In English Digital
Digital Safety and the Classroom The British Council magazine for teachers of English in Lusophone countries
Introduction In my role as Digital Lead for Portugal, I am pleased to have been asked to introduce In English Digital 9..
Paul Kimm Director Porto and Digital Lead, British Council Portugal
This edition, on ''Digital Safety", opens with an article by Gavin Dudeney Dudeney, who I met last May at the 28th Annual APPI Conference in Porto Porto, when he delivered an inspiring Opening Plenary on “Digital Literacies, Digital Teachers & Learners”. Learners” Gavin talked about how new digital literacies have great potential to engage and empower our learners lear to achieve greater language proficiency and experience deeper cultural meaning, but also to learn valuable life skills. These include skills which help learners achieve positive experiences experience when using the Internet and the different digital technologies technologie offer to them. The Therefore, the challenge for teachers in this digital world is to keep up to date on how children utilise new technologies, technologies so that we can prepare lessons which give learners the opportunity to develop digital skills in a safe environment. environment After all, most of us are ‘digital immigrants’ providing lessons for ‘digital natives’. I would like to thank all the contributors in this, the ninth, edition of In English Digital, for exploring the issues related to developing veloping digital literacy in the younger generation in a safe way. Please feel free to contact us at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.. Use this address to send us your comments on any of the articles in this issue and other ideas you would like to share. If you want to receive alerts when the next edition is published published, or to receive our new In English Digital newsletter, newsletter then you can sign up at: http://www.britishcouncil http://www.britishcouncil.pt/en/newsletter .pt/en/newsletter To all our readers worldwide – we hope you enjoy this digital edition – use it, share re it, tell us what you think and remember to send us your ideas and comments. We’ll publish them – if you allow us – on our new website: http://www.britishcouncil.pt/en/teach/inenglish i
Editorial Over the coffee tables during a number of seminars and conferences for teachers recently, the talk has been of cybersafety or, to be more precise, how issues relating to the dangers faced by young learners through the internet can be addressed within the classroom. Teachers, it seems, are fully aware of the dangers faced by young learners but don’t feel well equipped to deal with guiding them through the minefields and pitfalls. We asked a number of those with expertise in the field to advise us and the result is the following collection of insights, tips and lesson ideas mostly concerned with cybersafety and the student. Gavin Dudeney and Nicky Hockly are two of the leading voices in the world of digital resources for teaching, and both work for The Consultants-E. Gavin offers us a 60 minute lesson in digital safety taken from the book by Gavin Dudeney, Nicky Hockly & Mark Pegrum, Digital Literacies (Routledge 2013). Nicky writes about Teens & Social Networks, based on her personal experiences, together with a list of pros and cons aimed at guidance. Michelle McGee, from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), writes about the top five tips offered by CEOP to educators and she includes a host of useful websites to explore. Luísa Lima attended an e-safety course in Brussels and describes how she implanted what she learned into her classroom. Joe Pereira gives us a detailed look at the particular problems associated with cyberbullying and how these might be different from ordinary bullying.
Fitch O’Connell Editor, In English Digital
We also have time to look at some other issues: Sílvia Roda Couvaneiro explores some exciting work she has done with iPad projects in the classroom; Jon Felperin writes about Disruptive Innovation in English Language Teaching, and in particular looks at the growing role of MOOCS in the teaching of English, while David Heathfield – without a digital device to be seen! - examines some techniques for getting your students to speak English with confidence. Once again, we are pleased to offer you an issue crammed with ideas and thoughts from experts in the field. We hope you enjoy reading this issue, and we hope that you will feel ready to contribute to future editions!
Index page 1
Digital Safety Top 5 Tips bEsafe
Sílvia Roda Couvaneiro
Jo Jon Felperin
News from 2064 Teens & Social Networks
Digital Safety â&#x20AC;&#x201C; An Activity With more and more teachers incorporating orporating social networks into their teaching, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential that we stop and consider the potential dangers these may present to younger learners. In this practical activity we work with the students to uncover these dangers and learn how to deal with them, hem, should they arise.
Setting the Scene
Students consider their digital safety in a number of challenging online scenarios, and come up with ways of dealing with these scenarios. Many students, especially teenagers, are members of social net networking working sites. They will potentially come across difficult situations online. Rather than trying to prohibit access, many educators agree that it is far more helpful to teach students the skills to deal with challenging situations. This activity examines a number of online scenarios and helps students consider how to deal with them. Acknowledgement: Thank you to Carol Rainbow for the original concept. Topic: Aim: Level: Time: Language Areas Functions Skills
Gavin Dudeney Gavin is Director of Technology at The ConsultantsE. He has worked in education since 1988 as a teacher, materials developer, IT manager and web/user interface designer. He is based in the UK
Digital safety To help students udents to deal with challenging or inappropriate online behaviour Lower intermediate + 60 minutes
Grammar: Should; second conditional Giving advice & making suggestions Reading, speaking
Digital Risks Digital safety is a key area to address, especially with younger le learners. arners. This topic will also be of interest to adult students, especially those who have children. Not everyone belongs to a social network networking site,, and some of your students may be reluctant or negative about them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to listen to these voices,, and acknowledge that some students may not want to use social networking sites or have their children using them.
Procedure 1. Ask students whether they belong to any social networking sites (such as Facebook, Bebo, Cyworld [싸이월드], Mixi [ミクシィ], Orkut, kut, Renren [人人网] [ and so on), ), and collect a list of these networks on the board. Ask students who are not members of a social networking site what their opinion is about these sites. Do they plan to join one? Why/why not? 2. Put students into pairs, and ggive ive them a few minutes to brainstorm the pros and cons of belonging to a social networking site. Elicit responses and put them into a grid on the board. Below are some suggestions: Pros • keep in touch with friends and family • meet new people • re-establish ish contact with people from your past (e.g., primary school) • share web links, photos and videos • share your latest news • contact people with similar interests • practice English or another language • take part in group activities (e.g., chats) • ..... • .....
Cons • contacts cts may not really be friends • people post too often • people post photos/videos of you without permission • people post information about you which is not appropriate • misunderstandings can happen easily • cyberbullying • lack of privacy and potential for advertisers rs to use your information • spam and viruses • ... • ....
3. Ask students if they have ever experienced, or know about, uncomfortable situations that can arise on social networking sites. What should you do to protect yourself, and how do you deal with a dif difficult ficult situation once it has happened? Tell students they will discuss a number of scenarios related to this. 4. Put students into pairs or small groups, and hand out packs of the Online Scenarios cards from the Worksheet – Setting the scene (below), one pack per pair/group. Students should keep these cards face down. They then turn the first card over, discuss it, and note down the card number and a possible way to deal with the situation. You might like to start by discussing one card together with the whole class as an example, and put helpful language on the board if needed (II would..., She should..., If I were her..., etc.). Give students around 20-30 20
minutes to discuss all the cards in their pairs or groups. While they are talking, monitor and note down common language errors. 5. Conduct feedback with the whole class. Briefly look again at each online scenario and elicit the solutions/suggestions that students came up with. See the Key at the bottom of the Worksheet for issues to discuss and to make the class aware of. Once you have dealt with the issues, briefly review some of the language errors you heard.
