Thinkronize Study: Internet Dangers Increasing, Say Most K-8 Educators

New Thinkronize Research – Schools and Generation ‘Net – Shows that Porn Nudges out Predators as Leading Online Danger for Students

Editor’s Note: Guest Blogger Randy Wilhelm, CEO of Thinkronize, will be sharing some insights from a survey they recently conducted on the concerns of Teachers and Parents what kids are finding on-line. This is relevant information for those who are in the business of producing instructional materials for web-based delivery. As parents become more skeptical about internet resources we have to double-up our efforts to promote on-line safety for children.

413605_old_mittens.jpgAs the cold of winter is almost upon us, my wife and I have been digging out the kids’ winter coats, hats and mismatched mittens. Mittens are like socks – they get lost mysteriously – either eaten by the dryer or left to freeze somewhere on a snow bank. Whatever happened to those sturdy metal clips that parents used to fasten mittens to winter coats? The act of fastening those mittens was more than just to protect us from cold hands, it was an extra safety measure to ensure that when we ventured out, everything possible had been done to assure our safety.

Of course, the good old days of mitten clips pre-date the Internet, and now we have a whole other online world to consider for safeguarding our children.

Interestingly, a recent Pew Internet study found that parents have become even more ambivalent about the Internet, with fewer of them considering it good for children. And a study we commissioned in October – uncovering responses from nearly 1,000 educators – offered similar findings. The study, Schools and Generation ‘Net, revealed that 2/3 of K-8 principals and library media specialists see danger on the Internet increasing. .

Another compelling finding was that a whopping 45% of educators rated pornography as a great or significant danger, while 43% gave predators the same rating. And, when it comes to cyber-bullying, 37% of educators were greatly/significantly concerned about the danger.

As the Internet grows and becomes more ubiquitous and commercialized – and kids continue to be bombarded by masses of information – the challenge of finding useful educational content without encountering the insidious dangers will increase. Filters, training and safe and contextually relevant search engines, like netTrekker, are critical tools for educators to keep the Internet a welcoming and incomparable educational resource for our digitally native kids.

The study also had some provocative, need-to-know findings on such critical topics as information literacy, relevancy and commercialization and actions taken to protect students on line, all of which I will elaborate on in my next blog post.

And, don’t forget the mitten clips…
Link to second article in this series.