Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ontario's Bill 14 - Anti-Bullying Act, 2012

Today's Toronto Star published an article on Bill 14, Anti-Bullying Act, 2012, now sitting in Committee after second reading. Submissions are being presented to Committee and the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) put forth a submission questioning the definition of bullying behaviour as "aggressive". The OPC is concerned that such a restrictive lens on the act of bullying will handcuff them from "addressing the passive, subtle and insidious bullying that can be just as debilitating".

For more detail read the full OPC submission.

Monday, April 30, 2012

UBC Cyberbullying Study

A graph showing where electronic aggression oc...
A graph showing where electronic aggression occurs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A new cyberbullying study out of the University of British Columbia (UBC) suggests that the three characteristics of traditional "schoolyard" bullying (power differential between bully and victim, a proactive targeting of a victim, and ongoing aggression) aren't always present in the increasingly more common cyberbullying.
...research is beginning to show that cyberbullying does not necessarily involve these three characteristics. Traditional power differentials – size and popularity – do not necessarily apply online. There also seems to be more fluid delineation between the roles youth play; it is not unusual for an individual to act in all capacities – bullies, victims, and witnesses – online. 
Previous work...has shown that in contrast to traditional bullying, cyberbullying is rarely associated with planned targeting of a victim.
And while cyberbullying is now becoming the main avenue of experience for bullies and their victims - "Results of the studies show that about 25-30 per cent of youth report that they have experienced or taken part in cyberbullying, compared to 12 per cent of youth who say they’ve experienced or taken part in schoolyard bullying" - most youth consider what happens online was intended as a joke.

The study (which involved 17,000 Vancouver, B.C. students in Grades 8 to 12 and a follow-up study involving 733 Vancouver, B.C. youth aged 10-18) suggests that anti-bullying programs need specific interventions to target online aggression if the current attitude toward cyberbullying is to change.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Facebook Guide for Schools

The American School Counselor Association has combined with iKeepSafe, an Internet safety advocacy group, to publish a guide to help schools and their counselors make sense of the platform and its impact on student-life. The guide offers tips on:

  • Developing school policies. 
  • Responding to online incidents that impact the school climate. 
  • Helping the community define dangerous behavior on Facebook. 
  • Educating students and staff about digital literacy.

You may also want to look at Facebook for Educators, which also contains a guide.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three Ring...a very impressive app for teachers

Just came across an article on Mashable about Three Ring, a smartphone app which allows teachers to take a photo or video recording of student work, store, view and / or share online. The app allows teachers to assign the photo / video of students work with a student (you can upload class lists), create a metadata list to tag work, and use this digital repository as a searchable record of a students work.

Of course, this digital filing cabinet of the work done in your class can also help you manage and maintain a refreshed document library for your portfolio: something which has always been a chore for teachers.

And if you maintain a classroom wiki / site, as I do, Three Ring becomes a great way to connect students to a record of their work or share student work within or beyond the classroom.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Noteworthy research and studies for this week

Well, it looks like Toronto's real estate industry's constant need to reference "good schools" and their relationship to specific areas is in no way unique to certain markets. The Brookings Institution has just released a report which explores the link and relationship between housing prices and zoning practices, and argues that "public policies should address housing market regulations that prohibit all but the very affluent from enrolling their children in high-scoring public schools in order to promote individual social mobility and broader economic security."

Principals are second only to teachers in their impact on student achievement, according to a report by the Center for Public Education that compiles recent research on principal effectiveness.

A Psychological Science study, The Neurodevelopmental Basis of Math Anxiety, has identified the neural correlates of math anxiety. In other words, while not to dismiss the cultural or social conditioning issues connected to math anxiety, it's not simply a question of nurture.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Focus on Education: A Weekly Ontario News Update - January 8, 2012

A review of the last few week's of education news in Ontario.

Teachers’ disciplinary decisions now online
For the first time, disciplinary decisions involving hundreds of the province’s rogue teachers are now easily accessible online.
Hamilton Spectator, January 5, 2012