B:-( Stop Cyberbullying Bit by Bit

a simulpost with TechLearning

i am alone yet surrounded by millions
separated from them by a bit
and yet from me they take a byte
how could it be
that they take anything from me?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketyet they deride
and now i hide
they taunt me, “IM anonymous,
no one knows any of us.”
does anyone care a bit?

my parents don’t know
and don’t see
how someone so far
could steal from me
and destroy my tranquility

give me someone to tell
someone who understands
and will not yell
that i must abandon the way
i talk to the world each day.

i don’t really like who i am
and “they” don’t either.
is there anyone out there
who cares
a little bit?

Prominent blogger Kathy Sierra revealed this week (warning, her post contains explicit language) the death threats and cyberbullying she has experienced and calls on the blogging community to stand up for a code of ethics that rejects such behavior. Andy Carvin echoed and asked that we proclaim today “Stop Cyberbullying Day.” I am observing it, are you?

If you think that kids are just happy, look at the meaning of the emoticons I used in the poem above:

:-S – Confused/frustrated
>:E – Anger or hatred, baring teeth
:’-( – Shedding a tear
:-O – Angry/Yelling
:-X – My lips are sealed
🙁 – Sad

Source: Emoticon- Wikipedia

IM speak is full of the whole range of human emotions, including great sadness!

Will you commemorate this day with me?

What can you do to Stop Cyberbullying Today?

  • JOIN the Stop Cyberbullying networkto create a central repository of information that is rated and reviewed by educators and to discuss what works. View it like the front lines establishing a form of communication. (If the network is blocked, I’ve got a template on my blog that you can mail your IT person to ask for it to be unblocked.) After joining, post hyperlinks or review and comment on the resources of others, join the conversation.

  • EDUCATE YOURSELF – Read how your
    school can respond to and prevent it over at Stop Cyberbullying.com (and how to tell the difference between harrassment and cyberbullying from a legal standpoint.) Take some of the free lessons at Wired Safety. Listen to Wes Fryer’s podcast (or read his wiki ) about Cyberbullying. You can listen to the whole podcast, or if you are short on time,
    read the highlights that I have annotated and listen to the clips you choose. (I did this using Innertoob — a great way to grade podcasts, by the way.)

  • SHARE –Plan to show this video to your students during the next several weeks and talk about the importance of telling someone when they are being harassed online. (You can also see a wealth of other videos collected at the Stop Cyberbullying Network)

  • REPORT – Every little BIT helps. When you see someone inappropriately attacking another blogger either on comments on or a blog, say something! (Often we DON”T see it because of comment moderation.) We often don’t say things because we are afraid. Afraid that some “nut case” is going to come after us. However, if we agree that we will all band together and speak up. If we are afraid to “stand up,” Wired Safety has a Cyber 911 tipline that you can also use.
  • SPEAKUse a badge from Scott McLeod on your blog and hyperlink it to http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com, or just copy the link and image from the picture. Post and share the facts from the experts and tag it href=”http://www.technorati.com/tag/stopcyberbullying” rel=”tag” >stopcyberbullying. Speak up in your sphere of influence: the classroom, the PTO, the civic group, the government agency, the educators organization. Make sure this is a topic that your teachers learn about and understand. We must become a cacophony of voices speaking out about how to be wise, civil, and successful online.
  • BE AN ADVOCATE FOR WISDOM – When the leaders of the Dark Ages became afraid of thoughts and dissension, they burned books. We cannot afford to burn blogs (as ill-thought out DOPA would do) and the trail we have blazed into a new, more productive society through the Internet’s new communication tools. The Human Genome project shows what amazing things can happen through collaboration. If we want important breakthroughs to happen faster, we must promote effective techno-personal and collaborative skills in the classroom. We cannot walk away and ignore the fundamental change in our society: Internet-enabled communications. Those who are vicious and hateful will not walk away from the Internet. It is imperative that the level headed and wise should not abdicate their responsibility to civilize the Internet and make it a safer place.

We are educators. We teach. We stamp out ignorance.

In our classrooms we hold the essence of what our
online life will be like in 10 or 20 years.

If we do not all do our little bit, we will be sorry. Do your part to
stamp out cyberbullying and most importantly, share!

And, we need to come up with (and use) new emoticons, one that communicates innappopriate, unethical behavior by a blogger.

Oh, how about?

B:-( Bad behavior

Stop Cyberbullying 🙁

Note to my readers: The use of lowercase letters in the poem was intentional as was the use of punctuation. I always talk about the appropriate use of IM speak, in this case, I have a message to convey and wrote this as if I was a teenager online.

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7 thoughts on “B:-( Stop Cyberbullying Bit by Bit

  1. Vicki,
    Thanks for discussing such an important issue, and thanks especially for all the helpful links. I would have never found them all myself. I intend to share you posts with the AntiBullying-Committee at work when they meet next Thursday, and I also intend to discuss the relational aggression aspect of cyber-bullying there and in my next podcast. I can’t believe all this starts in pre-school. It’s got to stop.

  2. Thanks for the Bubbleshare pointer. The result is on my blog and on the Study Skills blog. Mr. Dobbs grabbed 10 minute right before the performance Friday night and photographed our artwork with his digital camera. Then he saved to my thumbdrive. It was so easy! Thank you, thank you!!

  3. Hey Vicki,
    I’ve been researching the Cyber-bullying topic quite a bit lately so I was excited to see your blog and now I have something to share with you are you readers, I really hope that you are all willing to pitch in to help this move towards the elimination of cyber-bullying.
    The resources are being passed along and I also want to add another to the list. I wanted to make you aware of a project that was launched recently that can definitely facilitate the end of cyber-bullying. It’s called the Humanbook Project. It is a mutually managed community regulated connections directory that utilizes web 2.0 wiki technology. Basically, people are verified through their connections and their associations and if people within many groups do not verify who and individual is then that person is flagged and pulled out of the group.
    Like wiki, the more people that are in the system the more powerful and accurate it becomes. Ultimately no one will be able to make false identities because that false identity will not have real connections and they cannot duplicate identities because the true holder will be able to flag it or deny false connections. If you could help the project by passing along the word, we need people to become involved.

    Here is where people can help: humanbook.com
    Thank you so much for such a valuable post and for your interest in the end of cyber-bullying!

  4. Zella,
    I have a daughter in middle school and cyber bullying really concerns me. I checked out that humanbook site. I’m still skeptical about all networking sites. Theres always going to be hackers out there and bad people. But this sounds like a good idea. It seems a lot safer than your average social networking site.

  5. Vicki,
    Trying to eliminate cyber bullying is going to be anything but easy and trying to protect our children from it is going to be just as hard. I checked out that humanbook.com website that zella offered and it looks pretty legit. I think all social networking websites should do something to help stop this cyber-bullying. Great tips on the humanbook site!
    Thanks for the great article!

  6. It was extremely interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. BTW, try to add some pics :).

Comments are closed.