Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Kids Surfing the Web: A Comparative Study in Portugal

Version 1 : Received: 26 July 2023 / Approved: 26 July 2023 / Online: 27 July 2023 (09:47:48 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Monteiro, A.; Sousa, C.; Barros, R. Kids Surfing the Web: A Comparative Study in Portugal. Computers 2023, 12, 168. Monteiro, A.; Sousa, C.; Barros, R. Kids Surfing the Web: A Comparative Study in Portugal. Computers 2023, 12, 168.


The conditions for safe Internet access and the development of skills enabling full participation in online environments are recognized in the Council of Europe’s strategy for child rights, from 2022. The guarantee of this right has implications for experiences inside and outside the school context. Therefore, this article aims to compare the perceptions of students from different educational levels, who participated in a digital storytelling workshop, regarding online safety, searching habits, and digital competences. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey completed by 84 Portuguese students from elementary and secondary schools. A non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance was used to identify differences as children advance across educational stages. The results revealed that secondary students tend to spend more time online, and demonstrated more advanced search skills. Interestingly, the youngest children exhibited higher competences in creating games and practicing safety measures regarding online postings. These findings emphasize the importance of schools, in a joint action with the educational community, including parents, teachers and students, developing a coordinated and vertically integrated approach to digital education that considers the children's current knowledge, attitudes, and skills as a starting point for pedagogical intervention.


Internet use; digital competences; online safety; basic education


Social Sciences, Education

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