Teaching in a Digital World-Deanne Drayton

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Digital Security

This week we investigated digital security and what we can do to keep ourselves safe online. We do just about everything online these days, such as, sending emails, database searching, surfing the World Wide Web, shopping the list goes on. It is important as teachers to give our students and understanding of how they should be safe online.

I investigated: School cyber bullying growing: report details self-harm, bomb recipes, by Bruce McDougall, The Daily Telegraph.
Cyber bullying is increasing in Australian schools; threats, abuse and harassment sent online anonymously. 10% of incidents reported each week in Government schools involve cyber bullying, sexting or misuse of the internet (McDougall, 2009)
The NSW Department of Education reports have shown one incident where a victim of cyber-bullying tried to cut herself in the school toilet and a boy from northern Sydney used his school laptop to research information about bomb making (McDougall, 2009).
Teachers are not out of the firing line either, they also receive hate comments on social media and it has been reported that some parents engage in cyber bullying of other parents and even children.
Other reports have also shown “sexting” and recording and posting school yard fights are also on the increase.
Education bosses feel cyber-bulling has become such a problem that they have briefed schools on the dangers and pitfalls at the beginning of this year. Due to this briefing, schools are now implementing long lists of rules for the use of electronic devices and the internet during class and some have banned mobile phones.
Schools are failing to provide guidelines and discipline in the use of digital devices and social media.
Back in the good old days when I was at school, we were bullied but when we left school it stopped, we were able to switch off, unfortunately these days bullying take on a whole new form and students can be harassed at school and at home, and often cyberbullying takes on a whole new level as the bullies can hide behind technology, it can be far more vindictive and personal than face to face.
I put together this list on how to avoid cyberbullying:
Don’t post personal information.
Don’t respond to and angry message with anger.
Only give your mobile phone number to friends you can trust.
On social media:
– Have your profile set to private so only your friends can see it
– Don’t just friend everyone, screen your friends make sure you do know them
– You can nominate who sends a friend request eg. Everyone or friends of friends
– Block the bully
– Report the bully
Google yourself if any personal information or photos come up which may be used by cyber bullies to target you, take action to have them removed.
Logout of online accounts.
Keep photos tasteful.

Image source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/ciberacoso/4605748281/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ciberacoso/4605748281/

This week I found our reading interesting where we had to investigate some of the new digital trends. One of the articles that stood out to me was the article on MindRDR-controlling Google Glass with your mind. MindRDR uses software to connect Glass with an EEG biosensor headband; this allows the user to control the glasses with their mind.

The idea is to be able to take a photograph simply by thinking about it. This technology has major implications once perfected, especially for people who do not have the use of their hands; it has already begun to change people’s lives and it is only in the early stages of development. Looking towards the future once the device becomes more mature, compact and affordable this can change the way we interact with all kinds of devices.

How might this technology be beneficial in a classroom. Students how do not have the use of hands or their arms would be of benefit, it could also be useful for the visually impaired although further investigation how this may work is required.

mindrdr-008-970x0                Image source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/mindrdr-controlling-google-glass-with-your-mind/

I also read an interesting article by Mary Ann Bell (2009); she suggests we should have more access as educators to the internet and in turn so should our students at school. Bell (2009) puts forward ‘ that in order to teach our children about good and bad sites we need to be able to have access these sites; less filtering’.

Bell (2009) explains; students are not being taught how to be safe and smart searchers. Students are not receiving any instruction about how to size up a site to determine if it is authoritive, unbiased, and appropriate for their use. I am inclined to agree with her; it is interesting as we are bombarded with information on keeping our children safe on the internet by limiting their access and using nanny software or child locks on our computers or internet that allows limited access; schools especially do this.

Thinking about this article by Mary, I feel she is right; how can we tell our kids to be safe when they have no idea about what we are keeping them safe from? We tell our children about staying away from snakes, or if you see one stay completely still, we educate our children. We give them knowledge and tools to help them stay safe around snakes, we don’t lock our children up and say no you cannot go outside, we even take them to zoos to see snakes so they exactly what they look like: we need to give our children knowledge and tools to stay safe on the internet and this might just be exposing them to more of what can be dangerous. It could be good as a classroom activity to simulate cyberbullying perhaps even allow the students to be exposed to it in a controlled manner, then they know what they are dealing with


Hinduja, S. and Patchin, J. (2012). Cyberbulling Prevention and Response. Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

Marbella Family Fun. How to avoid cyberbullying. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.marbellafamilyfun.com/avoid-cyberbullying.html.

McDougall, B. (2014). School cyber bullying growing: report details self-harm, bomb recipes. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/school-cyber-bullying-growing-report-details-selfharm-bomb-recipes/story-fni0cx12-1226837704606.

Top Ten Tips for Teens. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.cyberbullying.us/Top_Ten_Tips_Teens_Response.pdf.

stay safe