Extension: Working in new pairs or groups, students can create a Digital Safety poster, with Ten Top Tips for using social networking sites based on the discussion and feedback in Steps 4 and 5 above. The posters can be produced using Glogster (www.glogster.com) or Glogster EDU (edu.glogster.com) (hightech version) or on paper (no-tech version). Online posters can be shared via the school website (high-tech version). Paper posters can be put up around the classroom or school (no-tech versions).
Setting the Scene
Copy and cut out the cards below, and give one pack of cards to each pair/group of students. If your students are teenagers, ask them to imagine themselves in each situation and discuss what they would do. If your students are adults, ask them to imagine their own children, or a teenager they know, in each situation. Students should note down the card numbers along with at least one suggestion for how to deal with each scenario. Card 1 1
One of your social networking ‘friends’, whom you haven’t actually met, asks for your address and telephone number so you can meet up in real life. What do you do? Card 2 You have been exchanging private messages on a social networking site with a friend you haven’t met. He is the same age as you and has similar interests. He sends you a new photo of himself, and asks you to send him a new photo of yourself. What do you do? 3
Card 3 A real-life friend of yours has hundreds of contacts on her social networking page. She offers to share these friends with you, so that you can have more friends yourself. What do you do? Card 4 A friend posts a message on your page on a social networking site, saying (in your language): “Hey, look at this bad stuff people are saying about you!”, with a link. What do you do? Card 5 You have created a social networking profile called ‘sexygirl1985’ (or ‘sexyboy1985’). Strangers are now sending you messages which make you feel uncomfortable. What do you do? Card 6 You have been chatting online for several weeks via webcam with somebody you met in a virtual world months ago. One day he asks you to take your shirt off, and says that if you do he will buy you the new jeans you have been talking about. What do you do? Card 7 At a recent party, your friend took some photos of you that you don’t like, and he has now put them on his social networking page, tagged with your name. What do you do? Card 8 Your friends are talking about a new website where you can post photos and chat to others. When you go to sign up yourself, you see that the website wants a picture of you, your email address, your home address and your mobile phone number. What do you do? Card 9 Some of your friends have been posting cruel comments about a teacher in your school on their pages on a social networking site. You don’t particularly like the teacher, but you don’t think he is that bad. What do you do? Card 10 A girl in your class has started sending you nasty mobile phone text messages. She says if you tell anybody, she will make your life hell at school. What do you do?
Card 11 Your friend plans to set up an online group called ‘Let’s burn down the school!’ and invite school friends to join it. He thinks it will be a funny joke. What do you do? Card 12 Someone has been posting unpleasant messages to a social networking page with your username. You don’t kknow who it is. What do you do?
Key Card 1 It’s a bad idea to give out personal information to people you don’t know. You don’t know what the person’s intentions are. This may even be the first step in identity theft, where a person finds out enough information about you to be able to use your identity in other contexts. If you do decide to meet somebody you don’t know in real life, you must tell friends and family first, so they know where you are. Consider taking a friend with you on the first meeting. ng. Card 2 If you send photos of yourself to a stranger, they may use them in contexts you are not happy with. It’s also important to realise that any photos you post on a social networking site belong to the site, not to you. This means the photo could bee used by the social networking site for advertising or any other purpose without your explicit permission. Card 3 Although you may like the idea of having more friends, some of them may not be the kind of people you would want as friends in real life. First, rst, check out the profile of each new ‘friend’ individually to see whether you have common interests. If you do accept a new ‘friend’ and, later on, you are unhappy in any way with the interaction that occurs, you can always delete or block the person.
Card 4 Never click on a link which doesn’t clearly show what website it is linking to. Be aware that a message like this is irresistible to most people, and the link is almost certainly to a webpage containing a virus. If you are ever in doubt about a link, nk, or an email attachment from a friend, contact that person online or offline to check that they really meant to send it to you. If it seems that it may be a malicious link, tell your friend to change their username and password so that these messages won’t wo continue to be sent out. Card 5 When you set up a profile on a social networking site, or any online account, think carefully about the username you choose, and what sort of impression it will give. In this case, you need to change your username to something s less suggestive – although it’s not a good idea to use your full name as your username either. Card 6 Remember that any photos or videos taken of you can quickly and easily be shared on the internet, without your permission. In some real cases teenagers eenagers have been put in this sort of situation, and have been blackmailed. Never allow anyone to take photos or videos of you that you are not comfortable with sharing with the rest of the world.
Card 7 Most social networking sites allow you to untag (remove your own name from) a photo. This is the first step. Then contact your friend and ask them to remove the photo. If they refuse, you may be within your legal rights to demand this, depending on the law in your country. If you are under 18, tell your parents or teachers at school. They will contact the friend’s parents, or the social networking site itself, to ask for this to be done. In extreme cases it may be possible to take legal action, although usually an agreement is reached before this stage.
in public. In other words, it’s similar to publishing comments in a newspaper, and in many countries this can be considered libel. Think about whether the comment would be shouted out in a crowded room. If not, it’s not acceptable, and should not appear online. Card 10 Take screen captures of the messages. Then report this situation to your parents and teachers. The messages are evidence of bullying, and the girl will have to deal with the consequences. Your teachers will fully support you in this.
Card 11 Tell your friend not to do it and warn him about the possible consequences. Although this is meant as a joke, any threat made publicly (e.g., via a social networking site, or via a microblogging site like Twitter) will be taken seriously by the police. There have been several examples of individuals posting joke threats, only to be arrested and sentenced. Although things may not come to this point for your friend, the school may take the threat seriously and he could face disciplinary action.
Card 9 The first step is to speak to the person concerned if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, or if nothing changes, then this sort of activity should be reported to the school, and this can be done anonymously. Making unpleasant or untrue comments about somebody else on a social networking site is similar to making comments
Card 12 Immediately change your profile and create a new username and password. Then post publicly with your new username disclaiming the unpleasant message. If the message is threatening or libellous enough, the police may get involved and can track down the computer from which the original message was sent.
Notes This activity is reproduced with permission from: Dudeney, G., Hockly, N. & Pegrum, M., Digital Literacies (2013), Routledge – pp 246-251 and pp 362 - 365. For more on the book, please see here: http://goo.gl/mphlDP Gavin Dudeney and Nicky Hockly run the multi-award winning online training and development consultancy The Consultants-E (http://goo.gl/Em63ZX). Dr. Mark Pegrum is Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia, Perth (http://goo.gl/YrZ9ig). 6
CEOP’s Top 5 Tips for Educators!
It can often seem like the media is full of news stories warning about the dangers of the internet, social media, tablets and mobiles. With headlines focussing on issues like cyberbullying, trolling, sexting, self-harm, harm, online child sex o offenders ffenders and child abuse imagery, it can feel like the internet presents vast challenges for those working with or caring for children and that it’s not a place where children should explore, learn and chat. At CEOP (Child Child Exploitation and Online Protecti Protection) we are very much aware of the risks children and young people face online, particularly from child sex offenders, but also from their peers and from the inappropriate and potentially harmful things that they may see online. However we are also aware of how important it is not to lose sight of the wealth of opportunities that the internet and digital technologies offer children for education, communication, creativity and entertainment. For the vast majority of the children and young people we talk to their heir overwhelming experience of the internet is positive. This experience is likely to be mirrored amongst the children and young people you work with despite the range of incidents – such as cyberbullying or sexting - that you may often need to respond to and manage.
