What social issue will your video conference address?
The social issue that I would address in my class video conference would be cyberbullying. This generation of students all grow up knowing and experiencing social media and with that, children experience bullying while on the internet. This issue has affected many people as well as many communities involved. Social media has affected the way people use the internet as well as the way people communicate.What subject(s) and grade level(s) would be appropriate for students to be involved?
This topic can be discussed at any grade level; however I would focus this topic mainly on fourth, fifth, and sixth graders because this is the age that students begin to get phones and join social media. This age is very important for students to be aware of this issue and be an advocate to prevent it from happening.
Who would be your ideal guest speaker?
For an ideal guest speaker I would ask John Halligan. John goes around to schools around the United States, Mexico and Canada to be an advocate for cyber bullying ever since his son took his own life because of cyberbullying. He calls his program the “Ryan story” which is when he tells his son’s story and different ways to prevent it. He has had personally been affected and he would make the situation more realistic for the students.
After watching videos of his presentation, I realized he mainly focuses on how the bystanders can help and what they can do if they see any type of bullying. His presentation is very emotional however he makes these types of situations more realistic for the students and it will make them more conscious of what they put on the internet as well as the way they speak to one another.
Would you seek to involve other schools from your community, across the country, or from particular countries or regions around the world to foster the ideal conversation?
I would include any schools or districts that would like to participate in this global encounter. The one district that I would make sure to include is the school district that Ryan Halligan attended. This way the students would get a more real perspective of the situation.
What type of activity would students complete before the video conference session that they could share during the conference?
Before the video session, we would come up with a definition for the cyber bullying, then come up with different scenarios that involves cyberbullying. The students would come up with the situations and see how they could have changed the outcome of the situations.
Before the video conference starts, I would have the students come up with questions to ask Mr. Halligan as well as the school that Ryan attended. During the video conference the students would have an opportunity to ask those questions to Mr. Halligan and the school to see how this tragedy has impacted their life and their school.
Would there be a follow-up action that students would take to deepen their learning?
After the video conference I would have the students write a reflection of how they felt during and after the video conference. I can see how their perspectives have changed from the beginning to end.
How would you assess their participation?
The students would be informally assessed during the video conference with the questions they ask and how engaged they are in the video session. I would formally assess the reflections that the students write after the video conference. Before the students begin to write their reflections I would give them guidelines. The reflection would be assessed based on the guidelines.
**For more information on the Ryan Story