The internet, for both children and adults, has emerged as a communication medium of importance. It appears in people’s life of many aspects. In the education, includes both family education and public education, the Internet is playing a significant role.
What Percentage of Children Use the Internet?
? In UK, 98% of young people in the 9-19 years old age range have internet access somewhere. 
? In US, according to a report in 2008, more than 1,530,000 children use internet.
? In China, about 85.6% of people under 18-year-old have used internet before. 
It is obvious that now a large percentage of children have become the user of internet.
What do Children Use Internet for?
Here are some activities performed by children on the internet:
? Obtain information on things other than school work (94%) 
? Instant Message (81%) 
? Send and receive emails (72%) 
? Play games online (70%) 
? Use Facebook (63%) 
? Do shopping (60%) 
? Download music (45%) 
? Look for information on careers and further education (44%) 
? Read the news (26%) 
? Chat rooms (21%) 
? Website design (16%) 
From the statistic above, we can see that most children use internet for entertainment, especially chatting, online games and shopping. But fewer percentage of children use it a tool to study or obtain more information.
How often do Children Use Internet?
In UK, most young people access the internet for limited periods of time, on a frequent basis, with 40% being daily users. Of these daily users, 19% spend up to 10 minutes on line and 48% between 10 minutes and one hour. 
In China, more than 66% of young people access the internet at least once a week. 71.5% spend about 2 hours on line each time. 
We can find that children do not use internet as frequently as the adults. Most children access internet in a medium frequency and spend reasonable time online each time.
As we know, most children are cyber users now. But they do not access internet too constantly. However, according to the view of FBI, ‘while on-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for children, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they hit the road exploring the information highway.’  Hence, somebody insist that we should monitor how children use Internet in order to create a better education environment for our children.
3.2.2 Internet Monitoring in Family Education (by Chuangjie Xu)
Why do parents monitor Internet use of their children?
From the background, it is known that children’s access to the internet has grown rapidly. They can access Internet via a number of means. Most of them (74%) use Internet at home through computers. So it seems that the children can be protected by the family.
However, according to , ‘there are concerns about both inequalities of access to the technology and the possible threats to children’s safety that can exist online’. It also displays a list of ways that threats can arise in:
? Children and young people inadvertently or deliberately accessing either illegal or inappropriate sexual or violent material Ã¯¿½C illegal material could involve children or adults. 
? Targeting and grooming of children by predatory adults through chat rooms, possibly adults posing as children. 
? The abuse of children, in some cases in real time using web cams, in order to provide material for pedophile news groups. 
? The use of email, instant messaging etc to bully and harass other Ã¯¿½C this may be more likely to occur between children and young people. 
? Besides, It is easy for children to get Internet Addiction which is a serious obstruct to the development of physical and mental health of young people.
It is the responsibility of parents to educate young people how to use Internet in a correct and safe way. At the same time, parents should suspect children’s abuse of Internet and then help them correct their errors. In addition, parents must keep their eyes on children to save them from risks on line. From this view, monitoring how children use Internet seems to be a direct and effect way in education.
How do parents do monitoring?
There are many ways for parents to monitor cyber usage of their children. Basically, there are three main ways to do this.
– Stay nearby
Whilst teens may yearn to have a computer in their bedroom, it can be easier to monitor usage if the computer is actually in a public part of the house, like in a corner of a room, in a hallway, in a study or even on the landing (if there’s room!). That way, you can be going about your own tasks in the home and keep a watchful eye on how much your teen is using the Internet, without being overly nosey. 
– Check web history
It’s not a good idea to constantly check up on what they’re using on the Internet or to make a big deal of it, but if you’re unsure about what they’re doing, or think they’re acting suspiciously when using the computer (for example suddenly switching screens when you walk past or stopping what they’re doing when you’re in the room), then you can always check the history in browsers, such as Internet Explorer, after they’ve come off the computer. This will give you a list of sites they’ve visited on a certain day or week. 
– Parental Internet monitoring tools
With most monitoring software, parents can monitor instant messaging, email activity, chat sessions, program activity, even keystrokes typed, view where their child surfed online and what files or pictures have been downloaded or exchanged. This secret backdoor into a kid’s online communications sometimes alerts parents to their child’s poor choices and involvement in potentially unsafe or illegal activity. 
What’s the present situation?
For monitoring children’s use of Internet, it seems necessary for parents to do this and helpful to children’s cyber-world access. Then what does the current situation look like?
In United States, according to a nationwide survey of youth internet use, most parents and children have objective attitudes about Internet access. The list below shows the opinions of some parents and kids in that survey:
? 83 percent of parents were satisfied with their children’s Internet use. 
? 76 percent of 6- to 12-year-olds say their parents are either in the room or nearby all or most of the time they’re online; 35 percent of teenagers report the same. 
? Most children (79 percent) and parents (95 percent) agree that parents are knowledgeable about kids’ online activities. For teens (66 percent) and parents (93 percent) the gap in percentages was a little wider. 
? 86 percent of parents see themselves as “guides to good Internet content” rather than “watchdogs” over their kids’ Internet use. 
? Parents’ concern for their kids’ online safety ranks 10th among other concerns they have for their kids after school safety, physical health, and academic success. 
In Europe, MOST children believe their parents DO NOTHING to encourage them to be safe online. On the other hand, most parents are confident their children are taking the necessary precautions.  Here’s some statistic from a survey of Microsoft MSN:
? 66 percent of children said their parents did nothing to limit or control their internet use. 
