Professor Garfield: Cyberbullying 9/13/12


Professor Garfield iconProfessor Garfield’s Cyberbullying app is presented in comic book format for iOS and available online for those without an iPod or iPad. One the app you start off by reading the comic. Online you start off by watching the 9 minute cartoon (the content and images are the same in the comic and cartoon). After going through the content, you go through the ‘try’ portion. The user is asked to drag and drop appropriate responses into a ‘Cyberbullying Report’. Incorrect responses bounce back while correct responses are accepted into the report. When there is more than one response accepted, a number appears indicating how many responses to submit. The app automatically advances after each ‘try’ section and continues on to another section of the comic. The last section is to ‘apply’ what you have learned. Users are presented with various scenarios and have to decide what to do. The screen automatically advances after the correct answer is submitted. Once the ‘try’ and ‘apply’ sections are complete, the comic concludes with a happy ending. (The online version is slightly different but the concept is the same.)

Professor Garfield’s Infinite Learning Lab Apps are part of the Infinite Learning Lab, a new standards-based resource currently being developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the 

Professor Garfield Foundation. The Infinite Learning Lab Apps are a ‘work in progress’ and once they are completed it will feature:

·         Narrative-based interactive lessons featuring Garfield and friends correlated to content standards in all 50 states.

·         A learning management platform that monitors and assesses progress at the student, class, school, and division levels.

·         Mobile learning apps that promote student-directed learning and enrichment beyond the classroom.

·         Professional Development resources covering topics ranging from grouping techniques to using interactive whiteboards.

·         Parent resources to assist parents and caregivers in providing additional support to students.

·         Supplemental materials such as printable posters and badges to rewards students for their progress.

·         Ditial tools to enable communication and collaboration amoung administrators, teachers, parents and students.

There is a link in the app that will direct you to the Infinite Learning Labs that needs updating but you can get to the home page easy enough. The cartoons don’t play on iOS because they are flash based, but teachers may like having access to the Teacher’s Guide and view the other lessons for Science (1 lesson) & English(5 lessons). The Cyberbullying comes from the collection of 10 Life Skills category. Find out more at

The Professor Garfield Cyberbullying app is one of four apps offered by Paws Incorporated. The Professor Garfield series of apps provide lessons in Internet Safety for Middle School students focusing on the following:

·          “Fact or Opinion”

·          “Forms of Media”

·         “Online Safety”

These apps were released in 2010, and there haven’t been any updates. They work just fine, I’m just concerned about the project as a whole. If standards are being developed for all 50 states, I would expect to see a few of them out in an updated release. The cynical side of me says, don’t hold your breath for those standards. Find the connections on your own and enjoy the free apps and the teachers’ guides that accompany them.

For Garfield fans, the “Garfield Daily” iPhone app, released in 2011, provides a daily dose of the classic comic strip. There are over 11,600 strips, allowing you to view every one and search for one of your favorites. The Garfield Daily is available for iOS AND Android.

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