due to the increase in the number of homes’ that have Internet access and the development of engaging online applications, such as social media websites. Among all eight to eighteen year olds, homes with Internet access increased from 74 percent in 2004 to 84 percent in 2009 (Rideout). 96 percent of students who have Internet access were found to be using social networking technologies ("The Use of Social Media in School"). With the increase in the use of the Internet and social media technologies, a new type of bullying has emerged called cyberbullying. 17 percent of students reported that they were victims of cyberbullying in 2013 ("Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying").  This intervention plan was developed to provide teachers, parents, and students with:
  • an overview of cyberbullying.
  • a cyberbullying prevention plan.
  • a procedure for reporting cyberbullying.
  • an example cyberbullying lesson plan.
  • online cyberbullying resources.
The ultimate goal of this plan is to prevent cyberbullying and decrease the amount of cyberbullying incidents in schools.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of information technology to carry out hostile and abusive behaviours towards another individual. These behaviors can focus on an individual’s gender, religion, sexuality, appearance, or race. Cyberbullying can occur through communication tools, such as social media sites and messaging platforms. What makes cyberbullying contrastingly different from bullying is that victims can be harmed at any moment, even when they are alone. Examples of cyberbullying includes defaming victims with humiliating pictures and videos on social media sites, sending threatening text messages, spreading rumors of a person via email, creating a website to ridicule a person, and impersonating individuals with fake profiles.

Cyberbullying Prevention

Parent Technology Program

Parental involvement can be a crucial component in a cyberbullying prevention initiative. One way parents can help is being aware of what their children are doing online ("Prevent Cyberbullying"). This includes knowing what sites their children visit, how to use these sites, and what types of online activities they take part in. However, many parents are not capable of observing their children’s online activities. For this reason, schools should provide parents with a program that will teach them these important skills. This program, led by a qualified instructor (ex. ICT teacher), can educate parents in operating their child’s communication devices, monitoring their online activities, having discussions on online issues, and setting up boundaries and rules for technology use. These rules involve what sites their children are allowed to visit, what they can post or publish, and keeping their passwords secure from strangers and friends.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) Class

Another possible method for cyberbullying prevention is providing students with an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) class that includes lessons and units on cyberbullying. This class can educate students on how to operate online technologies safely and securely, use effective strategies that reduce the chances for cyberbullying, and how to report cyberbullying. For example, students would learn that they should not respond to an harmful emails, messages or comments, block any communications with the cyberbully, document the abusive messages, and contact an adult (“Cyberbullying”). They would learn to protect their passwords, think before they post, strengthen privacy settings, log out of their accounts, delete messages from unknown individuals, and practice proper netiquette ("Prevent Cyberbullying: Top Ten Tips for Teens"). An ICT class also promotes discussion among students on the topic of cyberbullying. Building a shared understanding around the issue of cyberbullying can be the basis of all prevention initiatives. Educating students with these skills will create a safe online culture where students can learn and socialize without the fear of cyberbullying.

Establishing School Technology Rules and Policy

All schools should develop and implement their own Appropriate Use Policy (AUP). This specialized policy contains a set of rules that regulates how technology is used at school and advocates for effective, safe and responsible technology practices. Students should be required to sign a contract agreeing to school’s AUP in order to use technology at the school ("Why Have a Technology Policy in Your School or Library?”).  The AUP should include an explanation of what cyberbullying is so that there is a school-wide understanding of the concept. It should also list technology rules that help prevent cyberbullying and make it easier for students to respond and report cyberbullying incidents. Last, the AUP should describe the consequences of students violating the cyberbullying policy.

Response to Cyberbullying

According to, a website dedicated to the development of responsible digital citizens, the response to cyberbullying involves the support of the victim who was bullied, an investigation into the cyberbullying claim, intervention for the bully, and the issuing of disciplinary actions.
The support for the person being bullied involves:
  • letting the victim know that he or she did the right thing by reporting the cyberbullying incident.
  • providing a school culture that has a zero-tolerance policy for cyberbullying.
  • providing online safety strategies and advice.
  • containing the cyberbullying situation by (1) identifying the culprit and taking down the hurtful content, (2) contacting the online host and have the content removed, (3) having the culprit delete the content on their device, and/or (4) contacting the police if illegal content is involved.
  • blocking the cyberbully and enable comment-moderating feature on social media sites.
The investigation into the cyberbullying claim involves:
  • the collection of all harmful content sent or posted by the cyberbully (messages, videos, images, etc.).
  • identifying the cyberbully.
  • finding out whether the cyberbullying act is a criminal offence.
The intervention for the cyberbully and the issuing of disciplinary actions involves:
  • providing services that will help cyberbullies alter their attitudes and behaviors.
  • determining whether or not the cyberbullying incident might have been a misunderstanding.
  • determining if the cyberbullying incident was retaliation for a previous act.
  • making the victim feel safe and believe that they will no longer be cyberbullied by the culprit.
  • showing students that the school has a strong and effective zero-tolerance policy for cyberbullying.  
  • applying sanctions that are listed in the school’s AUP for the breach of contract.

