Online violence is a growing concern. More and more young people in the world have access to the Internet and social media, through smartphones and other digital devices. This provides many new social and educational opportunities, but also leads to more young people – girls in particular – being confronted with online violence.
The Cyber Violence against Girls (CYBERVAG) – MOOC project ais targeted at teachers and other school professionals who want to address gender-based online violence, including online sexual harassment and online safety, in the classroom. The project aims to build teachers capacity to recognize, address and prevent online violence against girls and to act in a safe and adequate way when cases occur through a MOOC (massive open online course). Furthermore, we will support teachers with new innovative teaching approaches and educational materials.
This project uses and builds on the educational programme and online tool developed in the CYBERSAFE project, in which ICDI is also a partner.
Across Europe, digital technology plays a central role in the social lives of young people and mobile phones are increasingly present in schools. The digital world enables young people to connect to their peers, to learn, to explore and to express themselves. A big part of their social life takes place online. This provides many positive opportunities, including educational ones. However, mobile phones can also turn into a tool for harassment and bullying. ‘Missteps’ can be recorded instantly, spread rapidly and viewed by a wide audience. Content can circulate online indefinitely.
Online violence is a growing concern and especially girls are becoming more and more vulnerable. They are more likely than boys to be victims of the most severe forms of online violence, in particular forms that have a sexual element, and the impact on their lives can be very traumatic. Estimates are that 1 in 3 women will have experienced a form of violence in her lifetime (WHO 2017); that 1 in 10 women have experienced a form of online violence from the age of 15 onwards (EU 2017); and that in the EU, 18% of girls have experienced a form of serious online violence by the time they are 15 years old (UNESCO 2015).
Online violence transcends the school environment and school professionals often lack the competences to recognize and address online violence and to act adequately when their students become involved as a victim, perpetrator or bystander.
Project activities will take place in 4 EU-countries and include:
1. A representative survey among schools (headmasters) about the incidence, knowledge and response of school professionals concerning online violence against girls.
2. The development of a curriculum and educational resources for teachers about online violence against girls.
3. The development of a MOOC (massive open online course) for teachers, based on the aforementioned curriculum and educational material.
4. The development of an OER portal (open educational resources portal) about online violence with the emphasis on online violence against girls.
- A national report about online violence in schools (Estonia, Greece, UK, Slovenia
- A joint comparative report about online violence in schools
- An e-learning course (MOOC) for teachers
- An OER (Open Educational Resources) portal for teachers
- Tools and methodologies to educate teachers about online violence against girls
- Educational materials for teachers to be be used in workshops with students
- Increased sensitivity and awareness on gender stereotypes, victim blaming and sexism online
- Changed attitudes towards prevention and elimination of online gender-based violence
- Better visibility and use of measures and good practices for preventing online violence at the national and European level
- Improved digital competence of teachers
CYBERSAFE MOOC Curriculum
The aim of the CYBERSAFE MOOC is to build competence of teachers or other professionals working with children about the issue of online sexual violence. The curriculum was designed by ICDI to inform the development of the CYBERSAFE MOOC. The Curriculum can however also be used as a stand-alone document for trainings for teachers and other professionals.
In order to contribute to the prevention of online violence against girls, teachers need to have a profound understanding of the phenomenon, its causes, consequences and different manifestations. They need to know what can be done to recognize, prevent and respond to online violence by young people themselves, as well as what role teachers can play.
CYBERSAFE MOOC aims to deepen teachers’ understanding of the possible impact of online gender-based violence on anyone involved and enhance their ability to address the issue among youth and respond to cases in an adequate, non-judgemental way, free of victim blaming patterns and stereotypical assumptions of gender roles.
Through a participating in a training based on this Curriculum or in the MOOC (massive online open course) teachers will acquire the knowledge and the skills needed to have a more sensitive and open attitude towards young people when it comes to online violence, and to create an atmosphere in class in which open dialogue about the topic can take place. So that young people can freely discuss the issue, voice their opinions, and disclose or report incidents when they experience or witness online violence.