Blogging Against Bullying- Using Chromebooks to Construct Meaning and Make Anti-Bullying Student Peer Protection REAL-Grades 8-12

Just as everyday ballet dancers train at the barre and boxers get in the ring for training to go a few rounds, so students can combat, contextualize and comment on bullying everyday by developing a class or small editorial team blog.  How can using the Chromebook support that effort?  First, they can go online to find news items or graphics or even music or videos to react to as proactive student citizens.  Teachers can curate and share in their chromebook community a set of grade, content and age appropriate web resources to inspire student blog entries.  Since almost every student has either been bullied, witnessed bullying as a bystander or been a bully-everyone has a perspective to contribute. Some students have been bullies, bullies and bystanders.

Student Anti Bullying Blog can be created using Google’s Blogger resource

Here’s how students can use Google Blogger resources to develop a student owned and emotionally engaged blog that of course also gives daily practice in persuasive, argument and informative writing skills,
Students develop and maintain an ongoing blog on the subject of Bullying.  Teachers can vet resources students identify for grade, age and reliability.  They develop materials for the blog by drawing from their personal experiences as bullies, those who’ve been bullied, and as bystanders to bullying.  The blog features responses to a group of essential questions like, “Is bullying only a physical action or can you bully with words as well?”   Peers, both at school and others who contribute online at a distance to the Chromebook community, as well as parents and others may be invited to contribute to the blog or respond to its posts.  To prompt an ongoing conversation, the teacher or students can post and comment on news stories about bullies, write about bullying themes they come across in fiction or non-fiction books, and interview others (e.g. peers, school staff, and PTA members) about how they deal with bullying issues.  They can add courtesy of the Chromebook audio files featuring voices of their interview subjects and public domain music and videos (all of these can be vetted by the teacher).

 Preparation Portion of the Project:

  1. As an intro, the following Essential Questions are posed to the entire class who are then divided into small groups to react to them.  What does it mean to “bully” someone?  Is physical action the only way to “bully” someone?  Can names harm as well as words?  What does a Bully look like?  Draw a picture or describe one.  Have you ever been a bully? When and why?  Have you ever been bullied?  What did you do or not do to stop it?  How did it conclude or has it concluded?  Have you ever been a bystander to bullying?  What did you do or not do and why?  Now that you look back, in there anything you wish you had done to combat the bullying?  Why or why not?
  2.  Each group (no more than 4 per group) is given a sketch pad and a paper chart to get their responses and illustrations down in reaction to the set of Essential Questions.  They are given at least fifteen minutes to work in small groups.  The drawings can be included on the blog and saved as pictures in student chromebook files.
  3. At least a half hour to fifty minutes is spent on having groups present their responses to one another and react to the presentations.  The teacher does not comment.
  4. Have the students suggest ways they can further expand upon and check on the validity of their initial reactions to the essential questions posed.  Among the answers they might suggest: research in print or online the definitions of bullying; ask guidance, dean and school safety officers what constitutes bullying in their city, state and district and the penalties for it for peers; examine the news for ongoing bullying cases on their grade level and how authorities and peers deal with it; interview the school Dean for how he/she works with the guidance counselors and school safety officers to help students who bully others or those who are bystanders; read fictional and informational books on bullies; see the Lee Hirsch documentary,  Bully (2011);   and interview peers around the school or neighborhood  and family for their reactions to the essential questions.  Give students time to select their research focus and to do substantive research.  The interviews with the Dean or other school guidance or district staff can with permission be used in the blog.
  5. After a week for research, have the results present and discuss their findings and conclusions. Allow at least a full session for this.
  1. Developing the blog (the technical aspects and classroom management)

    The teacher (or appropriate designee) registers and sets up this class blog, online. While this single individual will function as the class’ “Blog Master”, actually shaping and adding to the blog, the ideas and decisions that direct these actions are done as a group through whole class or small, collaborative work group discussions, as the teacher feels is instructionally advantageous or practical.

In a series of teacher-guided class discussion(s), decide on:
– the name of the blog
– the description of the blog (below the blog name)
– links to include on the blog
– special features to include

In general, students will work “off line” as they write or edit to create original content, curate lists of resources (by name and link), or respond to posts with “Comments”. This offline work may include (hyper)links, (embed) code for video or audio “players” or other common blog “widgets”

Items produced off line, in digital format (MS Word or other) can be forwarded to the class Blog Master via email, USB Drive, school or computer lab network, or other common means of transferring digital content.

Ongoing Learning and Doing

Encourage students to find sites and include links to them in the content they create for the blog. This, to illustrate or expand on the points they make or to suggest for further research.  Instruct students to attribute correctly for the sources they include and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism.