Cyberbullying Lesson Plan

Here is an example of a 1st grade Cyberbullying unit:
Unit Summary
The goal of this unit is to inform students about online safety issues, specifically online safety and cyberbullying. Students will learn strategies that will empower them to be safe online. It is crucial to prevent dangers and to protect children in an online setting. Students will create digital comics based on these online safety topics.
Students will understand
  • the different types of online safety issues that currently exist.
  • online safety practices are crucial to their well-being on the Web.
  • there are many dangers on the Web that they must protect themselves from.
  • things on the Web that may look friendly and enjoyable are not always safe or appropriate for children.
Essential Questions
  • Why would learning about online safety be beneficial for students who use the Internet?
  • What would be considered to be unsafe when students are online?
  • What can students do to protect themselves from online attacks?
Technology Standards
I. Creativity and Innovation
1. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
2. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
II. Communication and Collaboration
2. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
V. Digital Citizenship
1. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
2. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
3. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
4. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
VI. Technology Operations and Concepts
1. understand and use technology systems.
2. select and use applications effectively and productively.
4. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.
Students will know...
  • the importance of security when using the Internet.
  • the meaning of cyberbully.
  • the different forms of cyberbullying.
  • the different strategies for dealing with a cyberbully.*
  • the importance of enlisting the help of a trusted adult when cyberbullied.*
  • how to use the Internet safely and effectively.*
  • that people online are not always who they say they are.*
  • that they should never give out personal information without an adult’s permission.*
  • that predators are always present on the Internet.*

*from iTunes app description
Students will be able to...
  • use online safety strategies.
  • create a comic story to depict their understanding of online safety and strategies.
  • Formative Assessment:
    • Students will create a digital comic that illustrates their understanding of online safety. Their comic will include characters, story plot, a page layout, images, text, and speech bubbles.
  • Summative Assessment:
    • Students will create a digital comic that illustrates their understanding of online safety, and the cyberbullying. Their comic will include characters, story plot, a page layout, images, text, and speech bubbles.
  • Informal observations
Performance Task (GRASP)
  • Goal: Students will be able to apply important online safety strategies and create a comic that illustrates their understanding of online safety.
  • Role: Comic author and artist
  • Audience: Children
  • Situation: Your comic company has asked you to create a comic about online safety that will educate young children about the dangers of being online.
  • Product: Comic illustrating understanding of online safety
  • Standard: Checklist
Learning Plan
  1. Use K-W-L to assess students’ prior knowledge and identify learning goals for the unit.
  2. Online Safety Presentation
  3. Read comic book on online safety
  4. Guided instruction on digital comics
  5. Formative Assessment
    1. Digital comic about online safety
  6. Read comic book on cyberbullying
  7. Summative Assessment
    1. Digital comic about online safety and cyberbullying

Online Resources

  • Site devoted to helping children, young people and adults recognize, prevent and respond to online challenges.
  • Provides videos of Professor Garfield teaching different life skills.
  • Cyber(Smart): National cybersafety education program created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • BrainPop: Cyberbullying: Animated video that explains cyberbullying
  • National Crime Prevention Council: Nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people to create safer communities.
  • Cyberbullying Research Center: Site provides information on cyberbullying important to adolescents.
  • Site provides information on cyberbullying, including prevention and response.
Works Cited
"Cyberbullying." National Crime Prevention Council. Web. 12 June 2014. <>.
"Making Reporting Cyberbullying Easier." Digizen. Web. 12 June 2014. <>.
"Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- To 18-Year-Olds." Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Web. 10 June 2014. <>.
"Prevent Cyberbullying." Stopbullying. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.
"Prevent Cyberbullying: Top Ten Tips for Teens." Web. 11 June 2014. <>.
"Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying." Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.
"The Use of Social Media in School." Best Masters in Education. Web. 13 June 2014. <>.
"Why Have a Technology Policy in Your School or Library?" Scholastic. Web. 12 June 2014. <>.

