Post Discussion: Technology and Bullying
Students of the Digital Age want to use technology in all aspects of their lives because they are familiar with it and understand it. This can be incorporated into daily educational tasks — however, there should be some cautionary factors in place. Some cautionary factors can be positive while others can be negative. One way to include digital media would be to open a learning environment that is less rigid than the traditional “brick and mortar school” concept — that allows students to manage their time on their own, so long as they complete assignments using the various multi-sensory media available to them (Koonce, 2016, p. 249). While this would be a good, positive factor, one negative factor is that there has been almost no data compiled as to how this would work in a real world scenario — and the need for quality controls would impair the project’s effectiveness (Koonce, 2016, p. 249). At the same time that digital technology can be used to involve students more fully in the educative process, there are warnings from academics that this should not come at the expense of traditional core studies (Koonce, 2016, p. 261). Thus, the exchange has to be worked out and a compromise reached before any such implementation becomes worthwhile.
If more education is online for elementary and secondary students, my only concerns would be that the social aspect of learning is lacking and that a too great dependency on screens and digital technology could lead to an addiction to technology or a dependency issue. As Brody (2015) notes “screen addiction is taking a toll on children” and this means that too much screen time at too early an age can actually frustrate the development process in terms of the whole-child being educated rather than just a particular function.
One way around this issue may be to have learning stations, where digital media could be used for assigned tasks or at assigned times — and in this way “on-task behavior” could be promoted (Rollins, 2014, p. 110). This could help to ensure that digital time is monitored and quality controlled but also that it is utilized to enhance the educative process.
One other area of concern associated with digital use is the issue of cyber-bullying. Educators should attempt to effectively deal with all types of bullying by adopting a zero tolerance policy towards it. This means that there is no second warning, no slapping of the wrist — just a clear enunciation of the rules and expectations regarding that type of behavior at the outset of the year — and if a student chooses to engage in bullying, that student is discipline immediately. This should act as a deterrent (Koonce, 2016).
However, at the same, bullying is part of growing up and it should not be disciplined excessively or too strictly. The degree of the punishment should correlate to the degree of the bullying. If the bullying is not excessive, the punishment should not be completely paralyzing. Also, educators should seek to promote mutual respect among students and show that bullying is an immature way to express feelings and that it does not make one look good. They should emphasize that students should get along because in the real world, developing positive relationships is the way to success and bullying is nothing but a negative experience that brings bad energy and spirit into an enterprise and can never work in anyone’s favor. Thus the zero tolerance policy can be supported by a policy of using good reasons for why bullying should not be tolerated and why students should work to get along.
Brody, J. (2015). Screen addiction is taking a toll on children. The New York Times.
Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/screen-addiction-is-taking-a-toll-on-children/?_r=0
Koonce, G. (2016). (Ed). Taking sides: Clashing views on educational issues expanded
(18 Ed.). Mcgraw Hill Publishers.
Rollins, S. (2014). Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put ALL Students on the Road
to Academic Success. VA: ASCD.
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