About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2688-2698
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain


E. Hanley

Bottisham Village College (UNITED KINGDOM)
My students told me they were bored with the concept of Internet Safety. The study is on school led Internet Safety lessons and how to deliver them effectively, which has been defined as the students’ interest in the lesson as well as the acquisition of new knowledge on the topic. From the outset it was known that this would be difficult to achieve, as students have been bombarded with Internet Safety rules from early on in their school education. The research is in a rural secondary school in Cambridge in the East of England, and involved students evaluating an Internet Safety lesson written by an ICT teacher via a questionnaire. The same process of evaluation was then repeated with a lesson written by a focus group, compromising of five students aged 11 – 12 years old and two teachers, with both sets of results being compared.

Information about the study was given to students in assembly and they were invited to be involved by joining the focus group. Full consent was obtained from all students involved in the focus group, as well as those completing the questionnaires, with an option for parents to withdraw their child from the project. The focus group met four times during the study: Firstly to analyse the questionnaire results from the first lesson; twice to plan their lesson and create the resources and finally to review their lesson, analyse the results and to compare them with those from the first lesson.

The findings revealed that the lesson written by the focus group was more effective for two main reasons: The students found the activities more engaging as they were different to those usually deployed on this topic and the information was more in line with the young people’s felt needs. In addition, the students involved in the focus group felt it was a positive experience where they had had ownership and felt that their voices had been heard.

Finally the study highlighted some key issues for the researcher, such as the notion of childhood and the adult perception that young people need to be protected; an idea which is not considered necessary by the students themselves. This view is in accordance with the initial thoughts that had prompted the project i.e. the hypothesis that students need advice and the tools to navigate potentially dangerous online situations rather than a list of ‘dos and don’ts’.

It is clear from preliminary reading in this field, that there has been a lot of activity in gaining an insight into how young people use the Internet and their views on Internet Safety. However, this study appears to be unique in striving for a solution to keep young people safe online. It is hoped that this research will pave the way for other projects to be created whereby students’ opinions and thoughts can be used to not only set the scene of where they are in terms of their Internet usage and knowledge, but also in addressing what they require to help them feel confident and skilled users of the Internet.
author = {Hanley, E.},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2688-2698}}
AU - E. Hanley
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 2688
EP - 2698
ER -
E. Hanley (2011) TAKING THE “HUMPH” OUT OF INTERNET SAFETY LESSONS, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 2688-2698.