The Role of Technology at School: New Perspectives on Distance Education and Cyberbullying

Author: Laura Menabo

Menabo, Laura, 2023 The Role of Technology at School: New Perspectives on Distance Education and Cyberbullying, Flinders University, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

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The integration of digital technology in school is a complex phenomenon that affects both teaching and peer relationships. Accordingly, the main aim of this dissertation was to investigate the implementation of distance education among Italian teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and analyze peer relationships concerning cyberbullying and bullying. While the theoretical section provided an overview of the phenomena, four empirical studies were presented. The first one tested a moderated moderation model among 178 secondary teachers on the interactions among perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use of technology and online teaching self-efficacy. Findings showed that each variable significantly predicted the intention to use technology. In addition, a moderation effect of online teaching self-efficacy on perceived usefulness was found. The second study analyzed the differences in factors promoting the integration of digital technology among 357 teachers of different levels and subjects and their positive and negative experiences with distance education. Results revealed several differences in the function of the grade and subjects taught. Moreover, four main themes emerged from the content analysis. The third study investigated the dyadic perception of bullying and cyberbullying among 50 students using the eye-tracker. Findings showed that, despite differences among different kinds of bullying and cyberbullying, the victim and bully were the most observed roles. Finally, the last study tested two multiple mediation models among 563 students on the association between bullying, cyberbullying, and well-being, considering three different variables related to the school context (peer network, teacher support and school connectedness). The results highlighted the importance of peer networks and school connectedness in mediating the association between victimization, cybervictimzation and well-being. Taken together, the findings provided a rich overview of digital technology integrationin schools, highlighting positive and negative aspects and its implications for future research and school policies.

Keywords: bullying, cyberbullying, teachers, technology

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2023
School: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Supervisor: Grace Skrzypiec