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Study Finds Kids Lack Basic Cyber Safety Skills

Study Finds Kids Lack Basic Cyber Safety Skills - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Study Finds Kids Lack Basic Cyber Safety Skills - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Photo: ELEN

A study has revealed that the nation's K-12 schools lack basic computer knowledge on ethics, security and online safety.

The 2011 State of K-12 Cyberethics, Cybersafety and Cybersecurity Curriculum, released by the National Cybersecurity Alliance, also found that teachers and IT coordinators disagree about whether cyber ethics and safety should be taught at all.

Only 55 percent of teachers think cyber safety should be taught as part of the curriculum, while 51 percent of teachers think their school districts are doing an adequate job of preparing students for online safety.

NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser said America's schools have not caught up with the realities of the modern economy.

“Teachers are not getting adequate training in online safety topics, and schools have yet to adopt a comprehensive approach to online safety, security and ethics as part of a primary education,“ he added. “In the 21st century, these topics are as important as reading, writing and math.“

The study found more than one-third of teachers received no training by their school districts in cyber safety-related issues, and 86 percent received less than six hours of training. And with all of the controversy surrounding cyber bullying, only 15 percent of teachers taught students about hate speech, 18 percent taught students how to deal with offensive posts and videos, and 26 percent taught students how to handle cyber bullying.

So, who's to blame for the lack of cyber education to the nation's kids? The survey found 80 percent of teachers and 60 percent of administrators believe parents are responsible for teaching their kids about cyber safety.

Kaiser said schools should take responsibility securing their students with cyber safety knowledge and skills.

“Schools should be confident that they are graduating students who can use technology safely, securely and productively, and this training should begin at an early age from a point when a child first enters school,“ he said.

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