Students Hindered by Online Risks
London, 14 September 2012
- Secondary school students are facing a crisis of confidence when it comes to using the internet for research.
- A new report from Encyclopædia Britannica reveals that one in five students often feel unsafe or worried by easily-found inappropriate content when using the internet for exam preparation, coursework or homework.
- And as MPs debate whether Internet Service Providers should be doing more to block adult content, nearly a third of students admit to having inadvertently seen unsuitable content when researching for schoolwork, with two in five saying that it is “very easy” to access this type of material.
- But while many students are experts when it comes to using the latest technology, many are concerned that they are not being equipped to use it effectively for schoolwork, with one in five saying that their school has not taught them how to research safely online.
- With many admitting to not knowing how to research online, itís not surprising that many students also find it difficult to find age-appropriate or reliable sources for their exam preparation. Two in five students say it is difficult to know whether the websites they use are trustworthy, while 57 per cent state they find it difficult to understand the information they find online. Meanwhile half of the students questioned said there are not educational websites specifically aimed at 11-16 year olds.
- A lack of understanding of how to research online is also forcing many students into bad habits. More than a third say they never consider who has published the information they are accessing, while half concede they usually just rely on sites which appear at the top of a Google search.
- To help schools teach their students about the importance of e-Safety as they return to the classroom this September, Britannica has developed a free comprehensive e-Safety guide which examines best practice for searching safely and using social networks and online gaming platforms, as well as advice for teachers and parents.
- Ian Grant, Managing Director of Encyclopædia Britannica UK said: “As schools integrate new technologies into the classroom itís imperative that e-Safety principles are integrated as a key aspect of the curriculum, particularly as students are often several steps ahead when it comes to using the latest smart devices and software.
- “Britannica is committed to helping schools and their students to be e-Safe and e-Aware and thereís no reason why, with the right policy and curriculum in place, students should not be able to use e-resources confidently and purposefully.”
- Britannicaís guide to e-Safety is available for all schools to download for free and can be found by visiting www.britannica.co.uk/education
Notes to editors:
- About Encyclopædia Britannica:
Today Encyclopædia Britannica is a global leader in educational publishing, providing world-class educational resources to universities, colleges and schools around the globe. A pioneer in digital publishing since the early 1980s, the company markets a variety of curriculum products for schools, language-study courses, online learning services, encyclopedias and other reference works.
- Since launching in 1994 Britannica Online has grown and developed an extensive range of online products for learners of all ages. The largest and most comprehensive is the Britannica Online Academic Edition, which delivers relevant, web-based content for further and higher education. It is continuously updated, revised and developed with new articles, allowing its users to research confidently with expert information and a host of research tools designed to support advanced study. For schools, the Britannica Online School Edition provides a comprehensive reference and education service specially designed for primary and secondary schools, while the Britannica Online Library Edition, delivers three encyclopaedias for different levels, under one product.
- Alongside the traditional encyclopedias, Britannica has also increased its offering to educational institutions through two innovative products, Britannica Image Quest and Britannica Pathways: Science. Image Quest provides access to more than two million stunning images, sourced from some of the best collections in the world. Britannica Pathways: Science supports effective teaching for students aged 11 Ė 14 and tackles common misconceptions through interactive and discussion-led resources. In 2012 Image Quest was selected as a finalist at the BETT Awards in the Best use of Digital Resources category.
- For further information about Britannica and its products, please visit:
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