Give the students a period to review their end product as a class and revisit their initial responses to the essential questions.  They may want to discuss how their response would differ or have been impacted or are changing case to case as a result of this research and the response online and in person to the ongoing evolving investigation. These changes and shifts (even a teacher or expert shift case to case in terms of responses to bullying and penalties at school for bullying actions), can be a class blog posting or individual posts or a conversation that school guidance, deans, administration and PTA can participate in.

The principal product for this project is a blog set up using one of the established, conventional blogging resources (often offered FREE) like Google’s Blogger (blogspot.com). The Settings options of such resources generally allow for the teacher to structure this activity so that a single person in charge (e.g. the teacher, herself) can control who posts to the blog and whose “Comments” in response to posts will be made available to blog readers. Further, these blogs generally can be set to control who may view, as well (see greater detail on blogging and blog resources in the How To section of this book).

While the final decisions of what to post or which comments to publish may rest in the hands of the teacher (or designee), the entire class group will participate in generating ideas and content, shaping the format and look and feel of the blog, responding to comments, and the other various aspects of creating and maintaining a dynamic, ongoing, web-based content resource.

 Standards Alignments

Common Core Standards in ELA  
Reading: Literature and Informational Literature Key Ideas and Details: RL._.1RL._.2RL._.3
Craft and Structure:  RL._.4RL._.5RL._.6
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:  RL._.7RL._.8RL._.9
Range of Reading and Complexity of Text:  RL._.10
Writing Text Types and Purposes: W._.1W._.2W._.3
Production and Distribution of Writing: W._.4W._.5W._.6
Research to Build and Present Knowledge: W._.7 –  W._.8W._.9
Range of Writing: W._.10
Speaking & Listening Comprehension and Collaboration: SL._.1SL._.2SL._.3
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: SL._.4SL._.5SL._.6
Language Conventions of Standard English:  L._.1L._.2
Knowledge of Language:
L._.3
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: L._.4L._.5L._.6
ISTE NETS
for Students
1.       Creativity and Innovation: a – b
2. Communication and Collaboration: a – b

3.       Research and Information Fluency: b – c – d

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: a – b – c – d

5. Digital Citizenship: b

6. Technology Operations and Concepts: a – b- d

 In the process of creating and maintaining their blog, the student bloggers will also create a body of a range of research and information gathering, pre-writing, and writing products which, in the aggregate, will represent a rich portfolio that may be used for both formative and summative assessment. The teacher and the students have access via the Chromebook files to this aggregate data which includes persuasive, argument and informational writing portfolio pieces with real world significance.

This project centers on an important social issue that challenges and engages students in speaking, listening and collaborating for an authentic, compelling purpose.  Students strategize and voice how to deal with the outcomes of bullying and how to protect themselves and others.  In doing so, they use their Chromebooks to read for detail, craft, structure and ideas over a range of material and examine how adult fiction and informational writers and groups deal with this issue.

The students’ blog mixes the use of real world Chromebook technology tools, with explanatory/informative writing and their own narratives to develop a place online to review, reflect on and discuss an issue that is part of their lives. Chromebooks become their metaphoric technology barre or training ring to build their daily BLOG back at Bullying skills.  Beyond the technology resource they develop and maintain, they with each entry build their anti bullying self resilience and self defense skills.  That constructs online and lifeline needed meaning for these bloggers.

 Suggested Texts
Trudy Ludwig: Confessions of a Former Bully, My Secret Bully, No Kidding, Trouble Talker; Paul Langan: Bully

RJ Palacio: Wonder Auggie and Me

Todd Strasser: Boot Camp, If I Grow Up and Give a Boy a Gun

Mark Shulman: Scrawl

Sharon Draper: Out of My Mind

Walter Dean Myers: Darius and Twig

Mark Goldblatt: Twerp

Maya Angelou: Still I Rise

Amanda Maciel: Tease

Trevor Romain: Cliques, Phonies & Other Baloney

Michael Thompson: Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children

Other Sources (online)
– Bullying.org: www.bullying.org, www.cyberbully.org,
– Stop Bullying Now: www.stopbullyingnow.com
– Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project: www.handsproject.org
– Operation Respect: http://www.operationrespect.org/index2.php
– Ophelia Project: http://www.opheliaproject.org/

  1. k) Project Extensions
    Contact an accredited school guidance person, Oleweus Bully Prevention Program trainer (e.g. david@leapkids.com), or an author who specializes in the bullying theme (see the websites of authors listed: Trudy Ludwig and Todd Strasser in particular), or an instructor for a teacher education course who may be happy to support student investigators by speaking to them in class, reviewing and commenting on their writing and thinking, or suggest ideas for how to expand their blog or other anti-bullying studying and work.

Dr. Rose Reissman,

Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5

About Sector 5,

Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on http://www.twitter.com/sectorfiveinc and http://www.facebook.com/sect5 and find further information at http://www.sector-five.com. For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.

CONTACT: contact@sector-five.com.

 

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