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Peer Mentoring as a Strategy to Address Cyberbullying

The concept of peer mentoring generally involves older students advising and counseling younger students about issues affecting them. Since younger adolescents tend to look up to (and seek to emulate) older adolescents, this dynamic can be exploited to teach important lessons about the use of computers and communications technology. Peer mentoring has been fruitful in…

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Our book is NCPC’s June Book of the Month! New Podcast!

We have more great news concerning our book: the National Crime Prevention Council has chosen to feature it as its June 2010 Book Club selection!  Part of this feature involves an extensive interview, where I discussed in detail how each and every person can take an active role in the prevention of cyberbullying and online…

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New Report: “Youth Safety on a Living Internet”

The Online Safety and Technical Working Group just released their comprehensive report “Youth Safety on a Living Internet” detailing the current state of knowledge, practice, and tools regarding safeguarding our youth while they explore technology.  The Report focused primarily on identifying industry efforts to promote online safety through education, technology, content, and other measures.  In…

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What is your Online Reputation?

I have been talking a lot lately about online reputation with teens.  I think it is important for youth to recognize that anything they put online and anything they do offline that gets posted online, could end up being immortalized on the World Wide Web.  I advise students to start thinking about their online reputation…

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Should Teens Have a Computer in Their Bedrooms?

If you look at any “Top Ten List of Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online” that you find on the Internet, no doubt one of the recommendations that you will find near the top is: “Keep the family computer in a common area of the house.”  While this is sage advice, it is also…

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Should Teens Have a Computer in Their Bedrooms?

If you look at any “Top Ten List of Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online” that you find on the Internet, no doubt one of the recommendations that you will find near the top is: “Keep the family computer in a common area of the house.”  While this is sage advice, it is also…

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Should Parents Ban Access to Facebook?

Our colleague Anne Collier from NetFamilyNews made us aware of an email that Anthony Orsini, a middle school principal from New Jersey, sent to parents a couple of weeks ago imploring them to prohibit their children from participating in social networking sites. As reported on CBS and elsewhere, the letter Orsini sent to parents included…

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Formspring, Cyberbullying, and Alexis Pilkington

Formspring.me, launched in November 2009, is a user-to-user question and answer web site. If you sign up, the site presents visitors to your page with the ability to anonymously ask you anything via a web form.  You can then post your answer, along with the question, for all to see.  A benefit of Formspring is…

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What Teachers and Administrators Can Do About Cyberbullying – Podcast

I was featured on *Audio Ed* to discuss in detail how administrators, teachers, and staff can prevent and respond to cyberbullying among school students.  Please click here to download and listen (8 minutes, MP3 file).  Justin and I are passionate about training and working with public districts as well as private schools to meaningfully inform…

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Podcast – Cyberbullying Advice to Help Parents Protect Kids

I recently appeared on WNYMedia’s “Parent Talk” radio show to discuss what parents can do to protect their child from online harassment.  Please click here to download and listen (47 minutes, MP3 file), and let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

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Is Cyberbullying Simply an Expression of Free Speech?

A colleague of mine recently posed the following questions after listening to my recent interview on Wisconsin Public Radio: Q:  If a student were bullying someone & claimed they had the right of freedom of speech to say whatever they want, how would you respond? Q:  If a public official felt they were being bullied…

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Teachers expressing negative opinions of students online

Justin and I were chatting recently about an example cyberbullying case that involves a student who repeatedly is posting comments on her Facebook page about a teacher at school, stating “Mr. Z is a douchebag,” “Mr. Z is a jerk and nobody likes him,” and “Please post ‘I Hate Mr. Z’ comments on my wall!” …

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Chatroulette, sexually-offensive content, and cyberbullying

An increasing amount of educators and parents are asking us our thoughts on “Chatroulette,” which was created by a Russian teenager in late 2009.  User traffic has increased from 500 people a day last November to 1.5 million daily as of March 2010, and major IT companies are seeking to purchase it from its ingenious…

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Chatroulette, sexually-offensive content, and cyberbullying

An increasing amount of educators and parents are asking us our thoughts on “Chatroulette,” which was created by a Russian teenager in late 2009.  User traffic has increased from 500 people a day last November to 1.5 million daily as of March 2010, and major IT companies are seeking to purchase it from its ingenious…

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Cyberbullying Panic?

Several high profile incidents have put cyberbullying at the top of the headlines in recent months.  When Sameer and I first started studying this problem over eight years ago, it was rare to see a cyberbullying story in the media, now they are everywhere. Larry Magid, a technology journalist who contributes to a number of…

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RapeLay – sexually explicit video gaming and youth culture

Recent press coverage has been focused on “hentai” video games being produced in Japan and distributed all across the world in an underground manner. Hentai generally refers to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, and video games of this ilk have been available for years overseas. Recently, though, they have been “ripped” from DVD-ROMs…

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Criminal Charges Filed Against Bullies in Phoebe Prince Case

It is not often that students are charged in criminal court for their participation in bullying.  But that is what happened this week.  As has been well-publicized, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, Massachusetts, committed suicide in January after experiencing extreme levels of bullying from her classmates.  After conducting a thorough investigation, District Attorney Elizabeth…

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Implications for teachers who socialize with students online, and how to avoid them

Let’s return to our multi-post (here, here, and here) discussion of student and teacher interaction on social networking sites or in other online venues. Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are primarily for socializing. “Socializing” involves interacting for social purposes, and “social purposes” are those marked by friendly companionship with others. It seems, therefore,…

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Student-Teacher Interaction Online – Another Perspective

Sameer and I have talked a lot about this issue in recent months, and while we both basically agree that teacher-student interactions online are risky business, we struggle with how to best approach the issue.  Earlier today he posted his thoughts on the issue.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-articulate mine to…

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Student-Teacher Interaction Online – Another Perspective

Sameer and I have talked a lot about this issue in recent months, and while we both basically agree that teacher-student interactions online are risky business, we struggle with how to best approach the issue.  Earlier today he posted his thoughts on the issue.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-articulate mine to…

Students and teachers becoming a little too “friendly” in cyberspace

As we have previously discussed, a recent article published in Education Week entitled Policies Target Teacher-Student Cyber Talk suggests that some educators and pupils are informally connecting and chatting online with increasing frequency, where relatively innocent interactions may have the potential to escalate into inappropriate relationships. While such cases seem to occur rarely, a few…