Over the past several months, many schools have been shut down, but remote learning has allowed students to continue their education amid the pandemic. While remote platforms have empowered learning, they may also enable cyberbullying. Now, the team at Blocksi is going to shed some light on how teachers, parents, and students can confront bullying online.
Unfortunately, bullying was a serious issue before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the National Bullying Prevention Center pointing out that over 20 percent of students reported being bullied. With many students now learning online rather than in the classroom, students may have suffered less in-person physical bullying.
The team at Blocksi notes that with more students spending more time online, however, they could face increased exposure to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying occurs when a bully uses electronic communications, such as email or social media, to send a message that harms, intimidates, or coerces someone.
Unfortunately, it’s quite possible that cyberbullying has increased during the pandemic. Poverty, substance abuse, and mental health issues, among other factors, may exacerbate bullying both in-person and online.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs, which may increase poverty rates. Experts also believe that mental health issues may worsen amid increased isolation. In addition, those suffering from mental issues may have difficulty accessing resources, such as a therapist. And many people may “self-medicate” through the use of alcohol and drugs.
Given all the above, bullying rates may have increased during the pandemic, and may continue to increase in the months and years ahead. Parents, administrators, and students need to keep an eye out for bullying both in the classroom and online.
Further, as classrooms welcome students back, teachers need to keep an eye out for signs of in-person bullying. This may include physical confrontations, people hurling insults at one another, unexplainable injuries, lost or damaged clothing, and other telltale signs.
Unfortunately, monitoring cyberbullying is extremely difficult, especially if students don’t report incidents. Administrators may not be able to monitor activity on social media and other digital communication tools, especially if students are using personal devices.
That said, companies like Blocksi are stepping forward to provide administrators with tools, like their Student Safety feature, that can be used to confront bullying.
Blocksi is on a mission to make the Internet a safer and less distracting place for students, teachers, and others involved in education. Using Blocksi’s solutions, administrators and teachers can use AI to detect harmful behavior inside Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and even look for signs of threats and toxicity inside searched queries. Besides text, Student safety is able to scan student’s Google Drive folders for images related to violence, adult, and self-harm. Authorities can even be alerted when a student is in danger. Blocksi has also developed a powerful K12 web filter that can keep students away from harmful sites.
Besides cyberbullying, Blocksi offers a wide range of tools and dashboards that teachers and administrators can use to manage and oversee students and their technology use. With the right tools in hand, educators can provide top-notch learning both in the classroom and online. Founded in 2011, Blocksi aims to make online learning safer.