Tag Archives: cyberbullying

Online Safety and Cyberbullying

Here it is Sunday night and it just occurred to me that I really should be working on the Harambee Library Wiki. I need to make pages for the 5th grade teachers and link the student pages. It’s not hard but takes time and I spent most of the weekend working on grading, lesson plans, and flipcharts. Working on the student wiki is not something I have time to do during school hours.

The students are enjoying the wiki and are getting ready for the next level. A couple of them have accidentally sent brief messages to all the other members of the wiki. I explained to them that if they were working as a group on a project this ability could be important. However, in this case each one of them is working independently on their own page so there should be no need to send messages. They might want to make comments and I needed to prepare them for that step.

To do so I first showed them the short video, Bulletin Board. The quality of this one is not as good as I would like but it gets the message across. We had some discussions earlier about posting pictures and I thought we should talk about the fact that once you’ve posted something online you can’t take it back. Many of them have facebook accounts, whether they’re old enough or not. In some cases it is a legitimate way for them to stay in touch with family in other parts of the world.

In order to make comments safe for everyone I showed them two more videos. The one called Talent Show made them quite uncomfortable and they were eager to comment on what they saw.


I also showed them another short video called Re: Cry of the Dolphins. The original video was a poem that received some scathing comments and this video is the author’s response. We had some issues with the first class that saw this one but they asked to see it again and it ran much better the second time. Once again students were surprised that others were willing to say such cruel things. They were also intrigued by the actions in the film, where the author reaches out of the screen to take the first comment off the board. This video is especially powerful since it was a real-life story.

Each class made a list of questions to ask themselves before posting and tips to remember before making comments. I don’t know how many students will make comments on other wiki pages but I think they will think before they post. Of course, I monitor all activity on the wiki and can take problem students off but I don’t think that will be necessary after these videos and discussions.

Wiki Update

It’s time for the first evaluation of the wiki unit.  Some things have gone beautifully and others not so much so.  First I’ll start with a better description of how this wiki is being used to educate my students.

I’ve always thought that I wasn’t doing a very good job of teaching students about the literary genres.  In the past students have enjoyed a TicTacToe game that encourages them to read from various genres.  Here’s the one the 4th and 5th grade students are doing this year:


TicTacToe Board

This year I added the wiki to the TicTacToe.  On the Harambee Library Wiki, students will post book reviews using various presentation methods.  Next week they will be learning what elements to include in the book review by filling out a template.  When posting their first review I want them to explore the various toolbar options such as changing the font style or color.  They will learn how to use Creative Commons images to find pictures of the book cover to save and upload.  We can use podcasts or animoto to present other book reviews.  Wordle can be a fun way for them to show the “parts of government” keywords for that middle square and I think it will help them remember these vocabulary words.

Yes, I’m excited about this project!  It started out well.  I used the videos and ideas that I got from Kim Cofino’s post, Blogging is Elementary to prepare my students for posting online.  I had discussed privacy and website evaluation but never touched on cyberbullying until now.  These videos really got the fourth and fifth graders thinking and made a big impact on them.

After watching Cyberbullying – Bulletin Board, students came up with good questions that they should ask themselves before posting.  We compared our questions to the ones that Kim’s students provided.

The second video really shocked them.  It might not work as well with older students who can be cynical about cyberbullying.

After watching this video students came up with rules for posting on the wiki that I think they will respect since they were the ones who thought them up.

This first part of the unit went very well.  Students were excited about working on the wiki and prepared to follow safe online posting rules.  This week students learned how to sign in to the wiki and make online changes for the first time.  Some classes handled this well but others had difficulties.  In my next post I’ll think about what worked and what didn’t.