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Are teachers and parents really talking to youth about online safety?

As you know, we are endlessly working to have our finger on the pulse of how adults are educating youth about online technology.  The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Educational Technology Policy, Research, and Outreach (ETPRO) recently found that less than 25% of educators feel comfortable teaching students about Internet safety issues.  You and…

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Teen Tweeting

Sysomos released a report in June describing the “explosive growth” of twitter over the past several months.  We’ve certainly seen an increase in tweeting in popular culture, but are adolescents jumping on board?  Our conversations with teens suggest no.  And a recent account from one particular teen about his peers’ views of twitter also reaffirms…

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Jostens 2009

I just got back from presenting at the Jostens Renaissance National Conference in Orlando.  As I wrote about after attending this conference last year, these folks really know how to have a good time!  The energy was just amazing.  There were once again over 1100 educators and high achieving students from around North America in…

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The sexting case in Virginia, and the need to identify and share best practices

Justin and I have both blogged about the case where an assistant principal in Virginia was charged with possession of child pornography after trying to investigate a sexting case through the collection of evidence where a student emailed the evidence (a sexually-explicit picture of a minor) to his office computer.  The charges were eventually dropped,…

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Cyberbullying Research Center

For those of you who are regular visitors to the site, you may have noticed some changes over the last week or so.  Sameer and I have been working hard to add and update information on the site to make it even more useful for you all.  For example, we’ve added a few videos to…

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Video recordings of student and teacher behavior in the classroom

In this recent story from the West Coast, a 15-year-old high-schooler named Arielle was suspended for two days after surreptitiously capturing video on her cell phone of her chaotic algebra class.  Apparently, the situation was horrible with the teacher unable to control the students, who were participating in paper-ball fights, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and…

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More on seizure and search of student cell phones at school…

In April, Justin briefly blogged about this article from the Washington post entitled My Students. My Cellphone. My Ordeal. I’d like to follow up by saying that more educators are contacting us with questions on what to do in cases where students have cell phones with sexually-explicit pictures of other youth on them.  While the…

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Facebook privacy settings

Thankfully, Facebook is soon going to restructure the way it displays privacy settings to users.  Currently, those settings are scattered across multiple pages, and it is a chore for individuals to customize them to their liking.   When we talk to elementary, middle, and high-schoolers, we ask about those settings – and have found that very…

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Convictions against Lori Drew overturned today; case dismissed

The case against Lori Drew has been dismissed in federal court today, as the judge seemingly thought it would be wrong to criminalize certain Terms of Service violations of MySpace and other social networking web sites since users often misrepresent themselves online. (Bottom line when it comes to this ruling is that the law used…

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Lori Drew to be sentenced in Megan Meier cyberbullying case

We are all waiting with baited breath to learn of the sentencing decision to be handed down this week against Lori Drew.  In part because of the incredible amount of controversy surrounding this case, I believe the sentence will be minor and not amount to more than a proverbial slap on the wrist.  Already we…

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Same Story, Different Day: Another Teen Suicide Associated with Bullying

Another story has surfaced where a teen committed suicide after experiencing bullying.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Iain Steele, a 15-year-old boy from a western suburb of Chicago, hung himself in the basement of his home.  This case, like many others, illustrates the omnipresent nature of adolescent bullying in the 21st century.  Iain was bullied…

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Cyberbullying research findings from Cox Communications and the NCMEC

Cox Communications and the NCMEC recently held a Teen Summit in Washington, and we are pleased to see that the research they conducted revealed the same findings as our own work, as it relates to the use of various technologies by adolescents, experiences with cyberbullying, and the misuse of personal pictures or content.  Furthermore, one…

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Cyberbullying Education and Regulation

Our colleague Adam Thierer from the Progress & Freedom Foundation has recently published an informative white paper worth reading entitled “Cyberbullying Legislation: Why Education is Preferable to Regulation.” Justin and I keep having to point out in various conversations that strictly punitive strategies fall short in their effort to deter misbehavior, especially among a youthful…

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Bullying beyond the Schoolyard

Just a quick note to let you all know that our book is currently on sale on Amazon for $29.92 (19% off) if you haven’t already picked it up.  More substantive posts will be forthcoming as we get caught up.  We just completed collecting data from about 1800 middle and high school students and will…

Public Radio Discussion on Proposed Cyberbullying Legislation

I was a guest on the New Hampshire Public Radio show “Word of Mouth” with Virginia Prescott this morning where I talked about the proposed Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act.  You can listen to the brief interview here.  They were gracious enough to send me some potential questions a couple of hours before the interview…

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Cyberbullying Legislation

There has been a lot of discussion lately concerning proposed or recently passed state and federal legislation designed to address cyberbullying.  One particular bill, proposed by California Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez and called the “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act,” was re-introduced in the House of Representatives last month (the proposal was initially introduced in May…

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Cyberbullying and real-time cell phone video broadcasting

Qik – a new software application which can be downloaded onto your phone – allows for real-time web streaming of whatever you’d like to capture.  This means that anyone else can see exactly what you see as it is happening.  The software is being ported for different platforms and will soon be available for the…

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An Extreme Example of Misinterpretation

An article was published in the Washington Post over the weekend describing one teacher’s harrowing introduction to sexting. As they are known to do, parents and prosecutors evidently jumped to some conclusions and misinterpreted the actions this teacher was taking in investigating and dealing with a case of sexting about a year ago.  As a…

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Columbine School Shooting – 10th Anniversary

As you know, today is the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.  It was a horribly tragic but markedly defining event in the history of American public schooling.  You can research it on your own, but evidence pointed to school administrators condoning bullying and harassment among students rather than dealing with it strictly…

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Cell Phones in the Classroom

We have been discussing the issue of cell phones in classrooms a lot lately.  Most schools have a clear policy prohibiting the use of cell phones in classrooms and standard practice seems to be “if I see it, you lose it.”  Some policies specify that the phones will be confiscated for the day, others say…

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New Jersey seeks to require Facebook and MySpace to police users

You’ve probably heard about the proposed law in New Jersey that would require social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to police their users.  This is so frustrating for me to hear, as well-intentioned but oft-misguided legislators propose solutions to overblown online fears.  Social networking sites are not responsible for actively surveilling and censoring the…

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Jamming cell-phone signals on school campuses…

This article from British Columbia refers to a high school principal who bought a cell phone signal jammer from an online dealer in China in order to thwart students from using their phones at school in violation of district policy. First off, hats off to the resourcefulness of the principal in this situation – even though…

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Facebook Cyberbullying Policy

Here’s a recent query I received from an educator who I have worked with in the past.  I thought her question and my response would be of interest to others so I am posting both here.  Does your school district have a policy regarding cyberbullying or Facebook?  How about cyberbullying on Facebook? Question: “The reason…