About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3374-3383
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1789

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

“BE SMART WHEN ONLINE!”: KIDS LEARN HOW TO PROTECT PERSONAL DATA, STOP CYBER-BULLYING AND AVOID HACKERS

I. Nicolaidou, A. Venizelou

Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
E-safety, a person’s skill to effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities offered by the internet (Litt, 2013), is an important skill that needs to be taught to children from a young age in formal schooling. One of the dangers young students face online is the voluntary release of personal data in public profiles of online social networks. The EU kids online survey, conducted with children aged 9-15 in 25 European countries, showed that 25% of children aged 9-12 who use social networks have their profile as “public” and 20% of them have listed their address and/or phone number (Livingstone, Ólafsson, & Staksrud, 2011). More specifically, in Cyprus, 70% of children aged 11-12 have their own profile on Facebook, even though the latter does not allow it for children younger than 13. Another danger typically faced by children refers to cyber-bullying. According to the same survey, 18% of Cypriot children aged 11-12 stated that they have been a victim of bullying, either online or offline (Laouris & Aristodemou, 2013). Moreover, children constitute easy targets for hacker attacks, therefore they should know how to protect themselves from hackers (Monteith, 2016).

In Cyprus, there is an abundance of educational sources on e-safety intended for formal education, collected in one place, under the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute website. However, a content analysis of this material showed weaknesses such as non-functioning links, games that require local installation, games not available in Greek, and lack of objectives. According to Laouris et al (2011), most strategies for teaching e-safety to children focus more on providing information and less on children’s active engagement. To address this gap, the present study aimed to design, develop and evaluate an interactive web-based learning environment called “Be smart when online!”. The learning environment targets 11-12 year olds and consists of three main parts: an embedded pretest of 20 multiple-choice questions in the form of scenarios, the instructional part, which covers issues such as the protection of personal data, avoiding cyberbullying and protection from hackers through multimedia, and an embedded post-test, which is identical to the pretest. Children can practice their skills through interactive quizzes and games with instant feedback, and reflect on their learning by posting comments in discussion forums.

The learning environment has been piloted with a group of 25 children attending summer school in university premises in July 2016. The group consisted of 21 students of the 4th-6th grade of primary school and 4 older children of the 7th-9th grade. Children used the internet on average M=4.83 hours (SD=1.42) daily during the summer school. They interacted with the learning environment over two one-hour meetings on two consecutive days, either individually or in dyads.

A paired-samples t-test revealed a statistically significant difference (t (18)=-3.96, p<0.01) when students’ pre-test scores (M=84.74, SD=8.74) were compared to their post-test scores (M=92.36, SD=9.33). This pilot study’s preliminary findings seem promising. Despite students’ relatively high prior knowledge on e-safety as measured solely from multiple choice questions, there was significant progress even through a short, two-hour intervention. Future research goals include a formal implementation of the learning environment in formal primary school education using a pre-post control group design.
@InProceedings{NICOLAIDOU2016BES,
author = {Nicolaidou, I. and Venizelou, A.},
title = {“BE SMART WHEN ONLINE!”: KIDS LEARN HOW TO PROTECT PERSONAL DATA, STOP CYBER-BULLYING AND AVOID HACKERS},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1789},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1789},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3374-3383}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Nicolaidou AU - A. Venizelou
TI - “BE SMART WHEN ONLINE!”: KIDS LEARN HOW TO PROTECT PERSONAL DATA, STOP CYBER-BULLYING AND AVOID HACKERS
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1789
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 3374
EP - 3383
ER -
I. Nicolaidou, A. Venizelou (2016) “BE SMART WHEN ONLINE!”: KIDS LEARN HOW TO PROTECT PERSONAL DATA, STOP CYBER-BULLYING AND AVOID HACKERS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 3374-3383.
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