Michelle McGee Michelle is a Senior Education Officer in the UK National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. Over the past 6 years Michelle has been working on the development and delivery of its Thinkuknow education programme, leading projects that have produced award-winning educational resources and delivering training to practitioners both nationally and internationally.
It can be a real challenge for educators to keep up with the latest technologies and how children use them, whilst balancing the opportunities of the internet with the need to protect children from potential harm. Below are our top 5 tips for those working in educational settings to help you overcome these challenges:
Be prepared – It’s important that you and your colleagues have a thorough knowledge and understanding of how children use digital technologies and how best to protect them online, so you can do so confidently. It’s also important to have robust policies and procedures – like Acceptable Use Policies and digital Codes of Conduct - in place so that you can record and respond to incidents effectively. Getting the right trai training ning is key. CEOP, in partnership with the NSPCC, has developed Keeping Children Safe Online,, an ee-learning learning package to equip professionals with the knowledge they need to protect children online. For more information and to enrol please visit: www.nspcc.org.uk/kcso
Education! Education! Education! – Filtering and supervising children and young people’s use of digital technologies can only go so far in protecting them. Children need to be taught to identify the risks sks they may face online, what they can do to protect themselves and where to seek help and support if something goes wrong. CEOP’s Thinkuknow education programme offers a range of age targeted resources for 5-17 17 year olds which endeavour to do just that. CEOP’s Thinkuknow website (www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers) is packed full of resources that are available for free to practitioners working with children and young people, including to those based outside the UK. Additionally, Thinkuknow regularly publishes topical news articles about online safety in its sections for 11-13s (www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13 www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13) and 14+ (www.thinkukno www.thinkuknow.co.uk/14_plus), demonstrating to young people how relevant key safety messages are through real news stories. These too can be a great tool for educators to engage young people with in the classroom. Finally, another important resource in equipping and educating children to stay safe online are young people themselves! They often have great online safety advice and tips to share with their peers, as showcased in the fantastic Well Versed ((www.wellversed.co.uk) project.
Beyond the school gates… - Parents and carers have a key role to play in educating their children about the online world and keeping them safe. Yet often they are unaware of the risks or simple steps they can take to protect their children online. CEOP’s Thinkuknow website has information, advice and practical tips for parents and carers to access directly: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents Why not highlight the site in your next newsletter or on your school’ss site? The programme also has a range of free resources that educators can deliver to the parents and carers that they work with. These resources help you to communicate the key messages through materials tailored for parents of primary and secondary aged children, foster carers and adoptive parents. There is even advice on how to engage and encourage busy parents to attend an awareness raising event. Visit the Teachers’ area of the Thinkuknow site for more information and to access the resources: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers
Don’t feel daunted – With the constant stream of new apps, consoles or mobiles being launched and adopted by young people you may wonder how to keep up. The solution is simpl simple if not particularly sophisticated: don’t be intimidated by the technology and regularly talk to the young people you work with about what they do online. Ask them about the apps and games they like, how they use them and even ask them for a demo! Also, use se the internet to help you find out about the safety features on popular social networks, apps and devices so that you can share this with the young people and families that you work with. Many of the well wellestablished sites and brands have information onl online about their safety features such as the Facebook Family Safety Centre (www.facebook.com/safety www.facebook.com/safety), Google Safety Centre (www.google.co.uk/safetycenter www.google.co.uk/safetycenter) or Apple Support (www.support.apple.com/kb/HT4213 www.support.apple.com/kb/HT4213). ). Additionally, The UK Safer Internet Centre (www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/teachers-and-professionals/safety professionals/safety-features) have some simple guides for sites like Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube and Connect Safely (www.connectsafely.org/safety rg/safety-tips-advice)) has created some guides for Snapchat and Instagram too.
Practice what you preach – It’s important that you’re a role model to your pupils online, as well as offline, but social networking can be particularly difficult to navigate as a teacher. ‘Can I be friends with my pupils on social networks?’, ‘How do I protect my professional reputation online?’ or ‘Can I use social media in school for educational purposes?’ may just be some of the many questions you have in your role. Childnet Childne International ((www.childnet.com/teachers-and-professionals/for professionals/for-you-as-aprofessional/professional-reputation reputation) has the answer to these and many any other questions and offers some great, practical advice for educators to help you practice what you preach.
b safe Digital citizenship, online safety, digital footprint footprint… there is nowadays a plethora of buzz words, key concepts and a whole new jargon everybody seems to be familiar with and knows a lot about. But how familiar are we really? How much do we actually know? Not much, I think, in fact, I think there is a new and terribly difficult challenge ahead of us - teachers, educators, parents. ts. As if we were not already overwhelmed by all the innovations, changes and challenges that come with our job, now we also have to worry about making those thirty kids in front of us become not only good citizens but good digital
Luísa Lima Luísa is a teacher and teacher trainer in Agrupamento de Escolas Emídio Garcia, Bragança, Portugal. She is
involved in many
In the past a teacher was an educator, an instructor, the sage on
the stage. Nowadays we don’t seem to be on the stage anymore
(in fact, we wish we could get some attention sometimes), we
don’t really feel sagacious anymore and, apart from teaching, we have to be caretakers, akers, psychologists, social workers, IT trainers, guides, counsellors and now also ee-safety experts. Everyone’s talking about how important it is for kids to learn
production of audio and video materials, content curation and the effective use of digital tools.
how to lead safe digital lives, how to protect their online presence, how to be a good, res responsible digital citizen. But how are they supposed to learn that if parents and teachers don’t know much about the subject themselves?
Last year I was fortunate to attend a
long. I became aware that digital
course on e-safety safety in Brussels and I
safety should be everyone’s concern
was appalled at how little I knew
and not only the IT teachers’, that all
about it.. The more I learned the more
schools should have an Acceptable
I worried as I realized that I had been
Use Policy to regulate the use, not
overlooking my digital safety for too
only of computers but also any other 10
mobile devices, that there are no
embark on a new adventure: they
specific regulations or measures to
would have to work in groups and the
prevent or deal with cyber bullying or
result of their work would have to be
sexting, plagiarism or copyright and
presented to the school’s 9th 9 grade
I assigned each group a different topic
We need to teach students how to
related to digital citizenship. One of
build digital competence and that has
the groups ups did a survey on teenage
to be done by embedding IC ICT across
online habits among all 10th 10 graders
the curriculum. We need to teach
and presented their results using an
them how to use digital tools critically,
online tool to create infographics.
confidently and creatively, but without disregarding safety. So, I started thinking about how I could embed digital citizenship in my 10th
grade lessons. It’s
obvious that there are many things you
copyright, search techniques, reliable sources, etc. when they are doing
research h or preparing a presentation
on any given topic, but what about reliable passwords, digital safety, cyber bullying, online stalking, sexting… If you try to lecture them on any of this, they won’t listen to you. They’re teenagers after all, they know it al all. Who are you to teach them about the Internet?
