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Research Reviews

Digital health and safety

Posted on 09 Feb 2012 with 0 comments
Internet use Safe use

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The use of digital technologies is increasing among the population, especially use of the internet via mobile technologies (mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks), including by students of all ages, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The advantages of the internet and increased capacities for communication and collaboration are inestimable. Some of the benefits to education have been well documented in research reviews here on DERN. However, even though the internet enables great benefits for learners, there are also risks, such as cyberbullying, that need to be managed. As stated in the foreword to Virtual Violence II: Progress and Challenges in the Fight against Cyberbullying, ‘Cyberbullying is a particularly damaging form of bullying and it is impossible to underestimate how destructive it can be. It erodes self-esteem and confidence, relationships with family and friends suffer, and harmful or risky behaviours come to be seen as ways of coping with pain. Bullied children are at higher risk of depression, achieving below their potential in school and dropping out of education altogether' (p. 4). Cyberbullying is a considerable risk for learners.

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