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Internet myths


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There are many commonly held myths about young people and the internet, but are they true? Do young people really not care about privacy and copyright - are the really wasting their time online?

There are many commonly held myths about young people and the internet, but are they true? Do young people really not care about privacy and copyright - are the really wasting their time online?

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  • 1. Breaking the Myths Based on a paper originally circulated by the Berkman Center in 2008
  • 2. Aims
    • To explore some of the commonly held misconceptions and beliefs about the internet and online safety
    • To debate some of these
    • To consider what the real risks could be and what we need to do
  • 3. Myth 1
    • The online world presents a wholly new a completely different set of issues for youth that we must address
  • 4.
    • Many of the issues cropping up with children and young people playing, being and living online – from cyberbullying, to information evaluation, to online civic engagement – are the same as age-old offline issues, however filtered through a new medium with new possibilities, and new considerations.
    • If it’s not acceptable offline – is it acceptable online?
  • 5. Myth 2
    • Young people are wasting time online
  • 6.
    • Young people are learning, gaining skills and becoming collaborative, critical and informed members of society through their online and digital engagements
  • 7.
    • “ To be an effective World of Warcraft guild master, one needs to be adept at many skills: attracting, evaluating and recruiting new members; creating apprenticeship programmes; orchestrating group strategy; and managing disputes. All of these skills are readily welcomed in the modern workplace, and they are set to become even more valuable.” (web 2.0 esafety Becta)
  • 8. Myth 3
    • Young people are hugely susceptible to falling victim to sexual predators
  • 9.  
  • 10. From Becta research.....
  • 11.
    • Digital natives are very aware of the issues of sexual predators online and even more aware of how to avoid this danger. (Berkman)
    • The research about Internet-initiated sex crimes makes it clear that the stereotype of the Internet child molester who uses trickery and violence to assault children is largely inaccurate. (Wolak, Finkelhor & Mitchell)
  • 12.
    • The evidence so far is that the risk of children being duped by online predators is small and the public image of online predators who trick naive children into becoming victims of abuse is largely inaccurate. In most cases, the victims are aware they are conversing online with adults and offenders rarely deceive victims about their sexual interests. Most victims who meet offenders face to face go to such meetings expecting to engage in sexual activity. (Becta web2.0)
  • 13. This will come as no surprise.....
    • Youths with histories of sexual or physical abuse may be particularly vulnerable
    • Posting personal information online does not, by itself, appear to be a particularly risky behaviour
    • Social networking sites do not appear to have increased the risk of victimisation by online molesters
  • 14. Myth 4
    • Digital natives don’t care about copyright
  • 15.
    • Copyright is a complicated and scary word – for most digital natives, a notion just vaguely related to something illegal. Young people are hugely lacking in knowledge regarding issues of legality concerning copyrighted content online. While the norm among young people is access for free, many are not indifferent to the rights of creators.
  • 16. Media Literacy is the Key
    • So what is digital literacy? Currently, it is a discussion that isn't happening , but which needs to be taking place nationally and publicly amongst the major organisational stakeholders (across government, industry, and education), informed by the local conversations of learners, parents, education sector workers, and employers. 
  • 17. Josie Fraser’s definition
    • Digital literacy then refers to a set of knowledge and competencies (including social skills and cultural competencies) required by technological, social and economic changes in society. It should cover a range of areas; skills and understandings that ensure everyone can get the most out of their engagement with technology. It includes e-safety and wellbeing, but also includes collaboration and communication skills , rights and responsibilities , ethical and environmental issues , commercial practices , privacy and security issues , digital identity and citizenship , along with finding , evaluating and applying information .
  • 18. Myth 5
    • Internet predators lure children to meetings where they abduct, rape or even murder.....
  • 19.
    • Although cases of abduction, forcible rape and murder have occurred, they are very rare. Violence only occurred in 5% of cases.
    • Usually, victims meet offenders voluntarily and expect sexual activity because they feel love or affection for the person they have been corresponding with. Typically they have sex with the adult on multiple occasions. Most of these crimes are statutory rather than forcible rapes.
  • 20. Myth 6
    • Digital Natives don’t care about privacy
  • 21.
    • Sharing via digital tools has become the norm, but – this does not mean that they don’t care about privacy
    • Privacy concerns vary largely among young people based on age, education, and if repercussions of privacy compromise have been experienced.
    • Privacy from whom? is an important question