Bullying Is Not About the Big Kid Picking on the Weak Kid in the Schoolyard

Cyber-Bully

Bullying is no longer about the big kid picking on the weak kid in the schoolyard. Physical assault has been replaced by 24 hour per day seven days a week online bashing. Students are using instant messaging, emails, chat rooms and web sites they create to humiliate a peer. No longer can parents count on seeing the tell-tale signs of bullying (black eye, bloody lip, torn clothes). The damage done by cyber bullies is no less real and can be infinitely more painful. In this age of technology we must foster and maintain channels where students can directly communicate with counselors, parents, teachers and community members.

What better way to rapidly engage students than meeting them where they are in today’s technological world with computers, iphones, ipads blackberry etc.  than utilizing virtual reality platforms (gaming technology) to teach important anti- bullying messages. InWorld Solutions provides a unique environment that promotes meaningful interactions in a safe environment.  It offers realistic avatars and virtual environments, specially-designed controls and views that allow instructors to easily lead their students, features and content tailored to training, privacy and security, record and play-back capabilities so sessions can be saved and reviewed later, (very important for bullying bystanders) and private in-ear coaching which allows a group leader to privately speak to one group member without the rest of the group hearing.

Students are given an opportunity to create their own Avatar (virtual representation of themselves) and participate in various activities in coordination with the anti-bulling lesson. Then the avatars will role play out specific scenarios as directed by the instructor. The environment can be manipulated by the instructor to obtain the desired outcome. The students are more likely to feel secure in the virtual environment enabling them to express their thoughts and feelings that are otherwise too difficult to discuss. Utilizing Virtual Reality technology to foster positive relationships as a trigger for a broader empowerment process giving the students perceived control (includes beliefs about authority, decision-making skills, availability of resources, and autonomy) and perceived competence (this reflects role-mastery,  and successful coping with non-routine role-related situations).

–InWorld Solutions is an innovative leader in the application of virtual environments in educational and therapeutic  settings. The company is a member of the CFG Health Network, a comprehensive medical and behavioral health care provider dedicated to transforming access to cost-effective quality behavioral health care. For more information please call Jeanine Miles at 856-797-4805 or email [email protected].

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