Instant messaging in primary schools

Nova Science Publishers
Publication Type:
Internet policies and issues, volume 7, 2011, 1, pp. 81 - 95
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The use of instant messaging (IM) in primary schools is a recent phenomenon having been around for less than 10 years in most schools with internet access. There is an expectation by Educational authorities, parents, teachers and students that interactive technologies such as IM be included as part of learning experiences. To date there has been very little research examining the use of IM with primary school students. The use of IM has the potential to change the nature of education by expanding the range of participants with whom students can interact, both while at school and in their homes. Students now have access to experts online and other community members which vastly increases their access to different ideas and opinions. In addition, students can interact with other students who are geographically distant which enables increased cultural awareness. Students are also able to interact with each other, family members and their teachers while at home, which is dissolving the boundaries between school and home. Access to other participants via IM has brought with it new challenges. In particular, the safety of students online has been a main focus of schools, parents, educational authorities and Governments and is examined in this chapter.
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