Digital citizenship: student perceptions of the effectiveness of a digital citizenship intervention

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The impact of a school-wide digital citizenship intervention using a cyber media expert at raising student awareness of 8 key online behaviours was investigated by using a mixed methods exploratory approach. A survey (n=20) collecting both quantitative and qualitative data was distributed to all grade 9 students from one middle school in the Comox Valley, School District 71. The response rate was 29%. After current literature was reviewed, a Likert-scale survey was created to identify effectiveness at raising digital citizenship awareness of 8 key online behaviours involving: privacy settings, chat rooms, instant messaging, SMS/MMS texting, cellular phone/smart phone privacy, social networking platforms, cyberbullying/digital peer aggression, and reporting procedures. The survey also consisted of two open-ended questions which were used to elicit longer responses for feedback on what students would immediately change after attending the intervention and feedback on what online topics students would want more information on in future interventions. The results of this study suggest that a school-wide intervention was effective at raising student awareness about digital citizenship. Gender did not play a significant difference among the majority of the online behaviours. Results to the open ended questions indicated that students were willing to take action to keep themselves safe online and provided suggestions for future interventions. In addition, future suggestions for research and implications for policy and practice in schools were discussed to prepare both educators and students for this digital era.
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