Thursday, April 29, 2010

Massachusetts Lawmakers Approves Anti-Bullying Law

The Massachusetts legislature unanimously approved an anti-bullying law this afternoon. The bill will now go to Governor Deval Patrick's desk for review. The law would require all school employees to report instances of bullying and require principals to investigate them. You can read the Boston Globe article here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Check Out the Facebook Safety Center

Ever wonder how you can report abusive behavior on Facebook? Are you a parent or a teacher who wants to learn some best practices of keeping your kids safe on the the popular social networking site? Well, go straight to the source and check out the recently overhauled Facebook safety center. Facebook wants to send the message to its users that they take the subject of online safety very seriously, and as such, have created an updated safety center with sections for parents, educators, teens and even law enforcement. So, if you are constantly tagged in embarrassing photos or you are being bullied online, go to the safety center to find out what you can do about it.

Now if they would only add some video tutorials or a safety orientation, like our BPS cybermentors suggested to Mayor Menino in February, then we would really be getting somewhere!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Common Sense Media Announces New Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Common Sense Media is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to "improve the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology." Their website includes age recommendations and reviews of televisions shows, movies, books, video games, websites and music. They also offer a parental advice section. Coming soon, they will offer a digital literacy and citizenship curriculum designed for 5th to 8th grade students. Based on Dr. Howard Gardner's research on digital ethics and the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the new curriculum will include five units, including:
  • Digital Life. How the anytime-anywhere-everywhere nature of digital media requires responsible choices.
  • Privacy and Digital Footprints. How to manage privacy online.
  • Connected Culture. How to build respectful one-on-one, group, and community relationships online and protect against cyberbullying.
  • Self-Expression and Reputation. Who we are in various online contexts and how to protect your reputation in the process.
  • Respecting Creative Work. How to get credit for original creations and respect other’s creative property.
You can also preview the Privacy Unit by clicking here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ABC World News Reports on Boston Bullying Hotline

Over the weekend, ABC World News Report aired a story on how the city of Boston is trying to combat cyberbullying. The report featured a pair of students from Charlestown High School who were recent victims of cyberbullying. They were both interviewed about recent cyberbullying incidents involving Facebook pages. They called the new Boston anti-bullying hotline to report the incidents and get the pages removed from Facebook. There was also a recent Boston Globe article about the hotline, which is answered by staff at the Boston Health Commission. To report any incidents of cyberbullying in the city of Boston, please call (617) 534-5050. You can view the ABC News story below.