Monday, 18 November 2013

Winston Cyberbulling Mentors Work with Impero to Help Children Nationwide

Winston students have worked in partnership with Impero to develop a keyword detection library as part of its network management software solution, Impero Education Pro. Students trained as cyberbullying mentors, by the charity Beat Bullying, gave up their time to work with Impero to create a list of keywords and phrases most likely to be used to facilitate bullying online.

The list of keywords and phrases formulated by the group of cyberbullying mentors has been used to assist Impero’s research into e-safety development, enabling the software company to develop an extensive keyword detection library. The students, who ranged from 11-16 in age, were able to provide a vivid insight into commonly used text speak, jargon and slang terms, of which Impero was previously unaware. Keywords and phrases which the mentors believed victims may use in retaliation to cyberbulling were also considered.

The new addition, which falls under Impero’s e-safety feature, consists of various keywords, phrases and acronyms most likely to suggest bullying behaviour. A glossary providing a definition of each term ensures educational staff understand the nature of a potential violation when these keywords are typed by a student, then captured and highlighted by the software. A new ‘confide’ button has also been developed, which will enable students to confidentially raise a bullying concern, anonymously, with a member of a staff.

Although it is important to embrace the opportunities technology in education can afford, it is equally vital to ensure students behave appropriately and remain safe in the digital classroom. Impero believed it was important to gain an insight from young people who possess experience of the effects of online bullying, both first-hand and from an advisory perspective. This information has provided invaluable research into the development of the detection library, which will now highlight hundreds of keywords and phrases related to online bullying.

The collaboration between Impero and the cyberbullying mentors from The Winston Churchill School has supplied a wealth of knowledge to proactively combat the issue of cyberbullying. The student cyberbullying mentors are proactively helping young people to remain safe in the digital world throughout schools nationwide.