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From:    Robert Dubose <rdubose@ALVORD.K12.CA.US>

Glen Warren, Media Resources Coordinator for the Orange County
Department of Education and Seanean Shanahan, LAUSD Library media
Services, just made the comment on March 27 at the CSLA Southern Section
meeting in Los Angeles that teacher librarians need to TAKE OVER the
cyberbullying curriculum and make it our issue.  They reminded the
teacher librarians present that our new California Model Library
Standards are the only content standards in this state that address the
issue.  Here it is barely two weeks later and Dr. Phil McGraw just
yesterday (April 8) stated that a daily class in cyberbullying needs to
be a mandated part of the school curriculum.  Do other states address
cyber citizenship in their library content standards?  What can we do to
create added value for library programming by claiming the cyberbullying
class as our own?

Robert DuBose

Warning - *8-0[=[] Nancy in lecture mode. ;)

I absolutely love Glen - and was talking with him just yesterday - but I have a 
difference of opinion with him on this issue. I strongly feel that teacher 
librarians need to be providing the LEADERSHIP on all issues related to media 
literacy and citizenship. You are the only professionals in schools who have the 
background training necessary to really understand these literacy issues - that are 
the essential core. But sometimes being a leader means recognizing that someone 
else has the best background of expertise in the underlying issue and supporting 
those professionals in providing the essential instruction. 

There are a wide range of issues that fall into what I call digital citizenship. 
Here is my outline (there is a scope and sequence and professional development 
materials for teachers on my site):

Core Competencies. Critical thinking using digital media. Information credibility. 
Keeping life in balance. Protecting personal information and reputation.  
Interacting safely with others online.

Sites and Technologies. Computer security and scams. Terms of use agreements. 
Accidental access to objectionable material. Market profiling and advertising. 
Protection features for social networking.

Youth Risk Online. Cyberbullying and cyberthreats. Risky sexual relationships and 
activities. Unsafe or dangerous online groups.

Digital Media Literacy. Free speech. Accurate attribution. Copyright and fair use. 
Publisher responsibilities. Establishing credibility and effective advocacy. Civic 
collaboration. (Do not yet have instructional objectives for these.)

I think all teachers will absolutely need to know the core competencies and media 
literacy issues - but teacher librarians clearly should be providing the 
instruction for students - especially until other teachers can gain the necessary 
understanding. Note that two of these issues - posting information and safely 
interacting are foundational to the cyberbullying issues. Ed tech professionals 
will do fine in the sites and technologies issues and should also be involved in 
instruction in the core competencies areas.

Then there is the youth risk online area. Too often, these concerns are addressed 
as "Internet safety." This is really not appropriate. These are concerns related to 
relationship issues and emotional well-being. This is youth risk behavior that is 
now manifesting online. Who in your school teaches about social skills, bullying, 
risky sex, unhealthy activities like self-cutting? Generally your health teachers 
or counselors. The professional understanding that these teachers have is essential 
to effectively addressing all of the youth risk online issues. 

Unfortunately, there is a MAJOR problem. Many of these risk prevention 
professionals do not understand digital technologies and the digital culture. So 
for a while, it is my strong recommendation that these issues be team taught by 
teacher librarians and the health/well-being teacher. 

Another problem may be that you might have a school resource officer or DARE 
officer who wants to teach these subjects. Until we can get these folks to present 
accurate information and use effective risk prevention, it is best to not go in 
this direction. Some law enforcement folks are on the right path - but many are 
not. (See the report on my site entitled Technopanic and 21st Century Schools to 
know how much incredible disinformation there is out there - on state AG web sites 
and coming into your schools.) 

Basically it will take a triad of folks to integrate these issues into schools 
effectively (and possibly a quartet). Teacher librarians at the leadership position 
- working with ed tech and health/well-being professionals (possibly also law 

But here is a strong hint. :) To the best of my ability to detect, many of the ed 
tech folks are not really all that interested in teaching the Internet safety 
stuff. I spoke one time to an ed tech person who told me a story about teaching a 
lesson on online sexual predators. The students started to ask about rape and she 
told me she was totally unprepared to discuss that. 

I hope you are all aware that there is a new federal requirement to teach Internet 
safety - tied to CIPA. I think this represents an opportunity for teacher 
librarians.  Who is going to take the responsibility for this instruction? PLEASE 
jump up, raise your hand, shout out "I will." By taking on this federally required 
responsibility you can then shift your job responsibilities into doing what I think 
you all recognize the need to do - become the literacy specialist professionals in 
your schools - providing support to all teachers and students in 21st century 
citizenship and literacy. 

I think that taking the leadership on these issues - and co-teaching with the 
health and well-being folks on the higher risk issues - is a very effective path 
for the evolution of your profession. And I am pretty darned sure this is also what 
Glen was thinking. 

Also, mark November 15 on your calendar - especially if you are in the pacific 
northwest. The International Bullying Prevention Association conference will be 
held in Seattle. I am putting together a one day pre-conference workshop - full day 
- on youth risk online. This will include panel presentations on research, risk 
prevention, industry/NGO and addressing issues in schools. The panel presentations 
will be by this nation's top authorities - a truly multidisciplinary approach. And 
I am trying to convince IBPA to allow people to attend just the one day 
pre-conference event. Glen will be on one of the panels. 

There is a significant amount of cyberbullying information on my site - as well as 
professional development support materials on all of these issues. 


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

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