The otherr groups did some research on
literacy, Information Overload and Search Techniques, Social Media and Online Safety, Cyber bullying, Sexting, and Plagiarism and Copyright. It took some work at home, some work in class and some support until we were
And that’s why I decided they would
all pleased with the results. As there is
be the ones teaching younger students
so much information online on any of
about it. Since there was a topic in the
these subjects I helped them by
10th grade syllabus that allowed for
such a project I told my two classes
that, once again, we were going to
would be easier for them to find
watching and they took plenty of
whatever articles or videos they might
notes as they were expected to write a
need, but they were free to look
report on the subject.
elsewhere and some of them did and came up with very interesting things.
Over the next few days they were still talking about it, which proves that
It was hard work but it was worth it:
peer teaching or training can be
the students learned a lot about the
something to explore. The younger
subject and also about how to do
ones were discussing the quality of the
research, how to find reliable sources, how not to simply copy and paste, how to give credits for the materials they
information and present it in an appealing way. They wrote their own script for the oral presentation, they prepared it and they delivered it
presentations, the relevance of the information and even the fluency and pronunciation of the 10th graders. They enjoyed learning about password checkers, about plagiarism detection tools (well, this actually scared them a little), about how to control oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s digital
beautifully. All these works were presented in class and awarded a mark not only for the
presentation itself and the oral work of each student. We also discussed how some of those presentations
posting too much information online
could be improved and they practiced
a bit more for the session with the 9th
information in a much more effective
graders which had been scheduled for
way. And the whole experience also
the 11th February, Safe Internet Day.
proved useful because when they had
Everyone was nervous on that day as
to do a presentation later on in the
this was the first time they would be
year, they remembered what they had
speaking to a much wider audience
seen and what they had enjoyed
than just their own class, but they
during this conference.
were also confident they had done a good job and this little conference was a success. The 9th graders behaved well, seemed to be really interested in
Evidence of all this work was sent to Seguranet
what they were listening to and 12
throughout the process. I strongly
esentations).). You may not find many
believe most of those students are
details there, as the students had been
now better digital citizens, better
told not to write too much on the
presentation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just a few topics and
know I am happy to be their teacher
then they were ere expected to expand
and I thank them for that.
orally on the subject (rules of a good presentation or else we might have death by PowerPoint!). However, I think there is enough to give readers an insight on their work. Perfect?
integrate important issues such as digital citizenship in our classes and help students have a safer digital existence. They learn and so do we. It
may not be easy, but then, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy
presentations are perfect, but there
about teaching? And if we became
was a lot of effort and learning
teachers, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it mean we like the
News from 2064 Developing reading and speaking skills with the iPad in the classroom
Since the iPad was launched in 2010 there have been many studies and deployment reports concerning the integration of this technology in the classroom. Many studies have shown that not only is it a perfect teacher companion, but also that it is perfect for student use as well, allowing them to create different and innovative class projects in a fast and simple way. It can substitute many devices, such as photos and video cameras, computers and complex multimedia editing software. But as an EFL teacher, what impresses me the most is how it allows the classroom to change completely. Not just because of all the apps available that we can use with the students, but also because of the complete Apple learning environment. It allows the teacher to plan, organise contents, produce and provide digital resources. The teaching-learning process becomes a lot more student student-centered, allowing the students to explore materials autonomously and/or collaboratively, and to create digital projects, making the learning experience totally different. I have always used technology in the classroom. I started by using my PC, cameras and a projector. Allied with the Internet it made wonders, as I could share videos, films, songs and online resources. Afterwards I started using my own iPhone and its apps in the classroom for special activities, still showing and teaching. When I got an iPad things changed a bit and I felt I wanted my students to use my iPad to create things for and by themselves, and that it could lead them to develop communication skills. And so they did!
SĂlvia Roda Couvaneiro SĂlvia has been a teacher of English since 2002, 10 years of which with 5th-9th grades. She is presently finishing her Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Project about iPad in the EFL classroom and teaching ESP to adults. She is also an ICT teacher trainer and has been a guest speaker at two Apple Education events in Portugal. firstname.lastname@example.org
From my experience using mobile technologies in class with my students is like using all other technologies - paper, pencils, books books. Unlike some, who consider that technology in class is a source of deviant behaviour, I see it as another tool that can help engage and motivate students, as long as it is integr integrated in a pedagogically relevant way to serve activities and the curriculum.
This school year I had the chance to work with several of these devices in class, as I was working on a research project about the use of the iPad in TEFL. I prepared a whole unit for extensive reading based on a digital multimedia interactive book, an ‘iBook’1 that I developed myself, and with it students were asked to work in groups collaboratively to read, explore, discuss and finally create a video project: a news report from 2064 to be developed by each group. This unit was implemented in three schools with three 8th grade classes (81 students) and with the help of three other teachers. The main goal of this research was to evaluate if this technology with these strategies have an impact both on the students’ motivation to learn EFL as well as on how they develop their oral communication skills. Using the ‘Edmodo'2 and ‘iTunesU course manager’3 websites I organised the contents and resources. In class, students had access to these using an iPad per group (of 4/5). With ‘Safari’ they accessed the internet and with the ‘iTunesU’ app they could download all the materials I had made available. Students started by reading the ‘iBook’, some parts being read aloud while others were read collaboratively in groups. When that was the case, all the members in the group were responsible for reading a short part and had to make sure everyone in the group understood everything. This iBook was about Isaac Asimov’s life, his science fiction stories, his predictions from 1964 about technology in 2014, and his three laws of robotics, explained in a video with Asimov himself. Still in the first section there were two trailers of contemporary films that were based on Asimov’s laws and short stories. In their groups, students discussed what the films had in common and how they were different. In the end the whole class explained and discussed the laws of robotics and how they were, or were not,
respected in the two films. The second section of the iBook included a part of a short story about the future of books. While reading (besides solving some exercises on the iBook) the groups had to highlight details of an element in the story, so that they could sketch on a piece of paper what they thought it might look like. Finally, students had to take a photo of their drawings with the iPad and share it with the class on the Edmodo virtual classroom. These were then presented and debated in class, but the written discussion could go on beyond the classroom on Edmodo.
Page with interactive exercise
I created this iBook using the software ‘iBooks Author’ for Mac. This software allows us teachers to create iBooks to be read on Apple devices (or as pdf files on any other device, but losing the interactive features). We can include interactive elements and exercises that, in this case, were multiple-answer questions to verify the reading comprehension with immediate feedback. The second part of the unit involved watching my video, a model for the news report students would have to create. Each group followed a guide to plan their own news of 2064 (based on Isaac’s predictions for 2014) and to create their videos, with a “map” of all the apps they had to use. They looked online for pictures that could be used and then created a short animation with these pictures on the app ‘Explain Everything’. The animation was then exported to the ‘iMovie’ app, where the rest of the news was easily edited. With just a few photos collected from the internet and
the animation, they recorded their voices telling their own creative stories from 2064. They repeatedly recorded themselves to perfection! Some also used the app ‘GarageBand’ for some special sound effects. Using the ‘CNN iReport’ template on iMovie, with a special theme music and opening title, the students’ projects looked extremely professional and everyone was very proud to share their videos via ‘Edmodo' and then present them in class. I also used other technologies in the classroom besides the iPad devices, like a Mac computer, an ‘Apple TV’ and a projector, which were very useful to project demonstrations of how to use the apps and the students’ productions. But I had a sense that all these technologies disappeared at some point; they became transparent, everything worked easily and quickly, it was just there to help us enthusiastically create beautiful projects. Throughout the process everyone was completely involved in their learning. The teachers moved around the classroom to help out, more as facilitators and learning
partners, rather than just expounding what to do. The results of my research are still preliminary, but the three teachers I have worked with also indicated some of the advantages pointed out by previous research, like the easy collaboration within the groups of students, the amazing difference in the quality of the students’ projects, as well as in terms of class management, students’ motivation and involvement. The unit organised with these technologies allowed many different oral communication situations in class and motivated not only the students but also the teachers with whom I worked on this project, making all the processes followed during the classes very worthwhile. This was just an example of a unit planned for several devices and with a selection of apps. From my experience, if we don’t have this many devices, we can also work in class productively with only one iPad. There are many other productivity apps I use regularly which I hope I can come to share in further publications.
