An overwhelming 90% of ICT staff and head teachers think pupils know more than them when it comes to technology.
A poll carried out at the recent BETT education technology event shows that as pupils become increasingly IT savvy, the pressure is growing for teachers to ensure a thorough understanding of the use and application of ICT in schools.
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Sarah Guy, communications director at ZyXEL Communications UK, which commissioned the poll, said, "Although many pupils are really clued-up when it comes to IT, they still need to be protected both in school and at home.
"When 90% of IT staff and teachers think pupils know more than them, the onus is on teachers to ensure their pupils are not at risk when using IT."
The research, she said, suggests that without the right technical support, teachers are not aware of the potential risks created by an increasingly complex IT environment.
Instant messaging, for example, is used extensively in schools, but can leave pupils and networks exposed to risk if security measures are not in place, said Guy.