This short, but informative article – Confronting Cyberbullying - by Peter Levy for The Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology, contains sage advice from some of the leading experts in the field: Patti Agatston (co-founder of www.Cyberbullyhelp.com), Larry Magid (co-director of www.ConnectSafely.org), and Linda Burch (Chief Education and Strategy Officer for Common Sense Media). Quoting Agatston, Levy notes that “within schools we need to move from the idea of anti-bullying being the responsibility of the school counselor to being the responsibility of the whole school community, which includes parents.” Levy goes on to note that staff training is key, and provides an example of Pike County school district which successfully implemented on-site professional development to support digital citizenship. In addition to looking at the positive contribution to internet safety by MTV, Nickelodeon and Facebook, the article also provides some Best Practice guidelines, as suggested by Agatston.
Our Editorial: A quick read, but this article packs a punch by focusing on how we can work together to help empower young people to be good digital citizens. As Burch notes, “kids respond well when leaders cast an affirming and inclusive frame around the issue of digital citizenship. This is their world … they want to make it a positive one.” Hear, hear!