Why is cyberbullying different

Bullying - not with us ?!

Wolfgang Sander

To person

Prof. Dr. phil., born 1944; Educational scientist at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster.
Address: Westphalian Wilhelms University, Institute for Educational Science, Georgskommende 33, 48143 Münster.
E-mail:[email protected]

Julia Haarmann

Center for Teacher Training, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.

Sabine Kühmichel

Institute for Educational Science, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.

The use of new media gives bullying a whole new dimension. So-called cyberbullying is examined more closely in this module: What is different about cyberbullying than "normal" bullying? In what forms does it occur? Are there any laws against it? And how can I protect myself against cyberbullying?

Learning goals:

The students should
  • ... know what cyberbullying is (definitions and forms),
  • ... risks of Web 2.0 and other new media,
  • ... handle your own data and that of others on the web responsibly,
  • ... know and be able to apply strategies and assistance against cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying - what is it actually?

Special phenomenon: cyberbullying. (& copy digitalstock)
Following on from module 1, the beginning of this module is about clarifying how cyberbullying (also known as "Cyberbullying"known) from" normal "bullying and in what form, what specific manifestations it can occur.

To get into the topic, a spot against cyberbullying (M 03.01) or a song (M 03.02) can be used, each of which addresses cyberbullying. You can find other alternatives in the list of spots and documentation on the subject of bullying (see sub-item "spots and documentaries" in the link tips).

The teacher asks after the presentation of the introductory material, what is presented and addressed in it. The students who have already dealt intensively with "normal" bullying in module 2 will quickly recognize that it is about bullying. Perhaps they are already mentioning that this is a special type of bullying, cyberbullying, otherwise the teacher can follow up and ask what is special or new about this type of bullying.
The aim is to work out that bullying is carried out here with the help of new information and communication technologies such as the Internet or cell phones.

New media - new bullying?

What is different or new about cyberbullying compared to "normal" bullying?

What effects the use of new media has on the quality of bullying - both with regard to the victim and the perpetrator - should then be worked out. In the form of mind mapping or brainwriting (see method box, method 10), the students first collect their spontaneous impressions of the differences and the effect that the use of new media can have on bullying, reflecting on the introductory material. After collecting the first impressions, these aspects should be discussed in more detail with material M 03.03 "Cyberbullying: New Media - New Bullying? " be worked out.

Based on a definition of cyberbullying, the material makes it clear that cyberbullying also makes use of or appropriates its "qualities" due to the use of new media.

The aspects that make cyberbullying easier for the perpetrator, but even more agonizing for the victim, are the availability around the clock, an unmanageably large audience, the (apparent) anonymity of the perpetrators, the extremely fast dissemination of content and the availability up to the private rooms etc. It becomes obvious that these aspects give bullying a whole new dimension.

What does cyberbullying look like? - Forms of cyberbullying

How should one respond to cyberbullying? (& copy digitalstock)
The next step is to examine the specific form of cyberbullying.

For this purpose, the pupils use M 03.04 to create or supplement a list of the various forms in which cyberbullying can occur. In addition to a description, in the list with the English names for the individual manifestations, they also record the medium with which these forms are practiced Have experienced bullying yourself.

The "Think-Pair-Share" method is ideal for developing this, whereby the pupils record the results of the partner work on a poster or slide and later present them to the plenary.

The material M 03.05, a transcript of an interview with those affected and experts, can be used as a support.

How can you protect yourself?

Is there no law against cyberbullying? - And what can I do to avoid cyberbullying?

After working out what cyberbullying actually is, the last part of the module should be about how you can protect yourself against cyberbullying. On the one hand, the legal possibilities with which one can take legal action against cyberbullying attacks are to be determined, and on the other hand, the individual protective measures that everyone can take for themselves.

What is the cyberbullying law like? (& copy digitalstock)
a) Legal situation

In M 03.06 the pupils learn that there is no separate law against cyberbullying in Germany, but that some of the manifestations violate existing laws. Your task is to use selected links (method: Internet research, see method box, method 23) to examine the forms of cyberbullying developed in M ​​03.04 to determine to what extent they violate laws and to record which these are.


b) Individual protective measures

Much more important than legal options - because preventive - is careful and sensible handling of your own data in order to protect yourself from cyberbullying attacks. Using Internet research, the pupils look for important strategies and precautionary measures for safe Internet surfing (cf. M 03.07).

The results are presented and discussed in the plenary.

The pupils then create an information flyer for the grade or the whole school based on the most important results.