Short-term initiatives for enhancing cyber-safety within South African schools
Keywords:applications in subject areas, improving classroom teaching, interactive learning environments, learning communities, lifelong learning
AbstractThe rate of technological development across the globe is dramatic. The decreasing cost and increasing availability of ICT devices means that its users are no longer exclusively industry or government employees – they are now also home users. Home users integrate ICT in their daily lives for education, socialising and information gathering. However, using ICT is associated with risks and threats, such as identity theft and phishing scams. Most home users of ICT do not have the necessary information technology and Internet skills to protect themselves and their information. School learners, in particular, are not sufficiently educated on how to use technological devices safely, especially in developing countries such as South Africa. The national school curriculum in South Africa currently does not make provision for cyber-safety education, and the availability of supporting material and training for ICT teachers in South Africa is limited, resulting in a lack of knowledge and skills regarding cyber-safety. The research in hand focuses on the situation concerning cyber-safety awareness in schools and has adopted a short-term approach towards cyber-safety among teachers and school learners in South Africa until a formal long-term national approach has been implemented. This study takes a quantitative approach to investigating the current options of teachers to enhance cyber-safety among learners in their schools. The research proposes that short-term initiatives (i.e. posters) can increase learners’ awareness of cyber-safety until formal cyber-safety awareness methods have been introduced.
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