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Teachers Struggle Under the Weight of Parents' Expectations for Child Online Safety Education in Schools

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SOURCE AVG Technologies

AVG Technologies research identifies major gap in training and support for teachers

AMSTERDAM and SAN FRANCISCO, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents rely too much on schools to teach their children about online safety, according to 82 percent of teachers surveyed globally by AVG Technologies, (NYSE: AVG), the online security company™ for 187 million active users. The research highlights the ongoing discussion over the responsibility for delivering online safety education to children, with a further 38 percent also believing that the parents of their students do not know enough about the topic themselves.  

The research, in which almost 1,800 teachers globally were interviewed, indicated a need to provide teachers with more support and training for educating children on the subject of online safety. Two thirds (64 percent) of respondents agreed that schools should provide better training on using the Internet as an educational tool, and 77 percent stated Internet safety should be a dedicated part of the education syllabus.

This highlights the concerning gap between the knowledge and capabilities of teachers and the expectations of parents. Though more than nine out of ten (92 percent) teachers of a wide range of subjects confirmed they use Internet content in class and 69 percent discuss online safety on an occasional or frequent basis, only one in four have actually had formal training to teach online safety skills (28 percent).

"Today's teachers are not only using the Internet regularly as part of their lessons, they are increasingly having to deal with the wider issues it generates and quite often, without any formal training," said Tony Anscombe, Senior Security Evangelist, AVG Technologies. "Given the degree to which the Internet is now used as an education tool, many teachers said their schools have put guidelines in place to deal with the most prevalent issues. The gap is that the majority of teachers had not received any formal training in online safety so these guidelines alone are not sufficient. When one in four teachers have had a child come to them with a cyberbullying issue, it is clear to see why more support is needed."

AVG also released the second in its series of interactive children's education books, called Magda & Mo. The books are part of AVG's wider aim to provide families with useful tools to help develop a child's understanding of how to make the right choices online, and give parents practical guidance on the subject.

Teacher's notes from around the world:

  • Brazil bucked the global trend with its teachers leading the way when it came to Internet safety education. The majority (54 percent) teach it regularly and 51 percent have been formally trained to do so.
  • Most UK teachers indicated their school had IT classes (91 percent compared to 72 percent overall) but only 37 percent of teachers had formal training in online safety.
  • Conversely, US schools were least likely to have IT classes (only 60 percent) and only 40 percent of teachers set homework that required online resources to complete (compared to 57 percent globally)
  • Canadian children were most likely to bring their own devices to school to work on, according to 29 percent of teachers (compared to 18 percent globally). These were most likely to be a laptop (84 percent), a smartphone or a tablet (both 82 percent).
  • Teachers in Germany were more likely to have had children come to them because of cyberbullying (36 percent compared to 25 percent globally). Of these, nearly half (46 percent) felt they were ill-equipped or not equipped at all to deal with it.
  • Australian schools topped the list for having guidelines already in place for cyberbullying issues (80 percent) and situations involving pupils viewing inappropriate content online (75 percent).
  • Only 7 percent of teachers in Czech Republic said their school had run a parent's evening that included an opportunity to educate parents about online safety. Yet 78 percent of parents have expressed concerns around their child's online safety during a parent's evening.
  • 91 percent of teachers in France said their school provides devices for children to use, but these were mostly desktop PCs (80 percent). Only 35 percent offered laptops (46 percent global average) and 9 percent provided tablet (compared to 32 percent globally).
  • More than four in five teachers (82 percent) in New Zealand discuss internet safety skills in their classes to some degree, yet the same number have not had formal training in the subject.

Methodology:

AVG commissioned an online survey interviewing teachers of a variety of subjects with children between the aged of 3-18 to identify levels of training on security awareness in the following markets; Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. A total of 1,760 teachers carried out the 10 minute survey during June 2014.  Research Now carried out the fieldwork using their proprietary panels.

 

About AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG)

AVG is the online security company providing leading software and services to secure devices, data and people.  AVG has over 187 million active users, as of March 31, 2014, using AVG's products and services including Internet security, performance optimization, and personal privacy and identity protection. By choosing AVG's products, users become part of a trusted global community that engages directly with AVG to provide feedback and offer mutual support to other customers.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

Research from AVG Technologies identifies gap in child online safety training and support for teachers

 

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