Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Stepping On Up: Stepping Up To Cyber Bullying & Web Safety

Stepping On Up: Stepping Up To Cyber Bullying & Web Safety

Fall 2012 DVD
Ages: 8 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Heartland Media

Stepping On Up: Stepping Up to Cyber Bullying & Web Safety is the second installment in the Stepping on Up DVD series focusing on life skills for young people. This DVD is hosted by Michael Pritchard, who uses humor to teach communication skills, anger management, and conflict resolution skills.

In this 50-minute DVD, Pritchard uses skits and puppetry to explore web safety and the complex issues surrounding cyber-bullying. The program includes four separate lessons: Being Safe and Secure on the Web; Protecting Yourself from Cyber Bullying; Online Rumors, Texts, and Gossip; and Helping and Caring in a Digital World.

Each lesson offers two video segments, the first of which sets up the problem with a skit, and the second of which involves conversations with Pritchard, exploring the problem and some solutions. The lessons are aimed at children aged 8 - 11 but the simple puppet approach may be too childish to make a dent on the target audience. Still, Pritchard does a solid job interacting with the puppet characters and he delivers easy-to-comprehend advice about setting safety controls, avoiding offensive web material, and dealing with cyber bullying both in terms of being the victim and being the perpetrator.

The DVD price is $139.95 and at that cost, users may expect a CD with printable teacher resources to be included. Instead, the DVD menu directs users to a website to print PDFs of a problem-solving leader's guide and follow-up activities for each lesson. Jacket copy says the DVD skits and leader's guide offer "research-based solutions" for young people to protect themselves and others from cyber threats. This information is available online.

Considering the scope of the problem, Stepping Up to Cyber Bullying & Web Safety could be a useful tool for younger children and, at the very least, a good conversation for older ones.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Heartland Media

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