Cyberbullying Crossword Puzzle for Kids

By Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin

A crossword puzzle to be distributed to youth to promote discussion about cyberbullying.

A look at the clues, download the PDF here:

ACROSS

5. Acronym for the company that provides an Internet connection to individuals or companies.

6. Short for “World Wide Web” or pages linked together via the Internet

7. A wireless handheld device which allows for telephone communications.

10. Interactive web journal or diary, the contents of which are posted online and then viewable by some or all individuals.

11. An electronic device that stores and processes information and also facilitates electronic communication when connected to a network. 

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Guest Post: Creating a Tween-Friendly Environment On Social Media

Our first guest post comes from Patrick Coombe. He  works for,  Elite Strategies , an internet marketing agency in Florida, and is a proud Father.  Here is his take on creating a tween-friendly environment on social media. 

Whether we like it or not, we all know that tweeners are more active on social media now than ever.

Take a look down any hallway in a middle-school, and you will see kids everywhere hiding their smart phones in their lockers and bags to make a quick text or social media update.

We don't need to review the consequences and dangers of children being online unattended.  We see stories about it each night on prime time TV. Horrific stories of children being abducted and held in the custody of demented strangers. 

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Current Anti-Bullying and Cyberbullying Movements Around the Country

Bullying and cyberbullying are two of the most serious issues you will face in raising your children. These behaviors pose an immediate threat to your child's safety and if they are not handled swiftly they can cause long-term psychological damage that can affect everything from their personal relationships to their performance in school. Fortunately, parents, educators, and counselors across America are responding to these behaviors with some new and innovative approaches.

Leading the way, the federal government created Stopbullying.gov. Essentially, this is a one-stop shop of tools and resources where parents and educators can search for information that they can use at home, at school, and within their own communities. This fantastic resource provides information on how to recognize bullying, how to respond when it is discovered, and how to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. 

While resources such as this have been extremely helpful in providing communities with support and information, some states have decided to take their anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying efforts even further. This past year, the State of Delaware began considering legislation that would make it mandatory for schools in the state to report bullying and cyberbullying.

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Digital Parenting, Facebook and the College Admissions Process

We’ve heard quite a bit about how Facebook is a forum for cyberbullying and how the mental health of teens can be affected by it.  Added to this is the fact that there are sexual predators out there, looking to prey on children or teens through Facebook.  These are issues that have received quite a bit of attention but there are other issues, not currently in the forefront, that can have an equal impact on a child’s life in the long run.  It may not occur to your teen to consider these issues but you can help them out with some digital parenting.

One of these issues arises when teens are applying to schools.  They may not realize it but admissions officials routinely check out applicants’ Facebook pages nowadays.  If they don’t like what they see, it may prejudice them and cost the teen his/her admission to that school.  So it’s necessary to consider the teen’s Facebook page as one of the components of the college application, just like the SATs, the academic recommendations and the application essay.  In some ways, the Facebook page can even carry more weight because admissions officials feel that they are getting the uncensored version of the story.  A student may be able to present himself/herself well in a college application but his/her Facebook page may tell a different story, especially if it goes back a few years.

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“Blocking” vs. “Unfriending” Facebook Bullies/Cyberbullies

43% of kids say they've been bullied online and kids say that 93% of the cruel behavior they see online is on Facebook. Your child's first line of defense should be unfriending bullies or blocking them – but which is most appropriate, and what's the difference between the two? 

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Your Teen's 10 Worst Online Habits

Your teens know how to use the Internet. They've been using it since they were old enough to talk. But do they know how to use it responsibly, without compromising their safety or just plain being rude or irritating to others? If your teens are online, which they undoubtedly are, they need to be aware of committing these 10 Internet faux pas.

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4 Obvious Reasons to be Positive Online that Everyone Should Know

In a world where cyberbullying is commonplace behavior and online rudeness is par for the course, here are 3 simple arguments for your teen to avoid being negative online and be more positive in his posts and texts.

1. Negativity Makes You A Target

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Cyberbullying vs. Schoolyard Bullying

Bullying someone in person is soooo 20th century. Cyberbullying is the new way for tweens and teens to bully, and it differs from traditional schoolyard bullying in significant ways.

