Data Shows Teachers Lack Cyber Safety Training

Although internet security is becoming more important for students and teachers alike, data shows that teachers and administrators lack training in the area.

A report by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that teachers were ill-equipped to teach students about online safety, USA Today reports. The report found that one-third of the teachers surveyed did not have any training in cybersecurity issues.

While 81% of school administrators were satisfied with the job they were doing teaching online safety to their students, 36% of teachers have had no training on the issue. Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, said that with so many kids spending time online in this day and age, teaching them to be safe on the internet should be a similar priority to educating them in math, reading and writing. He added that the schools seemed lost as to what they should be doing about the problem.

The report showed that 82% of administrators, 85% of technology coordinators and only 55% of teachers felt strongly that online safety should be a required part of the curriculum. The teachers and administrators also disagreed over whose job it was to instruct the students in internet safety. 79% of teachers believed that it should fall to the parent to train their kids, while only 60% of administrators and 45% of tech coordinators felt the same.

The NCSA survey, which was sponsored by Microsoft, polled 1,012 teachers, 402 principals and 200 school tech specialists when compiling the data for its report.

Although a 2008 federal law that provides discounts to wire schools up for the internet requires schools to set up online safety courses for their students, there are no specifics about what those courses should teach.

No state requires comprehensive training for elementary, middle and high schools, the alliance says, though six — Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, California and New York — have laws that address online safety in schools. Nearly all states (44) have anti-bullying laws on the books, the Cyberbullying Research Center says.

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May 5th, 2011

Staff Reporter

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