New research from the NBN Digital Parenting Report has found that 75% of students are using the internet to assist them with learning at home.
The study looked at how technology is used for learning and school work, as well as parents' attitudes towards their child’s use of technology for education - both inside and outside the classroom.
So, what do parents think about using the internet after school hours, and how much screen time at home is healthy?
Parents' attitudes towards technology
The response from parents was overwhelmingly positive, with 81% of secondary school parents saying the internet makes it easier for children to get their school work done. They also believe the internet allows children to learn at their own pace, and are less likely to be left behind in class.
The majority of parents also agreed that using the internet for homework, research or educational games helps prepare children for the future, despite admitting that children are now learning things in an extremely different way to how they learnt.
A change in behaviour
Studiosity founder (and father of three) Jack Goodman told the Educator this week that students are turning to online help due to the demands of a changing world, especially in terms of technology.
“The world is changing fast, and students and their learning behaviours are no different,” he said.
“Students nowadays - the so called Netflix generation - expect help on demand, and don't expect days of frustration between challenge and resolution.”
“Studiosity is here to help students outside of the classroom, when they need it most. Our unique on-demand service aligns with what students want - help at the click of a button when they are in a time of need.”
Ditching the 'techno-guilt'
Despite parents agreeing that technology is a major benefit for students learning at home, it can be tough to know how much screen time is the right amount.
Leading children’s technology and development expert and mum, Dr Kristy Goodwin, wants to help parents ditch the ‘techno-guilt’. She advises parents to stop obsessing about how long children spend looking at screens, and rather focus on what your child is doing when they’re online. She’s offered four key tips for parents helping their kids use technology.
- Don’t obsess about quantifying your child’s screen time. It’s more important to look at what they're doing while they’re online.
- Use technology with your child when possible. Help your child really learn in the lounge room by being present and interacting with them.
- Prevent the ‘digital zombie effect’. Ask your child about what they’re doing, creating and communicating online; encourage your child to create digital content (such as multimedia slideshows, digital books, podcasts, or videos) in addition to consuming digital content (for example watching YouTube content).
- Parents can learn too. Kids love teaching their parents! Remember your child might have more technical knowledge and skills than you do, but they don’t have the life skills and knowledge that you’ll necessarily have to work with them and learn from each other.
Dr Goodwin also believes online tutoring is an effective way for children to get additional support after hours.
“Online tutoring provides children with access to multimedia resources that they can access anywhere, anytime and support their learning in a timely manner. Digital resources allow children to repeatedly access online content which can help children with additional learning needs,” she said.
Studiosity is an online study help service, connecting Australia's best and brightest educators to students during homework time. Try it today to see how it works.