It is no surprise to me that “setting-up” the classroom teacher has become a universal sport. With the introduction of the mobile phone and the high-profile cases of teachers being caught on camera and subsequently fired, it was only a matter of time before something like “cyberbaiting” took off.
A study from Symantec found that 21% of teachers had either been cyberbaited or knew a teacher who had.
Cyberbaiting, according to Symantec’s Internet safety advocate, Marian Merritt, is when students deliberately provoke a teacher into doing something stupid, then video it and post it online. “This of course has the net effect of embarrassing the teacher, taking a momentary lapse of judgement in a classroom and embedding it onto the web.”
As per that 21%, remember it includes teachers who know someone it happened to. Only 4% said it happened to them. Still, it’s one more thing for teachers to think about.
The study — which included interviews from kids and parents in 24 countries including the United States — also found that 62% of kids reported that they have had a negative experience online. It also found that 95% of parents know what their kids are looking at online.
A number of key points come to mind:
- Mobile phones should be banned from the classroom. Those playing with one in class should expect it to be confiscated and returned only when their parents come to pick it up personally.
- Students caught filming, posting or sharing secret tapings of a teacher should be expelled (at least for the more serious cases).
- Teachers should be given the appropriate support so that they are able to teach a class without doing or saying things which they would be ashamed of.
Somehow I expect that this nasty practice will continue without a hitch. Yet another example of the modern-day culture of “teacher bashing” permeating in society.