To assess proficiency with digital safety tools and their preferred modes of learning, a survey was conducted among school students in India from January to April 2022 as part of the ‘Digital Citizenship Initiative’ by Wranga. A total of 842 responses from Grades 9 to 12 students recorded are analysed in the present report.
Three major trends identified in the survey were: 1. Children in schools would like to be informed about laws governing the internet. 2. They would like to have more information about emerging internet trends to include in the curriculum. 3. They prefer interactive workshops as the most interesting way to study digital citizenship.
In terms of daily usage of the internet i.e., screen time apart from school’s online classes, the majority of users use it for 2-4 hours and 249 students for 4-6 hours followed by 177 students who used it for more than six hours.
The use of Instant Messenger e.g., WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, and Signal are highest in number followed by Music and Educational purposes other than school. Most of them also use it for Social Networking such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. and OTT Videos e.g., Netflix, Disney-Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other platforms followed by Web Browsing.
It is interesting to note that the majority of students marked their daily usage of the internet in terms of duration against each category as less than 30 minutes followed by approx. 1 hour.
When it comes to the discussion on whether sufficient education on online safety is bestowed upon the students in schools, one student of class XII remarked that “They were taught but not enforced in any way. So, they didn't have any real-world impact”. It was evident from the survey that students wanted to be taught about the key online safety and cybersecurity aspects for them to have a better understanding of the internet and the etiquette of the digital network.
The survey also reflected that as part of Digital Citizenship Learning, Online Bullying and Online Harassment remain the top topics to be taken up by schools.
It has been observed that:
Although 32.2% of students say that they feel safe and comfortable online, many of them/their friends have had negative experiences which could mean that:
This report seeks to bridge a key pedagogical gap in Indian education that stems from an absence of interactive and useful course material to guide students (and their parents) on the meaning, importance and implications of responsible digital citizenship. We aimed at understanding the current awareness on topics of Digital citizenship amongst school children. Also, to identify curriculum gaps that can be upgraded to help children become positive digital citizens.
The survey is a step ahead in encouraging ownership & accountability towards the Internet amongst school children. For this, we need to involve them by raising awareness amongst them & giving them platforms to express themselves
You can access the full survey here.