Title: An exploration of the contexts, challenges and competencies of pre-teenage children on the internet

Authors: Craig McDonald-Brown; Kumar Laxman; John Hope

Addresses: Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand ' Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand ' Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract: This research marks an important contribution to the state of knowledge about the internet practices of New Zealand children. It is the first New Zealand study of pre-teenage children's online practices since the proliferation of social media began nearly a decade ago. It provides a starting point for a discussion about the practices of these children and beyond. Its qualitative design recognises the importance of children's voices in identifying problems and solutions. A total of 39 students from five schools straddling across different socio-economic backgrounds participated in this study. The findings of this study reveal that children need not fear risk, but can see it as a necessary, even desirable aspect of growing up online. Risk, confronted with confidence, competence and support by parents, teachers and schools will serve to strengthen their ability to face the online challenges of the future.

Keywords: adolescents; bullying; pre-teenage children; cultural capital; cyberbullying; educational technology; Facebook; internet safety; mediation; online gaming; online violence; password sharing; risk; schools; social media; social networking; socio-economic status; New Zealand; online challenges.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2016.075949

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2016 Vol.8 No.1, pp.1 - 25

Received: 04 Sep 2015
Accepted: 27 Sep 2015

Published online: 18 Apr 2016 *

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