iBooks are the electronic books to be read on the iPhone, iPad or iPod. Besides finding many iBooks available (free and paid) on the iBooks store, we can also create them using a Mac computer and the free “iBooks Author” software. 2 Edmodo is a free website where teachers can create virtual classrooms and work online with their students, similar to a LMS (Learning Management System). 3 iTunes U course manager website allows anyone with an apple ID to freely create a course, organising tasks, contents and resources, and making them available to students that can access through the iTunesU app.
Teens & social networks A few years back my daughter (then aged 14) told me she was going out. To meet a friend at lunchtime. I asked who. A Facebook friend end she didn’t know. Someone who had befriended her as they were the same age, lived in the same city, and had the same (unusual) first name. Apparently. I was appalled. I’m not the only parent who’s experienced this. Social networks bring the world into our children’s lives. They open opportunities for contact that were far more limited before. Many teens have hundreds of Facebook friends they don’t know. And lots they do know. Press coverage of the negative aspects of social networks can make parents paranoid: anoid: cyber cyber-bullying, stranger danger, blackmail… We’re all worried it might happen to our kid. But we need to keep things in perspective. Although bad things do happen, they are not the norm. And rather than endlessly worrying, trying to snoop on our kid kids’ Facebook accounts, or policing their every move, shouldn’t we be educating them in the appropriate and inappropriate uses of social networks? Shouldn’t we be helping them consider the benefits but also the dangers? Come to think of it, shouldn’t their schools be doing this too? Although digital literacies are now present (on paper at least) in educational curricula around the world, I don’t see much evidence of it being operationalised in the classroom, at least not in the state schools where I live. And this is part of the problem: although most teachers would agree that digital literacies are core 21st competencies, very few are clear on how to bring them into the classroom in any meaningful or engaging way.
Nicky Hockly Nicky is Director of Pedagogy at The ConsultantsE. She has been involved in language teaching, teacher training, materials development and instructional design, both online and f2f, since 1987. Nicky is based in Spain.
As English language teachers, we are very well ll placed to help develop our students’ (and our own) digital literacies through the medium of English. It can help enhance our classes by making them more interesting- and crucially, more relevant- to today’s plugged in kids. How? Well, here’s one activit activity to get your teen students thinking about how they use social networking sites such as Facebook. It’s a simple discussion activity to carry put in small groups. No technology needed- just a set of cards you can download load and print out here http://www.theconsultants http://www.theconsultants-e.com/resources/ToolsResources/DigiLit.aspx e.com/resources/ToolsResources/DigiLit.aspx (click on ‘Social Network ork Discussion Cards’ to download these in PDF format, print them out and cut them up. Includes an answer key.)
Activity: Online scenarios – Teens & social networks 1. Ask your students what social networks they belong to. What do they like about these networks? What are they not so keen on? 2. Get students to brainstorm some of the pros and cons of social networks (such as Facebook). Get feedback and create a list of pros and cons on the board. Here are some ideas: Pros: keep in touch with friends
meet new people
share links, photos, videos, news
Cons: people post too often
people post photos or videos of you without permission
malicious gossip or bullying
misunderstandings can easily arise
unknown friends may not be who they seem
spam and viruses
3. Ask students if they have ever experienced (or know about) uncomfortable situations which can arise on social networking sites. How did they/would they react or protect themselves? Tell students they are going to discuss a number of online scenarios and consider what they would do in each. 4. Put students into pairs or small groups, and give each group a pack of cards describing the various online scenarios (http://www.theconsultantse.com/resources/ToolsResources/DigiLit.aspx & click on ‘Social Network Discussion Cards’). Students should keep all the cards face down on a desk, and turn them over one at a time to discuss. They should note down the card number and their possible solution. Start by discussing the first card as a group, and add useful language on the board if necessary (I would…, She should, If I were her, I would…etc.). Give students about 2030 minutes to discuss all the cards. 5. Conduct feedback with the whole class. Look at each card again and ask what solutions or advice the students came up with. Refer to the card answer key and ensure all the main points in that are included at this stage. 6. If you have time, or in a subsequent class, get students to create a Digital Safety poster on appropriate behaviour on social networks. Pairs or small groups can do this on paper, or with an online multimedia tool such as http://edu.glogster.com/ (use the free Glogster Edu version for educators). Share the posters with the class, and also with other classes in the school. You can even share the posters with parents – and then use them as the springboard for a parent-teachers evening on digital safety. And my daughter and her lunchtime meeting? She was adamant she wanted to go, and the meeting was in a public place during the day. I told her to phone me when she got there. The meeting turned out to be what she had expected- with a girl of the same age, with the same first name. She made a new friend. I can’t say it was an easy choice to let her go, but putting some measures in place, and going into things with eyes open seemed more effective to me than prohibition and punishment. She’d simply not tell me the next time. What about you? Do you teach your students (or your kids) about the dangers as well as the benefits of social networking sites? Do you think it’s important? Or do you think it’s not really our job? Let me know!
Personalised speaking People spend a huge chunk of their everyday conversation time talking about themselves and the people they know, so the most natural thing in the world is for us to invite our students to do the same. What our students bring to the learning environment iis our richest resource. But if the lives they lead are to be at the centre of the courses we teach, are we guaranteed that students will talk freely and be interested in what their fellow classmates tell them? The answer is no. So what are some of the main challenges we face when doing personalised speaking activities and how can these challenges be met?
Two main challenges Firstly, students might lack confidence in their ability to tell an anecdote, describe their feelings or confidently give their views in n their mother tongue, let alone in English: 'I don’t know what to say or how to say it.' Secondly, classes are made up of students who are thrown together by circumstance. They do not choose their classmates and they would not all mix socially if they me met outside the class: 'I don’t have much in common with that student so why should I listen to her?'
David Heathfield David is a freelance storyteller and teacher trainer based in Exeter, UK. Many practical and creative storytelling techniques feature in his new book Storytelling With Our Students (DELTA Publishing 2014). www.davidheathfield.co.uk
Meeting these challenges In the classroom our challenge is to create a world in which it feels comfortable and at the same time stimulating for students tto o talk about themselves and really listen to each other. One way to achieve this is by making use of some simple techniques, which help to bring students’ outside worlds alive in the classroom. The following four techniques are illustrated in the activity ‘Show me your shoes’ as described below. Teacher modelling This involves the students observing their teacher doing an achievable task that they themselves are about to do. Focusing on the teacher reassures students about what is expected of them and giv gives es them ideas about the kind of content to include. There is an important distinction to be made between substitution drilling and modelling. We are not asking students to try and repeat back what we have said. We are instead providing students with a fram framework. ework. Teacher modelling gives students confidence and is often more effective than abstract instruction instruction-giving, giving, which can more easily lead to uncertainty and inadequate task fulfilment.
