cyberbullying-student-video

Sameer and I regularly give presentations to students about the importance of using technology safely and responsibly. Due to time and resource constraints, this is often done in large school assemblies. By themselves, assemblies likely don’t accomplish all that we would hope for in educating young people about these issues, but they can serve as one important component of what would ideally be a multi-pronged approach to teaching digital citizenship.

We’ve learned over the years that it is crucial to be open, honest, and real with students about what they are doing, seeing, and experiencing online (here’s how we do it!). Attempting to scare them away from technology by offering only the worst-case scenarios (sex offender registries and suicide), doesn’t seem to resonate with students (and may also be counterproductive). It’s like warning them about going out in the rain by telling them that they will be struck by lightning. That could happen, but it isn’t likely. There are, however, other reasons not to go out in the rain.

We’ve also learned that we need to convey the information in a way that is interesting and entertaining (here’s what we mean). We can’t just get up on stage, stand behind a podium, and lecture to them in a monotone voice for an hour about what they should and shouldn’t do online. In our presentations, we try to be dynamic, energetic, and interactive. We use PowerPoint to illustrate what we are talking about. When possible, we use flash polling so that students can participate in the discussion via their mobile devices and see their aggregated responses to various questions appear instantly on the screen.

In addition, we also often include one or two short videos to help break up these presentations. Many students and adults have asked us over the years for links to these videos so I thought I would list some of our favorites here (see others on our YouTube Channel).

If we find new ones that are great, we’ll add to this list. If you have some suggestions for new videos that you have found resonate well with youth, please offer them in the comments!

“Let’s Fight It Together”
Childnet
May 3, 2008


Sameer first found this video on a trip he made to the UK several years ago. This is an older video (by technology standards), but it’s still a very good overview of the issues (especially for younger students). We still sometimes show this to upper elementary and middle school students. I have to admit that when we first watched this it really looked like the story was going to end very badly. And frankly, if it did end that way (with Joe committing suicide), we would not show it (especially not in schools). There are too many of those kinds of fear-based videos out there and we try to avoid them.

Discussion questions:
1. How did the bullying start in the first place?
2. Why did Joe resist telling adults in his life about what he was experiencing?
3. If you were on the bus when Joe was being made fun of, what could you have done?
4. Why were the police called to the school at the end?
5. The ending is a bit abrupt: one minute Joe is being mistreated by his friends, the next they are all friends again. What do you think happened during that time to resolve this? What could you do if something like this happened to you?

“Where Are You?”
Mark C. Eshemon
2011


This video was submitted to Trend Micro’s annual “What’s Your Story” video contest. After viewing, you can see why it was the winner. It is compelling, eloquent, creative, and totally relatable and engaging to students. Middle and high school students really appreciate the unique way important messages are conveyed in this video.

Discussion questions:
1. Can you think of a time when you have been on the wrong side of the line?
2. How can you encourage your friends to stay on the right side of the line?
3. Do you think you could write and perform something like this? Give it a shot and let your words matter!

Anti-Bullying Learning and Teaching Resource (ALTER) Catholic Education Office, Wollongong
May 30, 2012


Australian researcher Donna Cross introduced me to this wonderful video created by students and staff at a Catholic school in New South Wales, Australia. What I love most about this video is its simplicity. The students acknowledge the problem and then offer suggestions for what to do.

Discussion questions:
1. Can you think of any other ideas for what to do when you see bullying?
2. This is an example of something that was largely student-directed and created. What can you do in your school to help stop bullying?

“We Are All Daniel Cui”
October 31, 2012


Daniel Cui was a freshman soccer goalie from Hillsborough, California. During his first season, a lot of students were blaming him and bullying him online for his team losing all of their games. To show support for Daniel, his teammates and dozens of other students changed their Facebook profile pictures to one of him making a great save. Others tagged, liked, and commented on the photo posts to encourage and cheer Daniel on. He came back the following year and played with a new sense of confidence, helping his team to many victories. This shows what can happen when we demonstrate to others we believe in them and build them up, rather than hate on them and tear them down. This video was produced by Facebook to highlight the importance of standing up for others (online and off).

Discussion questions:
1. How do labels influence our behaviors?
2. Do you stand up for others when you see them being put down online or at school?
3. Are there ways to show support for others through the use of social media?

“Social Resolution”
Facebook
October 31, 2012


This video discusses some relatively new tools that Facebook offers to resolve conflict on their platform. Students who are new to social media could benefit from an introduction to some of the most common reporting tools.

Discussion questions:
1. Did you know about these Facebook features before seeing this video?
2. Do you think the strategies discussed can be effective?
3. What else could Facebook or other social media environments to do help curb cyberbullying?

“To This Day”
Shane Koyczan
February 19, 2013


This is another great spoken word poem. Written by Shane Koyczan, this is based on a very popular TED Talk. It is a bit long so we don’t show it in school assemblies, but it can be good when you have more time to spend with students.

Discussion questions:
1. How do nicknames define who we are?
2. Do you think it is true that words spoken or typed don’t hurt as much as physical bullying?

With a Piece of Chalk
Juba Films
August 5, 2012


For younger students, this video depicts a day in the life of a normal kid who faces bullying, family problems, and other issues but fights to stay true to his heart.

