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File under: shock, horror or perhaps irony.

According to a press release from Global Secure Systems that I received today, it has "uncovered the alarming reality that UK school children are studying social networking websites during their lessons instead of what they should be concentrating on." In fact, the release goes on to reveal that a "staggering" 52 percent of the 1000 children surveyed confessed to visiting Facebook and similar sites during lesson time.

OK, first things first, the results are slightly twisted in favour of a high response as the survey itself was conducted through Facebook so the people taking part were already likely to be committed users. Secondly, given this single demographic it is highly unsurprising that so many kids should admit to visiting social networking sites on their laptops during class.

Doesn't make it right, of course, just not a great shock.

"I am disturbed, but not surprised, by the findings of this survey. There are two main issues; one is the safety of youngsters on the web and the second is the time that is frittered away. The time youngsters spend on the internet, and more specifically on social networking sites, is a huge challenge for parents and those of us in education. Says Toby Mullins, Head of Seaford College. "Youngsters are not only using lesson time but often quietly continue late into the night, leaving them short of sleep and irritable the next day. I think a study like this to highlight the problem is very timely. We now need to plan for a solution."

David Hobson, GSS managing director, added: "Kids are potentially wasting as much as two and a half hours a week of lessons on Facebook. I recognise that there is a place for social networking, with a whole new generation now relying on it to communicate, but not at the expense of an education. Schools could learn a lesson from industry and ensure school children productively use the Internet. Through the deployment of software, access to inappropriate websites can either be completely blocked, or limited to break time, economically and efficiently."

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by UrbanKhoja
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Unfortunately nothing new for me. I used to get angry with all students at my uni for sitting in labs and taking pcs to check their facebook or other networks including site as youtube, while other wanted to use the pc for school work. This activities are now banned in the library but you still see many students sitting in the labs, checking the sites and being very loud. This is one of the reasons why I got my laptop with me on most days at school.
Funny enough uni disabled acsses to yahoo, hotmail and blocked msn when I started, but even after 4 years they did not catch up with facebook and others...

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Two and a half hours a week really isn't excessive, IMO. However, I agree there is a time and place for it.

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I don't find this surprising at all, as a student myself I see first hand people on these sites. I personally don't visit any of the social networking sites in school time, and rarely in my own time. Me and a few others if we get on the internet at all spend our time on wikipedia researching our interests, but only during our free lessons. I do find it a bit disturbing that students can get addicted to such sites, but fair enough to sites like MySpace and Facebook for creating sites that capture their targeted audience, with all the adverts I bet they make a lot of money (stating the obvious).

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the 2.5 hours a week figure relates to during lesson time only rather than in total which i would say was pretty excessive!

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Doesn't surprise me at all; how many of the people that complied that original report spend their days on MySpace & Facebook do you reckon? If no one was going on it then employers wouldn't causing was it is effectively a rugby scrum to ban them all! lol

Dazza :cool:

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