Vol 5 No 2 (2018)
Articles

The Potential and Risks of Internet Use as Permitted by Jewish Law Case Study: Internet Use by Students of a Religious High School – by Default or by Choice?

Nitza Davidovitch
Ariel University
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120 Views | 114 Downloads
Keywords
  • I00,
  • I31,
  • I 39.

Abstract

Google is celebrating its 20th anniversary – and the internet has become an inseparable part of the lives of adults, teens, and children. In awareness of the problems and challenges posed by the new world, various software programs have been developed, among them NetSpark (henceforth: the program), which make it possible to block and/or filter information received from the web (Wells and Lewis, 2006). In several Israeli schools, the management has decided to install a filter in their students' cellular devices in order to maintain safe surfing even after school hours. The option of blocking or filtering websites on school computers existed previously, but the innovation offered by the current program is the possibility of screening inappropriate content on students' smartphones. The study examined the association between installing the program on smartphones and utilization of leisure time among 120 female high school students, half of whom used the program. The association between use of the program and the students' sociodemographic background, smartphone use patterns, and utilization of leisure time was examined. Research findings show no difference between those who use the program and those who don't in the association between use of smartphone apps and internet surfing, utilization of leisure time, duration of internet use, and duration of cellular phone use. However, use of cellphone apps was higher among respondents who ranked themselves less religious than among respondents who ranked themselves more religious. The significance of the findings for parents and educators is that internet use is an issue that requires attention among students in religious high schools as well. The question is whether supervision should be imposed through the use of filters or should youngsters be taught how to cope with the global world.

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