Classroom: Google in Education's Learning Management System

With Google in Education's Classroom teachers can:
-Create a class
-Add students from your Google Apps account or with a class code, create assignments
-Add a file from Drive, YouTube or webpage onto Classroom
-Allow students to see assignments and complete them in Google Docs
-Allow students to submit work automatically
-See who turned in what in real time
-Provide grades and feedback from Classroom

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Take a Tour of Brazil's WC Stadiums (Google Maps)

Are your students excited about the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Have them take tours of Brazil's new stadiums with Street View! Click the image below to find more stadiums in Google Maps Street View. Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.07.23 AM  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slidebean to Create Simple & Beautiful Presentations

Slidebean is a web-based tool that allows users to create aesthetically-pleasing presentations with very little difficulty and effort. It is so simple to use that I decided to have my 1st graders try it out. Slidebean will go live on June 4th, 2014. The beta version has already been used by over 7,000 people. According to the CEO of Slidebean, Caya Jose Cayasso, the company's immediate goal is to become a "true valuable alternative alternative for teacher and students to build their presentations." With its extremely simple user interface and its elegant designs, Slidebean could become the next big presentation tool in education. However there are some issues that Slidebean needs to address before this can happen (see the Needed Fixes section at the bottom of the post). 

Technology Integration 

Our 1st grade classes just finished up their Plants unit. They learned about the different parts of a plant, and their functionalities. I decided to have my 1st graders create a presentation using Slidebean to demonstrate their knowledge about the unit's key concepts. I was surprised to find it only took my students one period to finish their presentations; a testament to the tool's simplicity. However, my 1st grade students do not have email addresses so they were not able to sign up. Instead I created a generic Slidebean account using one email address, and shared the password to the class. Every student used the same account to complete their project.
Here is a presentation that one of my 1st grade students made (The music was added by me):

Best Features of Slidebean

1. Adding content easily
To create a new slide, simply click on one of the orange icons below (header, text, bullets, quote, image, or video; chart is coming soon). You can then easily type your information inside the text box. 
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 1.30.03 PM 
2. Selecting stunning designs effortlessly 
On the left of the Design screen, you can select one of the stylish themes for your presentation. You can also select one of the vivid color combinations. 
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.40.15 PM
To go to the Design screen, you can click on the "Design" tab at the top, or click on the "Continue to Design" link at the bottom. 
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.13.03 PM
3. Any changes are saved automatically.
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 1.49.01 PM   
4. Free!
No credit card needed, but you will need an email address to sign up. 
5. Cloud Based
Access your presentations from anywhere. You can edit and store your presentations on the cloud. 
8. Sharing Presentations
Students can share their presentations through Twitter, Facebook, or embed their presentations into their website or blog.
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 1.53.45 PM

Needed Fixes in Slidebean (Updated) 

1. Inappropriate image results
I found that some of my image searches generated inappropriate results. For example, a "root" search resulted in a provocative image of a woman hiding behind a fan. I recommend testing out keyword searches and creating a list of safe keywords before letting your students search for any images. The picture below shows a list of safe keywords provided my students. This oversight needs to be fixed immediately, especially for an educational setting. 

Slidebean just implemented Flickr into their services! Here is an email I received from the CEO, Caya. 

"We've just finished integrating Flickr as the official Slidebean photo stock, allowing you to browse the biggest photo stock on the web, letting you embed even more photos on your slides and (finally) the option to download them to PDF! If you might remember, we had been working with 500px for the past few months. The team decided to switch to Flickr to bring you more flexibility on the use images: all the new imagery will be available under a Creative Commons License, enabling you to use and share the content wherever you want."
2. Sharing your presentation 
The majority of my students have email accounts that they can use to copy, paste , and send their presentation URLs (I teach tech to PK-2nd and have integration time with 3rd to 5th). However, my 1st graders do not have access to an email account. I think it would be great if my 1st graders were able to send their presentations using the email account I used to create the generic Slidebean account. With an Email  button option, students would be able to email their presentations to their teacher, classmates, and parents. 
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 1.53.45 PM