As children return to school this month, the figures prepared by Internet Association highlight the increase in the use of the internet for learning. New figures showed Google Search in the UK answers over 11 million questions every day from British children seeking to learn – with over half of school pupils (around 4 million) using Google to help with homework.
Meanwhile, Facebook pages such as Teaching Ideas – which has over 3 million fans – give students and teachers alike the resources they need to advance their education.
Research from the Oxford Internet Institute – released last week – also showed a sharp increase in the number of users of the internet in schools or work. 60 per cent of people now utilise the internet at schools or workplaces, up from 40 per cent in 2013. And a recent report from Oxford Home Schooling showed that over three quarters of parents (76 per cent) now use the internet to help their children with answers to homework.
Daniel Dyball, UK Executive Director of Internet Association, said:
“Internet companies continue to create benefits to society every day through innovative products and services that are helping children learn and develop. This analysis shows the use of the internet for learning continues to increase, and is now a vital tool for our young people.
“We believe in the benefits that technology brings to everyday life, and for the potential that internet innovation has to transform society for the better.”
The role of digital literacy is also increasingly important for students, with internet companies offering tools and resources to help them learn. Facebook offers a wide-ranging Digital Literacy Library that hosts lesson plans designed by experts to help young people develop skills needed to navigate the digital world. Google’s ‘Be Internet Legends’ provides younger children with games and lessons that educate them on how to use the web safely and wisely, so they can be confident explorers of the online world.
And efforts to improve digital literacy appears to be paying off. Ofcom’s latest ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report’ showed that eight in ten (81 per cent) parents of online 5-15 year olds have talked to their child about staying safe online.
Analysis in full:
- In the UK, Google answers over 11 million questions every day from British children. Worldwide, there are over 500 million views of learning-related content every day.
- Every week, more than half of the school pupils in the country – around 4 million children – use Google to help with homework
- Use of the internet in schools and workplaces has risen to 60 per cent, up from 40 per cent in 2013, Research from the Oxford Internet Institute shows.
- Half of all children’s homework requires internet access, research from uSwitch.com in 2018 found – on average, parents say their child does 3.9 hours of homework a week with around half of that requiring access to the internet.
- A recent report from Oxford Home Schooling showed that over three quarters of parents (76 per cent) used the internet to help with answers, while more than one in ten (11 per cent) sought support virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri.
- Ofcom’s most recent ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report’ in 2018 showed that BBC learning websites and apps were used by 34 per cent of 5-7 year olds, 56 per cent of 8-11 year olds and 64 per cent of 12-15 year olds.
- Facebook pages such as Teaching Ideas (over 3 million likes) give students and teachers alike the resources they need to succeed in education.