As I have decided to write my weekly blogs on technology in education from last week onwards, this week I will discuss what pitfalls have come with technology. I mentioned last week how much more there is to technology than what the education system actually teach. However, by teaching students more about technology we are allowing them to explore new ways of doing things, for example bullying.
Bullying is a form of violence towards another person. Bullying is often repeated with the intent to hurt the other person in some shape or form. There are different types of bullying such as physical attack, name-calling, making threats, teasing, and cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying by using mobile phones or the internet (by email, social networking sites, and instant messaging). As technology has developed so has cyber bullying with some reports stating that over half of adolescents have been victims of online bullying and it is also about the same that have been engaged in cyber bullying (Bullying Statistics). The reason could be because the bullies may believe that by doing it behind closed doors no one will find out, they are not misbehaving and causing fights in school therefore who will ever find out. The internet has given the bully an additional form of bullying (Kozlosky, 2009).
A study that was conducted by Kozlosky (2009) collected anonymous self-report questionnaires about traditional and electronic bullying off 2,337 students in grades 6 to 12. They found that 40% of the students reported that they had experienced some form of electronic bullying over the past few months. They also found that the most common form of cyber bullying was through instant messaging. The survey also discovered that 22% of the sample feared being bullied electronically. These statistics are alarming and schools need to prevent and tackle bullying from an early age.
In Finland there is a program called KiVa, which is an anti-bullying evidence based program that tackles and prevents bullying. Previous research has shown that teachers and students do not share the same definition of bullying (Maunder et al., 2010). In a KiVa school the definition is clearly stated to both students and teachers and everyone is made aware that a KiVa school is an anti-bullying school. The program began in 2009 and after the first year both bullying and victimisation had significantly reduced (Kärnä et al., 2011). KiVa has also significantly reduced both peer- and self-reported bullying (Kärnä et al., 2011). The program has been so successful in targeting and reducing bullying it is now being used in 90% of schools in Finland. This is great news as bullying can cause so many problems such as anxiety, social exclusion, and low academic motivation. Funding has now been provided to run the program in 22 schools across Wales, a pilot study was run last year which included thirteen Welsh and four Cheshire schools. This program will hopefully have the same success as it has had in Finland and will hopefully reduce and prevent bullying in Wales.
Bullying Statistics (n.d.). Cyber bullying statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html
Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to Scale: A nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for comprehensive schools. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 796-805.
Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa anti-bullying program; Grades 4-6. Child Development, 82, 311-330.
Kozlosky, R. (2009). Electronic bullying among adolescents. ProQuest Information and Learning, 69. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/psycinfo/docview/622063848/14169DD41C73E1283C3/3?accountid=14874
Maunder, R. E., Harrop, A., & Tattersall, A. J. (2010). Pupil and staff perceptions of bullying in secondary schools: Comparing behavioural deinitions and their perceived seriousness. Educational Research, 52(3), 263-282. doi:10.1080/00131881.2010.504062