Schools are fully aware that the Internet is a treasure trove of knowledge and don’t hesitate to recommend it for research. According to a 2008 study, 77 per cent of teachers assign work involving the use of the Internet. Unfortunately, school curriculums rarely include teaching how to do research on the Web, so parents need to learn the skills for guiding their children as they go online for school assignments.
Research shows that less than 20 per cent of parents discuss gambling with their children; this issue is seen as minor, mainly because parents are generally unaware of their kids’ participation in these sorts of activities.
Along with playing video games, downloading music and movies are among the top online activities for Canadian youth. Using file-sharing or peer-to-peer (P2P) programs, as well as “digital locker” services, kids can search for and then download free music, movies, video games or software – which in most cases are copyright protected.
Online gaming has never been so popular. According to an Ipsos Reid survey, more than half of young Canadians say they visit gaming sites and play online games several times a week.
Spam, online scams and frauds, identity theft and issues related to online purchases are a serious issue in the online world. Navigating the Web while avoiding these threats can be a challenging task.
Traditional government responses to online hate have been to police cyberspace as an extension of the state’s territory, ignoring the online/offline divide.
Instant Messaging (IM) is to young people what email is to their parents’ generation: the best way to communicate online (with the advantage that IM conversations take place in real time).
For most youth, the Internet is all about socializing, and while most of these social interactions are positive, increasing numbers of kids are using the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.
Verbal or emotional abuse is the most prevalent form of bullying online. Social bullying, another pervasive form – particularly with girls – includes social exclusion and spreading gossip and rumours.