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Survey Open to Gauge Nature of Online Safety Ed.

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center have opened a new survey to help determine the exact nature of the curricula schools are using to educate students about online safety issues.

The confidential survey is part of a larger body of research funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice that is also helping support exploration into how law enforcement is promoting Internet safety. It's open to any educator working in a district that provides students formal Internet safety education.

The mostly multiple choice survey asks respondents to give details about the method of instruction used to cover the subject, and identify whether that instruction is directed mostly at students, parents, or teachers, and at what grade level. They're also asked about the format and target of assessments to gauge the programs' effectiveness, as well as whether they have been created to comply with federal, state, or local law, or district policy.

Digital literacy education, including Internet safety issues, has been a highly visible priority of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Education Technology, as well as many states that have passed legislation aimed at curbing all kinds of bullying, cyberbullying included. The survey, when completed, may provide the first look into how districts are responding to that push.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Children's Internet Protection Act remain the two main federal statutes governing issues of online safety for students.

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