A ways to go to ensure every child gets the cyber education they need

May 4, 2011 2:18pm

By Michael Kaiser, NCSA Executive Director

This morning the National Cyber Security Alliance released its 2011 State of Cyberethics, Cybersafety and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S. Survey . The survey has been sponsored for the last two years by Microsoft.

Only 23% of teachers feel very well prepared to teach cyber bullying and the same number feel very prepared to teach about posts that include hate speech. These findings don’t surprise us because teachers can’t teach topics for which they haven’t received training. When asked about professional development, 35% of teacher’s report zero hours of training on the topics provided by their school district with only 40% getting 1-3 hours. Yet, they report strong interest (more than 70% of teachers) in receiving materials and training and 62% say that training on these topics is a high priority in their personal career development.

These strong sentiments by teachers are encouraging.

This is just a sampling of the data. The survey covers many other questions and we recommend you look at all the data. The survey is quite extensive and the findings have significance over a broad range of issues.

For the first time we have published an infographic a pictorial representation of the data that helps tell the story of the issue and the study.

There are certainly challenges ahead. We need every school to adopt a comprehensive approach to cybersafety, cyberethics and cybersecurity. And bringing this change to scale to reach the nearly 56 million K-12 students and more than three million U.S. teachers is no small task. No one group, government agency, or company can facilitate this kind of change alone. Nor can parents be expected to carry the full burden. This is a shared responsibility. Step one is collectively agreeing it’s time to address the problem. We have no doubt that there will be no shortage of good ideas on how to meet everyone’s needs.