Most of us know about schoolyard bullying, and have probably seen it for ourselves at some point during our journey through adolescence. Someone might have spread a dirty rumor about a classmate in the hallways at school or scrawled “For a good time call Kathy” on the inside of a bathroom stall with a Sharpie.

But cyberbullying is very different from the kind of bullying we know, for three reasons: 

  1. 24/7 access. The Internet never sleeps. Cyberbullied kids live in a plugged-in world where they feel trapped and desperate because they can't escape from harassing emails, text messages, or Wall posts. They are always aware of them.

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Facebook for Kids... Not Cool Anymore?

Hey, parents. Just when you were getting used to this whole Facebook thing – you probably set up a profile, friended your kids, and are loving that you can communicate with all your friends near and far – it turns out that Facebook is becoming... uncool.

Facebook started as the underdog, begun by a Harvard sophomore as a way for trendy college students to talk to each other. Facebook was cool, it was a new discovery. People implicitly trusted the fledgling social network. Facebook for kids was the cool new "it" thing.

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BULLY The Movie: New Documentary Zeroes in on Cyberbullying

BullyThe recent buzz in the media is about the new movie BULLY. After failing to lower its rating from R to PG-13 the film is being released without a rating.

I have a weak stomach when it comes to watching kid-on-kid cruelty so I doubt I could make it through the film even if I wanted to see it, but BULLY is intensifying the ongoing national conversation on bullying and cyberbullying.

BULLY follows the lives of 5 kids throughout the 2009-2010 school year: 12-year old Alex, 16-year-old Kelby, 14-year-old Ja'meya, 17-year-old Tyler Long, and 11-year-old Ty Smalley. Both Tyler and Ty had committed suicide, so their stories are told by their parents.

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Internet for Kids and How They Do Their Homework

Right now I'm reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brainsby Nicholas Carr. He wrote an article for The Atlantic magazine a few years back called “Is Google making us Stoopid?” and this book is essentially an elaboration on that.

Carr is a technology writer critical of how the Internet may be affecting the way we think. Our heavy-duty usage of the web may be essentially rewiring our brains, he argues, and he makes a pretty convincing argument.

I automatically think of the availability of internet and facebook for kids to use for homework. When they research, they're not breaking out the encyclopedias gathering dust at the library; they're going online where everything is “scan-able.”

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Social Networking and Internet Safety in High School Classrooms

As a high school teacher, I often run across the road blocks my school district has set up to inhibit students from using social networking sites during class time. Much like parental controls this is tactical maneuver from schools intended to protect the students. Unfortunately it’s not unlike sticking a finger in the proverbial damn. The plethora of social media sites that high school students have access to is astounding. And which ones are popular or trendy changes on a weekly basis.

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5 Positive Things Your Child Can Do On Facebook for Kids

 Ever wonder what productive and yet still fun things you and your child can do on Facebook for kids and social media in general? Here is a list of 5 things your kids can do safely on social networks to prepare for having their own account.

1. Create family photo albums:

What better way to keep your distant relatives up-to-date on your family's activities?

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Should Parents Try to Add Themselves on Their Kids' Facebook Accounts?

A 2010 survey by Retrevo found that almost half of parents are Facebook friends with their children, a subject that most parents and children have strong feelings about one way or the other. Many parents will use parental controls or parental monitoring for Facebook for kids.

Some parents make two-way “friending” an absolute requirement for their social-networking kids to keep their Facebook accounts. Parents at the other end of the spectrum have declined their kids' friend requests, believing that parents and children should never be Facebook friends at all.

Are you Facebook friends with your kids?

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Positive Ways Teens Can Use Social Networking and Facebook for Kids

social networkingMaybe it's just the parent in me, but when I hear the words “social networking” and “kids” in the same sentence I get a little tense worrying about my kids safety. There are so many things we need to worry about when our kids start using Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter: cyberbullies, online predators, sexting, loss of privacy – the list goes on. But don't forget that social networks can be a great way for our tweens and teens to get involved in good causes, spend their time productively, and do their own small part to make the world a better place.

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