Home internet use by eight-year-old children

  • Trudy-Ann Sweeney Flinders University
  • Stacey Margaret Georg Tabor College of Education, Flinders University of South Australia
  • Francis Ben Tabor Adelaide
Keywords: internet, children, home, ICT, technology, internet-enabled, devices


  With the ever-increasing numbers of young children accessing the internet, often independently of adult supervision, parents and educators are facing the challenge of how best to provide young children with age-appropriate cyber-safety education. Drawing on data collected via children’s illustrations, focus-groups and a parent questionnaire, this paper explores the experiences of 25, eight-year-old children using the internet at home and parents’ mediation approaches. This paper provides evidence that children are actively engaged in a variety of activities facilitating both learning opportunities and risks to personal safety. The paper highlights the need for stakeholders to work in partnership to make the internet a safer and better place for children.

Author Biographies

Trudy-Ann Sweeney, Flinders University
Trudy-Ann Sweeney is a senior lecturer of Digital Media in the School of Education at Flinders University in South Australia. Her teaching and research interests include technology-enhanced assessment and the use of educational technologies to transform student-learning outcomes. Through this work, she aims to support pre-service teachers connect research, policy and evidence-based practice. Prior to her move to initial teacher education, Trudy worked for the Department of Education and Children’s Services for 17 years as a primary school teacher, ICT Coordinator, Assistant Principal (Teaching and Learning) and Educational Consultant and Leadership and ICT Project Coordinator at the Technology School of the Future
Stacey Margaret Georg, Tabor College of Education, Flinders University of South Australia
Stacey Georg is a research assistant and casual academic tutor at Flinders University in South Australia. Her teaching and research interests include digital technology practices by primary children, and the use of digital technologies to enhance student learning outcomes. Stacey has worked in primary schools since the completion of her Bachelor of Education/Arts (JP/P) in 2009. Stacey graduated from Tabor College of Education in 2017 with her Master of Education.
Francis Ben, Tabor Adelaide
Francis is currently Postgraduate Course Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Tabor.  He is also Deputy Director for the Research Centre for Teachers and Teaching. Francis’ research interests include Physics/Science Education, ICT in Education, and Measurement and Evaluation in Education.  He has supervised to successful completion both Masters and PhD level research studies. Francis is active in research and continues to publish in the following areas: The use of ICT in teaching; Examination of the utility of survey scales; and Physics/Science Education. Francis has degrees in Engineering, Physics and Education.  He has worked professionally in the industry and academically in the fields of Engineering and Physics. He has taught a range of Mathematics, Physics, Education and Educational research related subjects at the secondary and tertiary levels in Australia and internationally (in the United States, Singapore and the Philippines).  
How to Cite
Sweeney, T.-A., Georg, S., & Ben, F. (2019). Home internet use by eight-year-old children. Australian Educational Computing, 34(1). Retrieved from https://journal.acce.edu.au/index.php/AEC/article/view/206
Research Articles (Refereed/Reviewed)