Visualisation The term visualisation suggests focusing on visual ima images ges in the mind’s eye. However, it can describe imagined auditory, olfactory, tactile and emotional experiences as well. Visualising a moment, scene or event whether real or imagined is an extremely effective and powerful way into extended personal speaking. speakin The time spent on visualisation can lead to more thought thought-through through and stimulating content from students during the subsequent speaking phase of an activity. Setting peer listening tasks It is inhibiting for students speaking in pairs and groups when the their ir classmates appear to show little interest in what they say. Instead of genuinely listening, classmates might be planning their own speaking turn, referring to the dictionary, thinking about something unrelated to the lesson or perhaps even just pretending pretendi to listen. In the distracting environment of the classroom, it is easy not to listen actively. While setting up a speaking activity, it is important for teachers to set simple and interesting peer listening tasks which focus students on what their partners partn say. This might be as simple as remembering and reporting part of what they hear, deciding how much is true or giving their partner advice. When students are genuinely engaged in conversation in the classroom, there is a real sense of energy and purpose. Sharing classmates’ real--life experiences Drama techniques can make the difference between simply hearing about another student’s life and having a real sense of sharing in that student’s life experience. Kinaesthetic involvement on the part of both sp speaker eaker and listener through mime and gesture helps bring the exchange alive, as does imagining being in another place or physically referring to things which are not actually present.
Example activity Show me your shoes Level: Elementary to Advanced / All ages Teacher modelling •
Elicit and pre-teach teach types of footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, trainers, slippers etc) and parts of footwear (laces, heel, sole etc).
Remove your shoes and put them at the side of the room. Describe truthfully one of your other pairs of shoes (or other footwear) while you mime holding and wearing them.
Let a student mime touching them or even trying them on for a moment.
Use the prompt questions below to bring your description to life.
Finally, invite students to guess if your description is true.
If possible, ask students to remove their shoes and put them away.
Tell them: 'You’re going to describe one of your pairs of shoes or other footwear to someone who doesn’t know about them. If you don’t have a pair in mind, imagine a pair but remember that you need to make your description believable. Which ones are you going to describe?'
Check that every student knows the name of their type of footwear.
Ask students to close their eyes and to imagine their answers to these prompt questions as you slowly and clearly ask them:
What kind of shoes have you brought here today? What size are they? What do they look like? What about colour, shade, shape, style? What are they made of? What do they feel like to wear? When do you wear them? Why? How do they make you feel? What sounds do they make? Have they got their own smell? How did you get them? How old are they? What sort of condition are they in? What do other people say about them? What do you like best about them? Is there any kind of problem with them? Is there an interesting story you can tell?
Peer listening and sharing real life experiences Students open their eyes and mime wearing their shoes. Say: 'Stand with a student who doesn’t know if th these ese shoes are real or not. Your partner is going to listen and decide if your shoes are real. Show them your shoes and describe them. You don’t have to include the answers to all the questions I asked – just tell them what you want to. Let your partner try on your shoes. When you’ve both finished, ask each other questions for more information. Don’t say if your description is true or not. OK? You’ve got 5 minutes.' As each pair finishes ask them to hold or wear their partner’s shoes and quickly show them to another student who has finished. Form a standing circle. Invite each student to say whose shoes they’re holding and find out if they’re real, e.g. 'I’ve got Juan’s blue trainers he wears for jogging and I think they’re real.' Juan: 'I haven’t really got any trainers.'
Conclusion The most important result of regularly using such techniques in the language classroom is an increase in reciprocal self self-disclosure. disclosure. In other words students tell each other about their thoughts, feelings and experiences in great greater er depth and detail. The more one tells, the more the other tells, so leading to deep interpersonal sharing. It follows that students involve themselves more in each other’s lives, so the classroom becomes a social meeting place as well as a learning environment. envir In turn there is a positive impact on group cohesion and dynamics.
Further reading Heathfield, D. 2005 Spontaneous Speaking: Drama Activities for Confidence and Fluency.. DELTA Publishing This article first appeared on Teaching English website http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles
Disruptive Innovation in English Language Teaching: 21st Century Skills and MOOCs in EnglishEnglish-Medium Instruction
It is no secret that education has changed over the last two decades. There is also nearly universal agreement that we are only at the beginning. With the advent of globalisation, and the ubiquitious nature of ever smarter technolo technologies, education and industry are now calling for a 21st Century Skills focus across all subject areas, including language education (https://www.actfl.org/sites/defalt/files/pdfs/ 21stCenturySkillsMap/p21_worldlanguagesmap.pdf). Founded in 2002 as the Partnership rtnership for 21st Century Skills by a coalition of the US business community, education leaders, and policymakers (hearafter P21.org) , the aim has now spread worldwide to transform current educational models by infusing the traditional three (3) R´s (reading, writing and arithmetic) with the newest four (4) C's of 21st century education: ollaboration,, critical thinking and creativity. ommunication, collaboration reativity. communication, Moreover, P21.org recognizes as enormously valuable certain 21st century themes such a global and media awareness, environmental, health and financial literacy, creativity and innovation, ICT ability, and life and career skills focus as the new basic skills moving forward in an era where the future is less and less predictable.
As the world moves closer together, English as a lingua franca and as a medium of instruction take on greater importance. Worldwide, educational reforms are being carried out to offer English (and other foreign languages) at earlier ages and undergraduate and graduate degrees are being eing taught through English-medium, medium, even in Italy and France where there has traditionally been the greatest resistance. There are indications that this may only be the beginning! It seems we are living in a time of disruptive innovation, and it is stilll unclear where it all may lead. The term `disruptive innovation´, itself, it
Jon Felperin Jon is academic director of Align Degree Services, LLC which offers a Mini MOOC sampler project. He divides his time equally between San Salvador, El Salvador and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
fairly new. Coined by the Harvard professor Dr. Clayton Christensen in 1997 (http://www.christenseninstitute.org), a disruptive innovation explains the organisational difficulty ty of sustaining success in light of a new idea. A disruptive innovation gains credence in the market by ´offering simpler, cheaper, or more convenient options to people for whom the alternative is nothing at all.´ Later through economies of scale, the th disruptive innovation becomes more mainstream and begins to threaten existing markets, and the status quo. By
then, entrenched players are unable to respond quickly enough to the challenges and often end up losing market share or worse: lose their relevance and go out of business. Dr. Christensen has extended his theory and work to include primary, secondary and higher education (http://www.christenseninstitute.org/edu cation/) predicting that online education (currently known as blended learning) has the potential to disrupt traditional secondary and postsecondary education. According to Dr. Christensen, in fact, the disruptive innovation of online education began as early as 1989, when the for-profit University of Phoenix launched its fully online university (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_ of_Phoenix.) Online education, today, is now thought to be the seed of technological disruption in education in general, and as I will argue in the remainder of this article, in language education moving forward.
