After reading several news items on cyberbaiting – students taunting teachers to the point of outburst and then recording and broadcasting the scenes — I checked out a few YouTube videos of teachers “losing it.” Very few of the so-called tirades caught on cell phones struck me as extreme; I found the students who deliberately goaded the teachers far more disconcerting than the angry teachers.
But apparently some teachers are concerned about cyberbaiting. I am not sure if this is an issue that is getting attention because it is trendy or because it is actually occurring. As with the recent study that found incidents of sexting by adolescents have been exaggerated, I wonder about the true prevalence of cyberbaiting.
Anybody see this much in real life?
A new study, which looked at the effects of technology on youth and the impact on parents and teachers, found that one in five teachers has either experienced or known another teacher who has been subjected to cyberbaiting. According to The Norton Online Family Report, cyberbaiting “is when students irritate or ‘bait’ a teacher until the teacher gets so frustrated they yell or have a breakdown. Students are ready for the teacher to crack and film the incident on cell phones so they can later post the footage online, causing further shame or trouble for the teacher or school.”
The report also found that even though 67 percent of teachers believe interacting with students on social networks elevates the risk of cyberbaiting, 34 percent of teachers continue to “friend their students” on social networks. Furthermore, only 51 percent said that their school has guidelines that dictate how teachers and students can communicate with one another through social media.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog