In a study released today by StaySafeOnline.org, results show that America’s youth are not receiving enough education to use digital technology and navigate the Internet in a safe, secure and responsible manner. Further more the study also says that American teachers are not prepared to address these subjects within the current curriculum.
The survey, which started December 29, 2009 and ended January 11,1020, polled 1,003 teachers, technology coordinators and school administrators from around the United States. Of the people polled more than 95% believe that cyber ethics, security and safety should be taught in public schools. Only half of the educators polled lived in districts where cybersecurity, safety and ethics are a mandatory element of the curriculum.
The most common form of cyber education was modeling with 78% percent of educators saying that is the first way they teach about these issues. Presentations about protecting, identifying, and responding to cyber crime (i.e. identity theft, spam, phishing, and pharming scams, malware) in the classroom are utilized by only 31%.
Teachers and administrators say that the most commonly discussed cyber issue in the classroom is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying incidences have been on the rise, with the targeted victims ages reducing. However, the most taught subject is plagiarism and citing regarding online sources. A shocking 44% of teachers say they have taught nothing about cyber security issues in their classroom.
One of the more dissapointing results show that over three quarters of teachers have spent less than six hours on any type of professional development education related to cyberethics, safety and security within the last 12 months.
In a recent interview, Mischel Kwon, former head of US-CERT, told The New New Internet “simple rules we all make for ourselves as adults, we need to help our children make those rules for themselves and teach them how to protect their privacy.”