Bullying in schools is a global issue, but New Zealand has the second highest rate of bullying in the OECD. One in two Kiwi kids are bullied at school at least once a month, and cyberbullying increasingly plays a major role in this.
There's been much discussion about the socio-economic digital divide. But, it's not what we expect. Originally about access to technology, the new digital divide is actually about limiting access to technology.
Disturbing acts of sexualised behaviour among young children are becoming more frequent in schools as mobile devices result in children being exposed to pornography, says cyber safety expert Susan McLean.
Are young people getting their sex education from pornography? The Education Review Office thinks so, and wants schools to do more to address this.
Cyberbullying is a big problem for schools, with a recent cyberbullying survey showing that the majority of this type of bullying is done by a classmate. Social media is the most common cyberbullying platform worldwide.
We recently spoke with both a High School student and a counsellor about their experiences with the fallout around cyberbullying and technology use. In the words of 15 year old Jay, "My friend got cyberbullied so much he had to leave school this year."
Parents and schools are having to deal with a range of new threats for teens, including suicide 'challenges' such as the highly disturbing Momo. This online game has quickly spread to several social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.
Parents and teachers, you are (for the most part) digital immigrants, dealing with children growing up in the digital age who are experiencing a media-rich learning environment to hold their attention.
Cyberbullying or technology misuse is often the number one, non-academic issue that schools have to deal with on a daily basis.
Susan McLean, known as "Cyber Cop" is one of Family Zone's recommended cyber experts. She was recently interviewed by Radio NZ's 'Nine to Noon' on the topic of cyber safety for kids, and she has just released a revised and updated edition of her bestselling book 'Sexts, Texts, and Selfies'. You can access the full interview here.
Digital natives are entering a whole new world of opportunity, and schools are responsible for equipping students with the skills they need to be able to navigate the future of work.
There's been a high profile instance of stalking through online voice and text chat service Discord, with an NZ citizen about to face severe consequences for his actions. Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot in the neck while attempting to break into a US home. He began talking to a 14-year-old American girl using Discord earlier this year, and after the teen attempted to end their communication after three or four months, he then decided to fly to Virginia, US to meet the teen, purchasing duct tape and pepper spray when he arrived. It's every parent's worst nightmare.