Online education has now fully integrated the latest technologies and practices to extend communication and community in ways that were unthinkable only a few years ago. The application of both synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (on your own time) technologies have particularly impacted the learning of foreign languages, particularly English. In just a few years CALL (computer-assisted language learning) has given way to
TELL (technology-enhanced language learning), and to CMC (computermediated communication), among others. But the greatest area of potential disruptive innovation in English language learning and teaching is the MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course. Seen through the lens of a new form of CBI (Content-Based Instruction), and particularly for use in EMI (English-Medium Instruction), MOOCs have (arguably) all of the essential qualities of being a simpler, cheaper and more convenient way of teaching or learning English, not to mention more effective. In fact, consider this in light of the inevitability of (in the near future) a low cost tablet or device at a price point below the current cost of a textbook, or even provided free, as part of an internet service agreement, as is currently the case with many smartphone purchases? The most obvious example is the recent English Australia launch of MOOEC, or Massive Open Online English Course(s) (http://www.mooec.com/). Billed as ´a collection of free online English lessons provided by universities and colleges´, learners can choose from three levels of difficulty and six areas of language function. There is no cost; it is simple to sign up; and all that is needed is an Internet connection. Readers may be surprised to know that back in 2002, the American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched its OpenCourseware or OCW project (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm), now currently offering 2150 free university courses (in English) to more than 125 million visitors as ´open and available to the world and as a permanent MIT activity.´
And many others universities have since followed in MIT´s footsteps, particularly as part of the OCW Consortium worldwide (http://ocw.mit.edu/about/ocwconsortium/). However, another major resource for MOOCs has been Apple´s, iTunes U. The UK Open University, for example (http://www.open.edu/itunes/), offers over 130 courses there at no cost. And for an even wider selection of free material and coursework at iTunes U and elsewhere, see the Open Culture website: http://www.openculture.com/freeonline courses.
manifestations of CBI theory to language teaching and learning.
Content-based language teaching with technology already has a very strong research base. The University of Minnesota´s Center on Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, or CARLA (http://www.carla.umn.edu/index.html), among others, has a lifetime´s worth of expertise on how to apply the various
By integrating a 21st Century Skills framework within a MOOC delivery system, we get the best of both worlds at lower (opportunity) cost. We help educate our students for the present and future rather than the past. We may even finally bring these basic skills ´to people for whom the alternative is nothing at all.´
`Creating content-based lessons/units using technology (in this case MOOCs) to enhance students' language proficiency and content or cultural knowledge´ (in 21st Century terms) first starts with a recognition of the potential of MOOCs in language teaching and learning. Most importantly, recognizing the need to update the current chalk and talk methodology still dominant in most classrooms across the world is a truly (disruptive) innovation whose time has come.
Cyberbullying The advent of the Internet has not only changed the ways we communicate with others and how we search for information and acquire digital media, but even how we do our shopping and how we spend our leisure time. However, quick and easy access to the world around us has brought with it new ways of being victimised by tech-savvy savvy criminals. The more publicized dangers of the Internet include the very high probability of downloading a multitude of malicious viruses and malware onto our computers, potentially opening them up to hackers, and the existenc existence of phishing sites, which aim to access our confidential financial information by disguising themselves as trusted portals. The unfettered ability to publish and search for inappropriate content on the Internet has also made the need to filter such conten content and monitor access to the world wide web a major concern for parents and educators. The popularity and meteoric rise in the use of social networks has, likewise, changed the way we share information about ourselves and who we share it with. Coupled with the ubiquity of mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, and the availability of high-speed speed mobile Internet connections and Wi Wi-Fi, the amount of time we spend online, how often we go online and where we go online has undergone a radical shift. Social networks and synchronous chat and photo apps have now become the de facto modes of communication for many teens, bringing with them, the added responsibility of their needing to know how to use them safely and the potential risks they face wh when using them.
Joe Pereira Joe has been an EFL teacher at the British Council Porto for 15 years. His main professional interests lie in the areas of online education and digital game-based learning. He is currently an emoderator for various global projects and has a website devoted to using Interactive Fiction games for foreign language learning.
Many parents understand the vital need to raise their children’s awareness of the basic rules of Internet safety: · Don’t view or download content inappropriate for your age (the time /right time will come) · Don’t publish your address, phone number or other private information on social networks · Don't share your personal passwords. · Don’t publish photos of yourself or others in potentially embarrassing situations · Don’t allow strangers or unverified acquaintances to join your network networks · Don’t meet face-to-face face with people you meet online. · Do share the sites and apps you visit and use with your parents · Do set your privacy setting to the most restricted setting · Do tell your parents about any uncomfortable situations you may experi experience. ence. · Do think carefully before posting or sending something online
Unfortunately, many parents still believe that simply restricting their children’s access to Internet devices and social networks is enough to keep them safe, rather than discussing ng with them the potential dangers they face and how best to avoid them. A strong and trusting relationship between parents and their children is the first line of defence against virtual and real-world world dangers. However, the potential harm that can be donee to someone on the Internet (whether they have an active social presence on it or not) may not even come from a stranger, but from someone the person knows well: a schoolmate, a work colleague, a student or even a teacher. Bullying – understood as an unw unwanted and repeated aggressive act of behaviour that involves a real or perceived power imbalance - has, like many other aspects of modern society, gone online. This new form of bullying – cyberbullying, eschews the more traditional physical and verbal attack ck for a quicker, much wider wider-reaching and often anonymous form of personal attack. Through the Internet and mobile devices, the victim of this new form of bullying can now be targeted while in their own private space and the spreading of damaging text or images mages to other users is almost instantaneous and very difficult to contain. Cyberbullying differs from others forms of bullying in the following ways (adapted from http://www.digizen.org/resourc http://www.digizen.org/resources/cyberb ullying/ understanding/how-is.aspx): is.aspx):
a single incident can be experienced by the victim as multiple attacks over an extended period of time. One instance of bullying can have repeated and long-term term consequences, as content that is removed ed from the Internet can later be re-uploaded uploaded and re recirculated. Furthermore, the victim of
bullying may not even be aware that they have been or are being cyberbullied, as they may not have seen content about them that has been posted online.
Targets and and perpetrators: Cyberbullying can be used as a concurrent online extension to more traditional forms of harassment, giving the bully a more extended reach and wider audience for her attacks. But the anonymity and distance that technology provides means that tha the size and age of the bully are no longer relevant. Cyberbullies do not need to be physically threatening – they don’t need to be stronger, taller or older than the person they are cyberbullying, nor do they require physical contact with their victims. This has given rise to a completely new breed of bullies, and not merely oldold school thugs who have added the Internet to their arsenal. Bystanders to cyberbullying, better referred to as ‘accessories’, can also more easily become perpetrators (even if unaware una of the consequences of their actions at the time) by passing on or showing to others a humiliating image or by recording an act of bullying on a mobile device and sharing it, thus perpetuating the cycle.
Location: Cyberbullying can take place at any time of the day and can intrude into personal spaces previously regarded as being safe, resulting in the victim feeling that there is no place to hide and furthermore, that they may be attacked at anytime. Young people have traditionally been told to walk away from and ignore someone who is trying to bully them. However, it is not possible to walk away 27
from constant text messages or to ignore a website which has been created specifically to humiliate you.
