Õpetajad ja eakaaslased internetikasutuse vahendajatena põhikooli õpilaste pilgu läbi
Teachers and peers as mediators of internet use through the eyes of primary school children. The aim of this thesis was to find out, how useful are recommendations and directions about the use of the internet from teachers and peers, and if children think it is useful to get advice from them about different problems and dangers they may encounter, or whether children prefer to turn to teachers and peers, when they are already facing the problem. The theoretical part of this study gives an overview of the information society and focuses on the changes, that it has brought, how it influences children and which are society’s expectations and fears regarding the growth of the internet use. In addition, I have brought out main online risks and opportunities. The main emphasis is on empirical results regarding teachers’ and peers’ mediation. Mostly, these are based on EU Kids Online reports. To gather empirical data for this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted among 11-12 and 13-14 year old children. All in all, there were eight interviews and all children participated in the interviews in pairs. Due to the limited sample of this study, it is not possible to make overall generalisations, but it gives an overview of children’s internet use in one primary school and of teachers’ and peers’ influence on these children regarding the internet. The study shows that, when children had encountered something difficult on the internet, they turned to peers, but generally, 13-14 year olds manage to cope with their problems on their own. Teachers have given children the advice, how to use the internet more safely. Younger children associate it with a video about online risks. In addition to that, I found from the interviews, that retroactive mediation takes place among 11-12 year olds and their peers, which means that children turn to their peers, when they encounter a problem. From teachers, children expect proactive mediation, which means that teachers should talk about possible problems and dangers before children face them, but when a real problem occurs, children would rather not turn to their teachers. However, 13-14 year olds turn to their teachers, when they have questions about schoolwork regarding the internet. As the growth of children internet use is rapid, the theme about teaching new media at schools is becoming more topical. Due to the fact, that children face many problems daily using the internet, teachers should more and more act as “guides” or “interpreters” (Kalmus 2012 forthcoming) and help children to discover new opportunities and cope with online risks already in elementary school.