Bullying on the Internet can spread fast. But who can stop it? Creation of safe space on the Internet and encouragement to talk when facing cyberbullying. Non-formal education helps to promote these processes quickly. Few methodologies were tested in Vilnius, during the ESC project “Be Kind Behind the Screen” – we present it below.
Title: Cyberbullying Word Search
Duration: 10 minutes
Number of participants: unlimited
Directions for leading the activity: Give participants a copy of the Worksheet (CYBERBULLYING WORD SEARCH). Tell participants they have only two minutes to complete the task and that it’s really important that they get it done on time. If you like you might make a competition of the task and offer a prize of a bar of chocolate for the person who completes the sheet first.
While participants are trying to complete the task, do various things to interrupt them. For example: ask them questions; ask them to hop up and down on the spot; ask them to close their eyes; play distracting music. Do everything you can so that the participants can’t complete the task in time.
Afterward, ask the participants how this experience made them feel.
How did this experience make you feel?
Explain to them that this is similar to how the internet can invade all aspects of their lives. Then ask them to reflect on the following question. They can also use emoticons to answer.
How would you feel if you were constantly being interrupted by a stream of bullying comments?
Title: Solving cases of Cyber Bullying
Duration: 35 minutes
Number of participants: 15 – 25
Directions for leading the activity: Divide the group into smaller groups of four or five. Each group should be given a case study (see CYBERBULLYING CASE STUDIES) and asked to give advice on how to stop or prevent bullying in that particular case.
After working in their groups for five minutes, the groups should read their responses to the larger group. Feedback should be taken on the board and categorized into dos (likes) and don’ts (dislikes).
Note to facilitator: Feel free to choose the case studies that address issues that are most relevant to the group. Avoid using case studies that might upset or expose a particular participant to bullying.
Presented activities aim to give a better understanding of the persistent nature of the internet and the ramifications this has for bullying. As an example, implemented lessons at Vilnius schools allowed students not only to consider what everyone should do to prevent bullying and cyberbullying but also helped to foster teamwork between classmates.