University of Maryland

SPE4K Research Study (Spring 2021)

Do you have a child currently enrolled in a US school and is in grades K-12? If so, we invite you to participate in a research study jointly conducted by the University of Maryland’s iSchool and the University of Chicago.

What’s the study about?

We want to learn about potential concerns that parents have for their children when using apps and devices. Our goal is to help children learn about digital safety in order to better prepare them to navigate their online experiences.

What would I have to do to participate?

  • Complete a short survey that should take no more than 10 minutes. This will cover some of the details of your experiences with parental control and monitoring apps.
  • We might follow up with you to participate in a 60-minute interview through a video conferencing platform (e.g., Zoom). We’re talking to parents about some of their concerns regarding their children’s activities on apps and online.

I’d like to participate. How do I access the survey?

What do I get out of it?

  • After completing the survey, you will be entered into a raffle for one of five $50 Amazon gift cards.
  • You’ll have the chance to learn more about potential digital safety issues related to your children’s app and device use.

Project Updates

March 2023: The team had two papers accepted — a document analysis of privacy/security research with kids over the last decade (IDC) and an analysis of the challenges teachers and parents faced during emergency remote learning in the first year of the pandemic (CSCW). These papers will be added to the Publications page once they are finalized.

July 2022: Undergrad researcher Shriya Bansal published a short analysis of 5000 Android apps, finding that none are focused on educating children about privacy and security. Read more here.

Dec 2021: We published a white paper summarizing challenges teachers at our partner schools have when it comes to curriculum and training on privacy and security. Read it here.

Sept 2021: SPE4K welcomes two new PhD students to the project: Elana Blinder at UMD and Kelly Wagman at UChicago.

May 2021: Congrats to Priya Kumar, who graduated from UMD with her PhD! Priya is joining Penn State as an Assistant Professor this fall.

Nov 2020: Check out our latest publication on enhancing privacy literacy for children, published (open access) in Media & Communication.

Jan 2020: We were awarded a NSF SaTC EDU grant to continue our research.

NSF Disclosure

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1951688.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.