Education has been a hot topic in today’s hyper-digital ecosystem. There are experts calling for a reform in public education citing it dated and ill-equipped for our future generation to be fully successful in the world. On top of educational challenges in the classroom, students today face the threat of cyber-bullying and its life-long ripple effects, something that is prevalent not just in the United States but a global epidemic plaguing students at every grade level.
When students are bullied by classmates in the environment where they spend the most time, it can cause academic, social and emotional failure; some students have even taken their own lives. Tackling this issue head-on is BridgIt, a positivity app built for schools to encourage students to “shout out” each other by sharing positive messages, GIF’s and celebrity video shout outs, such as the ones generously created by Glen Rice.
The app was created by Bridg-it CEO, Jeff Ervine who was inspired to change the digital landscape when he personally experienced a severe type of online defamation that was an act of revenge by a criminal who Jeff helped convict. For years, he was forced to live with the impact of severe identity threat, that destroyed his professional career, negatively affected his social life, and the lives of those closest to him.
While solving his defamation problem he developed a unique understanding of the power of today’s social technology to do permanent, life-changing harm. Through his experience, he came to realize that the only effective way to address online bullying and harassment in schools (or in any community) is by identifying potential problems early before they morph into real incidents of cyberbullying, bullying, harassment or abuse.
Jeff and his team of experts (in technology, law, and restorative practices) have created the first set of data-driven mobile tools to empower students to help develop and sustain the social boundaries necessary for safe, positive school cultures and effective learning environments.
This blog originally appeared on The Chi Group's blog on November 4th, 2019