? Some 73 percent of Irish parents said they took actions to limit or control their children’s internet use and a quarter of parents said they used online parental controls or filtering software. 
? Some 66 percent of Irish children said it was safe to put personal information on blogs and social networking sites. Just 48 per cent of children in Europe felt this was a safe practice. 
In this survey, Microsoft Ireland also mentioned that the research had shown ‘worrying gaps’ in teenagers’ online safety awareness and internet education. 
From the information above, we can see that not all the parents take children’s Internet use seriously. However, more and more parents become aware of the children’s cyber safety problem and then take action to control even monitor children’s Internet use. This could be seen from the growing market of Cyber Monitoring Software. Just enter ‘parent internet monitoring software’ in the Google searching bar and search it. We will see that there are more than 1,700,000 records in the searching result.
3.1.3 Internet Monitoring in Public Education (by Haibing Li)
With the computer network technology growing fast, the school network is also accelerating development. How to effectively monitor the safety of the teaching and other activities becomes one of focus consideration in school management. Except for monitoring students at home, school is the second biggest area which is providing network for children to use.
Why do schools monitor Internet usage of students?
Enhance the network mortality education.
Use the network monitoring technology and communication methods (like Internet, TV, and Newspaper) to guide students on the proper treatment of the virtual world. Let children to use Internet correctly, safety and meaningfully. Increase the pornographic websites, violence, and obscene information, poor information about network game and enhance the ability to distinguish bad information, to refuse the bad information by them. To educate students do not visit, not make, not spread bad information through Internet, and not play bad online games to prevent the adverse effects on efforts to form a good atmosphere in campus.
Enhance the collaboration between school and family
Schools and families to remind students that has to avoid gullible thing from internet, and don’t to disclose personal information, don’t returning to unknown questions. Parents advocate for children and the use of mobile phones for Internet access guidance and reasonable constraints educate their children away from adult chatting rooms and pornographic websites; try to avoid their children at home alone through the Internet; to spend more time sharing with their children more kids to participate in beneficial activities.
Enhance the quality of education
The quality of education in schools depends on student achievement and student contributions to the community. There has competition between schools. This is why they have to try to improve the quality of education. Students play an important role in this process. Cyber monitoring is a way to improve the efficiency of the students. Because student can be distracted by surfing the web to play games or perform unauthorized activities. School does not hope their students’ waste time on playing on-line games or chatting with others.
3.1.4 Responsibility vs. Privacy
Responsibility of Parents and Schools (by Chuangjie Xu)
We may doubt whether this kind of monitoring activity is an invasion of children’s privacy or not. For parents and schools, they might think that this is their responsibility. Dr. David Walsh, a psychologist and president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, told PC World, “Parents have a responsibility to monitor the whereabouts of their kids, whether it’s in the real world or the cyber-world.” 
The PC World Magazines hold this same opinion. They don’t think this is an infringement. But they insist this point with two important conditions:
– Clearly define the rules you expect the child to follow when getting online.
– Communicate that their activity will be monitored at times. 
School is where students go to get an education. It should provide education as well as protection for students. When students stay in the campus, school should keep students safe both in real world and in the cyber world. It is school’s duty to lead students to use internet in the right way and keep them away from the negative things online.
Privacy of Children and Students (by Haibing Li)
There is no one wants to be monitored by other people, such as their parents or schools, monitoring behavior does not mean that someone is monitored in every second. If children and students know that their computers are monitored when they use the computer, they will feel someone is watching what they are doing, and then this situation will lead to psychological problems to children and students. On the other hand, if monitoring is just filter porn websites, adult chatting rooms, and some bad words. Monitoring is a very good way to protect students and children to grow up healthy. Therefore, families and schools should not use the monitoring software, or other ways to monitor them, children and students should have the right of privacy. Therefore, the families and school should guide children and students, more commutations, instead of using monitoring software.
3.1.5 Alternative Way (by Chuangjie)
Do not infringe the privacy rights of the young people in the name of education. As a matter of fact, there are some alternative means to help children use Internet in security instead of monitoring.
First of all, how to know the young be at Risk On-line? Here are some tips from FBI :
? Your child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night.
? You find pornography on your child’s computer.
? Your child receives phone calls from men you don’t know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don’t recognize.
? Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don’t know.
? Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.
? Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.
? Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else.
To parents, Charles Montaldo, a Private Detective, provided some advices :
? Talk openly with your child about the potential danger online.
? Help your child understand what sexual victimization and do not be afraid to use specific examples.
? Surf with your child and find out what type of websites they enjoy visiting.
? If your child uses a computer outside the house, such as at school or at the library, find out what type of controls and safeguards are used on those computers.
? Avoid having the computer in your child’s bedroom. If your child is in a common room in the house when online the ability to engage in undesirable activity is lessoned since the screen can be viewed by anyone in the house.
? Teach your child the responsible use of the resources on-line.
To children, Charles also listed some safe practices :
? Not to meet anyone face-to-face who they have met online without parental involvement.
? Not to upload or post pictures of themselves on the Internet to people who they do not personally know.
? Not to give post or give out personal information which could identify them to a stranger such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number.
? Not to download pictures from an unknown source.
? Not to respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing.
? Not to believe everything they are told online.
In conclusion, we prefer to encourage more communication and trust between parents and children, between schools and students.
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