Anonymity: Cyberbullies often attempt to remain anonymous, nonymous, which can be extremely disturbing for those that are being bullied. Although the victim may know that their bully belongs to their circle of acquaintances at school, they may not be sure of the actual identity of the bully and this can make them uneasy, distrustful, and suspicious of all their relationships. However, perpetrators are often not as anonymous as they might think and there are ways of identifying cyberbullies. Having said that, although there is likely to be a trail of digital footprints ints left by the bully, tracking down the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s email or IP address is time consuming and usually requires the involvement of a law enforcement agency and the bully's Internet service provider - who may only get involved if they deem the situation serious us enough. And in some cases, if the cyberbully is really clever and knowledgeable, even finding out this information may not be enough to identify them.
Evidence: Unlike other forms of bullying, cyberbullying incidents can themselves act as evidence, in the form of text messages or computer screenshots. A text message, for example, will contain the message, the date and time that it was sent, and information about the phone it was sent from. As was mentioned previously, this information may not be enough to discover the identity of the cyberbully, but if her identity is known, it can be used to incriminate her.
Motivation for bullying:
As mentioned before, some cyberbullying is clearly deliberate and very aggressive. However, some instances of cyberbullying cyberbullyi are unintentional and are the result of not thinking or a lack of awareness of the consequences at the time. Online behaviour is generally less inhibited than offline behaviour and things are often said online that would not have been said in a face-to-face face situation. Two other factors may be involved here: â&#x20AC;˘ The lack of contextual cues can mean that what might be intended as a joke may not be received as such, and indeed may be deeply upsetting or offensive to the recipient. Additionally, because the bully bull cannot see the impact that their message has had, there is less chance for either to resolve any misunderstanding or to feel empathy. â&#x20AC;˘ A single act can have unintended consequences: Sending a 'funny' (i.e. embarrassing or humiliating) picture of a colleague colleag to a friend could be viewed as a one-off one incident, but the nature of the technology means that the sender loses control of the image immediately after they have sent it. It can then be shared and posted online ad infinitum. In this way, a one-off off action can turn into a repetitive action, and have consequences for the person being bullied far beyond what the original sender may have anticipated. The evidence aspect of cyberbullying is the one advantageous element of this form of bullying over others. Having Ha proof that they are being bullied, such as a screenshot, or a text message or a photo might make it easier for some victims of bullying to come forward. However, a recent MSN report found that 74% of teens did not try to get help the last time they were re cyberbullied. In this way, 28
cyberbullying suffers from the same low rate of reporting as other forms of bullying. Given the ease with which cyberbullying can take place and given the enormous take up rate of these technologies with children, now, more than an ever is the time to raise awareness of cyberbullying and to make it clear to young people that reporting it to parents or educators is the first step towards a possible solution. For this to become a reality in our schools, however, existing policies and d practices related to bullying need to be updated. Reported incidents need to taken seriously and sanctions must be applied to bullies who are caught. While cyberbullying yberbullying has become a hot topic thanks to the media and the very social networks it works through, old oldfashioned bullying using old old-fashioned physical and verbal attacks continues to be a daily and mostly unreported and unresolved reality in our schools and workplaces. The problem is an old one and as educators, the solution lies in making sure students know that it will not be tolerated and if reported, taking action to stop it. Ultimately, parents will need to get involved, but if students are too embarrassed or afraid to involve their parents, if the bullying takess place in an educational context, text, it is our duty, as teachers, to ensure the physical and mental well-being being of our students while they are in our care. Those who have read past issues of IED (see IED 6, pg. 25-27)) might already be familiar with the concept of Interactive Fiction â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a text-based based form of video game which blends literature and player control through natural language input. In other words, the reader of the story co co-creates the narrative by commanding the protagonist to explore the story story-world, deciding where she goes and the actions
she takes along the way. Many works of Interactive Fiction include challenges in the form of logical puzzles which need to be solved in order for the narrative to advance, and are thus placed nearer the GAME end of the Interactive Fiction spectrum. trum. However, others focus on telling a story with little or no game-like game elements. These more NARRATIVE-based NARRATIVE works use the Interactive Fiction format to make the reader see and act through the eyes of the protagonist in a way that traditional static textt cannot achieve. One such work is Rameses (2000) by Stephen Bond, and as it deals with bullying in a peripheral, yet visceral way, I think it may be of interest to those reading this article who have been victims of bullying themselves or who have ever witnessed itnessed an act of bullying and been unable to interfere. This game is particularly noteworthy for the fact that the story is told in the first-person first (contrary to the more common secondsecond person perspective found in most Interactive Fiction), but mainly because bec unlike the premise of Interactive Fiction, which is to give the reader agency in determining how the narrative unfolds, in Rameses, this is almost completely taken away because the protagonist is unable to do and say what he really wants to and is ultimately imately led by others. Instructions on where to access the game and how to play it, as well as a lesson plan and accompanying materials can be found on my website http://www.theswanstation.com/wordpress/rameses http://www.theswanstation.com/wordpres
CAVEAT! While I feel that Rameses is one of the most powerful works of Interactive Fiction I have ever played and it ties in quite nicely with the topic of Bullying, I must warn the faint of heart amongst you that, as might be expected from a story that makes you see the world through the eyes of a 17 year-old boy suffering from very low self-esteem and various social inadequacies, that there are copious amounts of swearing throughout the game! Notwithstanding, I do not believe this is reason enough to justify the not sharing of this resource with like-minded adventurous teachers and even with mature students, ages 16 and up. They can handle it. As evidence of this, I'd like to share with you an email exchange I had with a former student (18 years old, Advanced level let's call her 'Clara') on the subject of Rameses, and the state of bullying in schools in Portugal: 'I understand your problems with showing "Rameses" to kids, but I think teenagers and adults would be receptive to this game; the swearing makes the story all the more real and bullying is a serious problem which affects people of all ages, so I don't see any harm in talking to teens about it. I have been bullied in school and yes, I have stood by watching others being bullied without lifting a finger. It's extremely common (I'm speaking, of course, about schools here in Portugal) and it starts earlier than one may think; kids can be extremely cruel, sometimes more than adults can. When I was about seven or eight I was bullied by a classmate and even her mother got involved ... this went on for maybe three, four months, until school ended and I told my parents, who signed me up for another school.
Later, I watched many people being bullied. It became more serious - there were no parents involved, but teenagers are often embarrassed to tell their parents they were being beaten up or insulted, so they don't tell anyone about it. I realise sometimes it can be worse to tell a teacher, but other times things get pretty serious and kids can't deal with that by themselves. In my opinion, "Rameses" illustrates perfectly what being bullied is. Not being able to do anything to help someone, even if we hate the bully and the things he/she does, is a major part of bullying. Bullies often turn against those who try to help those who are weaker, which makes them afraid to say anything at all. I don't think Alex is as bad as the bully - I only think he, like so many others (and not unlike myself, when I was younger), is scared and that makes him frustrated. In conclusion, "Rameses" is a perfect example of bullying and its effects on others. The fact that the story isn't focused on the guy being bullied doesn't lessen the impact of the message - on the contrary, it gives us additional information and a point of view many people can relate to. Now, I think I'd be able to intervene and stand up to a bully. However, not all kids will grow up to be capable of doing so. That's why I think sharing these kinds of games with people would be an amazing help, from kids to teenagers, including their parents. By the way, I hadn't realised this game's lack of interaction meant to underline Alex's frustration and inactivity, but that's bloody genius!' Well, with a review like that, can you actually NOT give it a try? Stay safe!
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