Digital Directions - Spring/Summer 2012 - (Page 8)

BITSTRENDSBYTES & NEWS AND >> ONLINE BEHAVIOR Nathan Lambrecht/The Monitor/AP —ASSOCIATED PRESS Study: Cyberbullying Different From Physical Bullying A new study suggests the typical elements of playground bullying Mom and Dad endured aren’t always present in the cyberbullying that may affect their children. The study, conducted by the University of British Columbia, also finds that cyberbullying is likely to be underreported by students because they incorrectly believe the activity to be less harmful than physical bullying, according to a press release. As a result, the study suggests new anti-bullying initiatives New iPad 2 screens glow as Joseph Cantu, 15, bottom right, examines his device with fellow students in a geometry class at Memorial High School in McAllen, Texas, earlier this year. MOBILE DEVICES iPads Easing a Texas District’s Digital Divide A Texas school district is trying to close its digital divide by distributing thousands of Apple tablet computers in a move that could make it the largest iPad program for students in the United States. The McAllen Independent School District has distributed more than 6,800 devices—mostly the iPad tablet computers, but also hundreds of iPod Touch devices for its youngest students. By this time next year, the district says, every one of its more than 25,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade will receive an iPad or iPod Touch. The district believes it’s the largest effort of its kind, and while Apple Inc. would not confirm that, other districts the company noted as having made large investments have not made ones as big as McAllen’s. Educational use of the tablet computers is so new that there’s little evidence available on its impact for improving learning. McAllen Superintendent James Ponce says the district wants to change the classroom culture, making it more interactive and creative, and decided Apple’s devices—even at $500 retail for an iPad 2—were the best investment. The district’s typical classroom is outfitted with three computers for students and one for the teacher. Under the new plan, those technology investments will be supplanted by the iPads. For now, McAllen’s iPads don’t carry its textbooks, but eventually they will, and at a much lower cost than the hard copies, which can cost $200 apiece. A small group of teachers in the district began preparing more than a year ago to incorporate the devices into their lessons. Recently, more instructors have started studying the devices. Teachers already training will see their students receive the first wave of devices. enacted in several states may not effectively limit bullying that occurs online. While “traditional” bullying usually brings with it a power (size or popularity) difference between bullies and victims, proactive targeting by the bully, and continued bullying over a period of time, cyberbullying often possesses none of those three traits, the report contends. The absence of those traits may be linked to the flexibility of online media, which can lead students to play the roles of bullies, victims, and witnesses interchangeably. Further, while the study involving about 17,000 students in Vancouver, British Columbia, in grades 8-12 showed 25 to 30 percent of them to have experienced or participated in cyberbullying, only 5 percent said they felt such activity was anything more than a harmless joke. —IAN QUILLEN 8 >>

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Spring/Summer 2012

Digital Directions - Spring/Summer 2012
Editor's Note
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Game On
Applicable Knowledge
Digital Badges
Lessons From Higher Education
Competitive Edge
Recognizing Online PD
Ready or Not
Data Delivery

Digital Directions - Spring/Summer 2012