Discussion questions:
1. Can you relate to Joseph’s life – on any level?
2. Why was his unique talent highlighted in the short film?
3. How can we remember to become the best versions of ourselves, regardless of haters and the stresses of life?
4. What makes you special, and are you hiding it or failing to feed it?

Digital4Good Smile Cards
#ICanHelp
February 6, 2017


This video features a high school’s effort to promote positivity by using “Smile Cards.” They were distributed to lift the spirits of students in creative, fun ways.

Discussion questions:
1. Do you automatically think this is lame? Why? What does that say about you?
2. Is there value in at least trying new initiatives to make kindness go viral at your school?
3. What might you come up with?

Massive mob overwhelms school’s favorite police officer!
DUDEbenice
August 18, 2016


This video depicts how a high school in Brentwood, CA decided to show love towards their awesome campus police officer.

Discussion questions:
1. Have you ever noticed someone on campus who deserves to be recognized? Who?
2. What might be done for them?
3. How can you contribute to building a culture at school where people notice, feature, and commend others who are typically in the shadows or otherwise ignored or taken for granted?

Pause and Think Online Contest by Meadowbrook School
The Meadowbrook School of Weston
March 30, 2014


This video is for younger students, and provides interviews with kids as to what digital citizenship is, as well as a fun re-enactment of an animated video involving kids for a Common Sense Media contest.

Discussion questions:
1. What does digital citizenship mean to you?
2. In what ways do you personally need to be a better digital citizen?
3. How can we work together at school to spread this message in creative ways?

“#Rethink Labels”
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
November 19, 2015


This video is very hard-hitting and not for younger audiences, but powerfully discusses how students are labeled in derogatory ways, which compartmentalizes them into pre-established, historically-judged groups and perpetuates hateful stereotypes.

Discussion questions:
1. How have you been negatively labeled in the past?
2. How have you seen others labeled in these ways?
3. If the labeling doesn’t stop, how can we ever address intolerance and stop racism, sexism, and other forms of hate?
4. If you want to be accepted for who you are, and not what socially-constructed group you belong to, what must be done individually and collectively?

All That We Share
TV2Danmark
January 27, 2017


This video involves older teens, young adults, and adults – and discusses how we put people in boxes – and how that makes them feel and promotes isolation, loneliness, and division. It then shows how there are so many commonalities to the human condition, and how that brings us together in wonderful ways.

Discussion questions:
1. How have you been put into a box?
2. How have you put others into a box?
3. Why is it so hard to be fully authentic, and how can be more intentionally let others fully be who they are?

The Common Sense Census – A Day in Teens’ Digital Lives
Common Sense Media
November 3, 2015


This video discusses what youth are doing online on an average day through the viewpoint of a typical American teen.

Discussion questions:
1. Can you relate to Alejandra and Sasha when it comes to what you are doing online? What don’t you agree with?
2. How does social media, gaming, your tablet, and your phone make your life better? Does it make your life worse – in any way?
3. What are some of the problems you’re seeing because of technology in the lives of teens – and what can you personally do about it? What have you previously done about it when you’ve seen it?

The Common Sense Census – A Day in Tweens’ Digital Lives
Common Sense Media
November 4, 2015


This video discusses what youth are doing online on an average day through the viewpoint of a typical American tween.

Discussion questions:
1. Can you relate to Tristan and Lauren when it comes to what you are doing online? What don’t you agree with?
2. How does social media, gaming, your tablet, and your phone make your life better? Does it make your life worse – in any way?
3. What are some of the problems you’re seeing because of technology in the lives of kids – and what can you personally do about it? What have you previously done about it when you’ve seen it?

Taylor Swift MEAN / Silverado Middle School// Anti Bullying PSA
Patty Wyman, Forensic Speech Class
April 21, 2016


This video, set to a tremendously catchy TSwift song, can be used to promote conversation about meanness among students and in society, the role of resilience in deflecting hate, and how schools can use technology to promote positive messages across campus.

Discussion questions:
1. What sort of meanness and cruelty do you see or hear around you on a daily basis at school? What about in society?
2. Why are people mean?
3. In the end, does meanness typically win? Why or why not?
4. In what specific ways can we get rid of meanness at our school, so it’s a happier, more positive place to be?

FSU Player dines with Autistic Boy
CBS New York
September 1, 2016


Shares a story of how a college wide receiver sought to impact a boy’s life when he saw him sitting alone at lunch during school, and provides inspiration as to why we need to look for the lonely and step out boldly to include them and be a friend to them.

Discussion questions:
1. Are there kids who others consider “different” at your school, and therefore ignore or reject?
2. Have you ever intentionally sought to be their friend?
3. What are some acts of kindness you’ve demonstrated to other students, with no expectation of anything in return?
4. How can we make these sorts of moments much more frequent?

Flash Mobs, Lip Dubs, and Other Creative Group Efforts

Many schools and other youth groups across the globe have created amazing public awareness campaigns using music and dance. Here are some that we like (just search YouTube and you can find dozens of others!):

David Lloyd George Elementary School, Oakridge Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Freeport High School

Cypress Ranch High School Anti-Bullying Lip Dub “Who Do U Think U R?”

Clarksville Jr High Shake It Off Lip Dub

Discussion questions:
1. Do you have an idea for a public display to help bring awareness to this problem?
2. If you had unlimited resources (money, time, people), what would you do to prevent cyberbullying and promote kindness?


Image source: http://bit.ly/2BCRfEn

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