Stories of Us: Cyber-bullying Intervention & Education

Middle School Program

BoysWork2


CyberFilm2

…adults and young people were highly supportive of the program… (it) increased students’ awareness of the consequences of cyberbullying, particularly the emotional and criminal possibilities, and the students had learnt skills, knowledge and tools…

– Program Evaluation



Building upon the proven effectiveness of Readymade’s internationally acclaimed Stories of Us bullying prevention initiatives, in early 2014 we conducted a seven-school regional cyber-bullying education and intervention program in northern Adelaide, with the support of the Town of Gawler and the SA Attorney-General’s Department.

We are now offering this program to other communities.

 

  • Summary

    Format

    A multi-school, 10 lesson cyber-bullying education and intervention program conducted on-site by the Readymade team, with on-going peer-to-peer activities and optional community events.

    Objective

    The aim of this program is to create a regional cyber-bullying prevention initiative centred on the development and presentation of films made by students. The goal of creating their films engages the students and provides a framework for their journey – a process which educates and empowers them to stand together in addressing cyber-bullying. And the final films can be used as the centre-piece of school-wide and community education initiatives.

    As they research and develop their films, the students:

    • Honestly reflect upon their social environment and the consequences of negative behaviour;
    • Explore the dynamics of peer relationships and the critical role of bystanders;
    • Examine legal implications, rights and responsibilities;
    • Explore the options for alternative positive behaviour, and how to realistically address problems as they arise;
    • Develop social skills they can employ in addressing cyber-bullying and associated peer relationship problems, including assertive communication and managing emotions;
    • And establish safe rules of use for social media, texting and other forms of cyber communication.

    In the final stage of the program the students take the lead, using their films to educate others with peer-to-peer and community activities, laying the groundwork for a region-wide campaign.

    Below are previews from videos created by students as part of a regional Cyber-Bullying Intervention & Education Program.

    Immanuel Video


    St Brigid's Video

  • Detailed Information

    The Cyber-bullying Intervention & Education program has been developed by Stories of Us creator Christopher Faull in collaboration with leading cyber-bullying specialist Dr Barbara Spears from the University of South Australia, with the support of SA Police.

    Cyber-bullying is a student peer relationship problem. They hold the key to the solution. Combining cyber-bullying education with filmmaking, the program is designed to deeply engage students in a collective activity, providing support and instruction whilst empowering them to come together in building a healthy social environment and reducing bullying and harassment in our schools.

    Participants

    The regional program is designed for clusters of 4-8 schools, each involving one class of students – typically Year 7-8, but also suitable for older and younger students.

    Staff Support & Resource Requirements

    No specialist staff experience is required. The program will be conducted on-site by Readymade’s team, supported by school staff (providing assistance and duty of care).

    Minimum filmmaking equipment is required. At its most basic, students can film their scenes with iPads or small digital cameras, and most school computers will have some form of basic video editing software.

    Lesson Plans

    Working in groups, the students are guided through the Stories of Us method as they develop and make their own short films. However, whilst this interdisciplinary approach combines filmmaking and student wellbeing, the focus is very much upon the latter.

    The program begins with the students completing an extensive questionnaire as they research their current understanding of cyber-bullying. (These drafts can be used as a “pre” survey for those interested in evaluating the impact of the program.)

    We then expand their understanding by outlining the facts about cyber-bullying including definition and examples, peer relationship dynamics, legal and emotional consequences, and what can be done to address the problem. Armed with this additional information, the students update their questionnaires.

    These questionnaires form the basis of the films they will develop. Each group of students will be responsible for producing one section of the film – each corresponding with a different section of the questionnaire.

    Throughout the program, students are provided with a number of information handouts, as well as working documents such as templates for developing their scripts and planning their filming schedules.

    Once their film sections are completed and assembled to form the class’s finished film, the students explore effective ways to use their film for peer-to-peer activities – establishing a wider campaign, helping reduce cyber-bullying by educating and building empathy, resilience and social cohesion.

    The final films can also be used as the centre-piece of community education initiatives.

    Interested?

    For further information about implementing the program in your area please email Christopher Faull or phone (08) 7226 2436