Safe and Responsible Internet Use in a Connected World: Promoting Cyber-Wellness


  • Cathy Lewin Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dale Niederhauser West Virginia University
  • Quinn Johnson Universite Laval
  • Toshinori Saito Seisa University
  • Akira Sakamoto Ochanomizu University
  • Roger Sherman Cambodia Foundation for Higher Education



cyber-wellness, digital citizenship, young people, digital resilience


Cyber-wellness concerns positive wellbeing in online spaces, including awareness of how to behave appropriately and protect oneself. We explain and illustrate the complex nature of cyber-wellness, focusing on four key aspects. Firstly, developing students’ information and media literacy skills is essential for promoting cyber-wellbeing. Such skills are also required for supporting democratic participation. Secondly, we identify and discuss the threats and challenges to young people’s cyber-wellbeing, arguing for the need to develop digital resilience. Thirdly, we discuss the role of policy at macro, meso and micro levels and how policy and educational practitioners can promote cyber-wellness awareness, knowledge and strategies. Finally we review the limited scholarship on cyber-wellness education and highlight the need to address this gap in the future. We conclude the article with consideration of the issues faced and opportunities for overcoming these. It is imperative that further work is undertaken on the conceptualisation of cyber-wellness and that concensus is developed. There are issues relating to the continual rapid developments of techologies and their uses; it is important to develop a shared understanding of the mutual relationship between technology and humans. Finally, there is a lack of guidance and good practice exemplars for cyber-wellness education.

Author Biographies

Cathy Lewin, Manchester Metropolitan University

Cathy Lewin is Professor of Education in the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. She conducts research on digital pedagogy in compulsory education, and young people’s uses of technology to support formal and informal learning.

Dale Niederhauser, West Virginia University

Dale Niederhauser, West Virginia University, USA, has served as president of the ISTE Special Interest Group for Teacher Educators and in leadership roles in the American Educational Research Association and the EDUsummIT. He has taught coursework and conducted research on learning technologies at West Virginia University, Iowa State University, and the University of Utah.

Quinn Johnson, Universite Laval

Quinn Johnson completed his masters degree in Educational Technology at Université Laval. He currently works as a pedagogical counsellor at Saint Lawrence College in Quebec City, Canada. He has taught English in Canada, Korea, and Japan. His research interests include the right to digital education, open educational resources, computer assisted language learning, and technopedagogy.

Toshinori Saito, Seisa University

Toshinori Saito is an associate professor of Education and Computing at Seisa University, Japan. As a strong advocate of digital equity and agency, he is an active member of TC3 in IFIP and has been involved in academic research regarding computing education for children and adults in non-formal education areas.

Akira Sakamoto, Ochanomizu University

Akira Sakamoto is vice-president and professor of Ochanomizu University located in Tokyo which is the oldest women’s university in Japan. He has been teaching social psychology and conducting research on the psychological impact of electric media use for over thirty years.

Roger Sherman, Cambodia Foundation for Higher Education

Roger Sherman, is the director of research for the Cambodian Foundation for Higher Education, USA, currently focusing on the intersect between trauma and education. He is also on the faculty of Simmons College, Graduate School of Social Services, Boston, Massachusetts. His research interests include globalisation, immigration, trauma, mental health and education, alongside virtual learning.


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