Cybersmart event helps young people understand the issues around Cyberbullying

Two Schools at the University of Kent (School of Psychology and School of Engineering and Digital Arts) hosted a CyberSmart event on 11th November. Altogether sixty year 8 students from four local secondary schools took part in a series of interactive demonstrations, including the Oculus Rift, 3D scanner, intelligent robots, simulated chatrooms and emotion face reader. All demonstrations were designed to showcase cutting-edge psychological techniques and digital technologies that can be used in the study of cyberbullying.

Students considered the risks involved in each of these technologies, and how they could potentially be used to stay safe online. Attendees also received a creative session led by Project Salus in which they reflected on their own experiences online.

The event increased young people’s awareness, understanding and engagement with social science by exploring what social science as well as digital technologies can teach us about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is now one of the most common forms of bullying: almost 1 in 4 children between the ages of 11 and 19 have been a victim of cyberbullying. This event was part of a nationwide ‘Festival of Social Science’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.