Bullying isn’t a new phenomenon in K12s - yet it’s safe to say that schools take this matter very seriously, implementing curriculum and programming designed to educate students on creating awareness, prevention, and steps students can take in the event they witness bullying.
With a high number of students engaged in distance or hybrid learning instructional models, screen time on school-owned devices has seen a dramatic increase. Added screen time, combined with potential diminished adult/parental supervision, provides increased opportunities for students to be the recipient of or engage in cyberbullying.
A recent study of ‘tweens’ (children between ages of 9-12) conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center in partnership with Cartoon Network confirmed what most already suspected – too many tweens are being bullied at school and online with nearly 80% of respondents indicating they’ve had some exposure to bullying – as a target, aggressor or witness. Cyberbullying, though not as prevalent among the sample respondents, is on the rise with over 20% of the students surveyed falling into those same categories (target, aggressor or witness).
Further, the study indicated that, though only 21% of 9 year olds and 68% of 12 year olds have their own smartphone, over 90% of the tweens surveyed attest to spending time in the past year on social media or gaming related sites. Meaning, the vast majority of tweens are spending time online whether they have their own device or not. A clear indication that kids - young kids – are online at levels never seen before. And with that increased online presence, cyberbullying incidents are on the rise within this population group.
Parents clearly play a role in helping children navigate the online world, yet tools to help parents monitor children’s online activity and behavior can provide an invaluable support mechanism to help ensure kids remain safe and protected online.
See Tween Cyberbullying in the United States from the Cyberbullying Research Center for more information on this study and access to the full report.
Options abound for parents and schools alike in selecting tools to monitor online behavior in the detection of wellness and self-harm related topics, including cyberbullying. It’s up to the consumer to investigate each thoroughly to determine which product approach is best for district or parent-owned devices. In brief, here are some differences to take into consideration:
Most wellness monitoring products are employing similar filtering technologies found in conventional content filtering products. Typified by URL and keyword blocking, the technology effectively searches a database of known keywords and URLs in generating an alert. If the URL or term isn’t on the list (such as inventive spelling used by students), incidents can remain undetected. When students find themselves in crisis, time is truly of the essence and delays in detecting bullying or self-harm incidents could have disastrous effects.
By contrast, Deledao’s revolutionary filtering architecture takes a different approach to wellness detection and alerting via the application of patented artificial intelligence technology that understands contextual nuances both in web and email content – and does so in real time.
Check out this video to see our email bullying detection at work.