With increased access to digital devices, children have started to create digital footprints and online identities, with associated risks to their security and privacy. Fostering and facilitating the dynamics of healthy online behaviors, conflict and identity is relevant to producing responsible 21st-century learners in our schools and communities. There is a critical need to develop educational materials and research around experiences emphasizing digital safety for elementary school students. The outcome of this project has the potential to greatly improve digital safety for children without restricting their learning opportunities. The implementation of security education for elementary school grades will promote modernization of digital safety educational materials and help elementary schools adapt to technology development and prepare responsible 21st century learners.
Project Goals and Objectives
Goal: To increase cyber safety knowledge and skills among elementary-school students and teachers, and create digital safety awareness among parents of elementary-school students.
Objectives: These objectives are detailed in the Design and Development section below.
- Design a comprehensive suite of digital safety education materials for elementary school students that include cyberbullying, digital security and privacy, footprint, and netiquette to educate responsible online behavior in Grades 3 to 5;
- Train 40 elementary school inservice and preservice teachers through workshops to disseminate the materials to students in the greater Charlotte area;
- Conduct thorough evaluation and improvement of the educational material through digital safety summer camp with 400 elementary school students;
- Apply the train-the-trainer model by which the in-service teachers will train the teachers or students in their school so that the proposed materials can reach a wide range of end users;
- Design and Deliver a Parent workshop and explore the formation of a Student-Parent-Teacher-Researcher coalition for future digital safety education for elementary school students.
This project is supported by the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, which funds proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, and in this case specifically cybersecurity education. The SaTC program aligns with the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan and the National Privacy Research Strategy to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. More details - https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2015554