Keywords

Internet dangers, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, online predators, teacher perception, teacher knowledge

Abstract

This research study was conducted to determine if there were significant differences or relationships between teachers' perceptions of knowledge of Internet dangers to students and factors such as demographics, self-reported comfort levels with Internet use, and with knowledge of policies and laws regarding Internet safety. Three hundred seventy-two teachers from three central Florida school districts were surveyed using an adapted survey developed by authors Patchin and Hinduja (2006) and Willard (2006, 2009). The world of the Internet is constantly changing, and students will encounter harassment and dangers while pursuing their interests on line. Recent research on the types of Internet dangers involving youth (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Juvonen & Gross, 2008, Leichtling, 2008; Lenhart, Madden & Hitlin, 2005; Li, 2007; Willard, 2009), and evidence supporting limited adult knowledge of Internet dangers to youth (Finkelhor, Mitchell & Wolak, 2000; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Patchin & Hinduja, 2006; Willard, 2006,2009) provided the conceptual framework for this study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed to investigate each research question. These statistics included one-way ANOVA, Scheffe post-hoc analysis, chi-square tests of independence, independent T-tests, and Kruskal-Wallis tests. These findings demonstrated that the null hypotheses were rejected for each research question. Significant differences were found between teachers' knowledge of Internet dangers and age, years of experience, level of school taught, and personal comfort with the Internet. Other significant relationships were found between personal Internet comfort and knowledge of laws and policies, specifically the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, and between male teachers and knowledge of victim behaviors. Gender was the only demographic variable found to be not significantly related to a teachers' knowledge of Internet dangers to students. The implications of these results validate the importance of more teacher training to increase knowledge of Internet dangers, policies and programs, as well as increase teachers' ability to identify victims and provide them with assistance. As technology expands, Internet dangers for children online expand and are a growing concern for parents, teachers, and administrators. Since technology will continue to grow, adults play a major role in educating children concerning the dangers of being online. However, adults struggle to play catch-up to the young digital natives, and are not really present to intervene when needed. We cannot cross the digital divide and help our students if we are not seeking out the information ourselves (Willard, 2009).

Notes

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Graduation Date

2010

Advisor

McGee, Janet

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Teaching Learning and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003307

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003307

Language

English

Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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