Parents keen to embrace internet as homework helper
December 17th, 2007
70% of parents believe the internet enables their children to get a better education
The internet has proved itself a winner in the classroom as brand new research* reveals that it has overtaken traditional homework aids in parents’ opinion for the first time.
The research, commissioned by TalkTalk, the free broadband business from The Carphone Warehouse, shows that as many as 13% of parents believe their kids’ first port of call for homework is now the internet, with 10% choosing textbooks and only 3% deciding to go to a library to seek out information.
The internet is certainly making moves to become a traditional method of learning in its own right, and the research found parents and children united by their support for the web as an educational tool. A remarkable 74% of children – and 70% of their parents – think the internet means they get a better education than previous generations.
Broadband as a right not a privilege
With 60% of households accessing broadband in June 2007, and with 9 out of 10 fixed internet connections in the UK now broadband*, super fast internet access has never been more accessible – or affordable. TalkTalk’s introduction of free broadband in April 2006 shook up the market and led to the average British household paying around 17% less for their broadband than they had previously.
Only slightly more than half of parents (55%) believe they are their children’s first choice for homework help. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given that a fifth of kids (20%) don’t think their parents know enough about their schoolwork and the requirements of the National Curriculum.
So what are kids doing online?
The survey found that 57% of kids regularly use the internet to get information or advice on subjects such as schoolwork, sex and drugs education, and healthy eating – with girls (60%) slightly more likely to use the web for these purposes than boys (54%).
The importance of the internet for a child’s education is widely appreciated by parents. Indeed, 64% of parents believe the Government has an obligation to ensure all school children have access to the internet at home – despite the fact that recent statistics showed nearly 40% of households still do not have an internet connection.***
David Thatcher, TalkTalk managing director, said: ‘The internet is now a vital part of all our lives at home and at work but especially in education. Certainly, as a parent of two young boys I have experienced first hand the move schools are making from traditional textbooks to more dynamic forms of learning such as the internet.
‘TalkTalk commissioned this research project to see what parents and kids really thought about the internet’s contribution to a modern education. It clearly has a vital role and those involved in the educational process – children, teachers and parents – recognise it as a valuable, if not essential tool for gaining knowledge.
‘We need to be careful that children without internet access at home are not left behind. Broadband in the UK has never been better value or more accessible and we’re committed to seeing this continue.’
Catherine, an IT teacher from Enfield, North London, said: ‘We in the IT department don’t use any textbooks at all and haven’t done for a year or so. I know that other departments are phasing them out. I think this is because online learning is easier to manage and is updated constantly, so we no longer have to order new textbooks to replace out of date versions which in turn reduces costs. Moreover, it seems that kids find learning more interesting using technology, which in turn helps them learn faster’.
* TNS surveyed 1000 children aged 8-15 years, and 582 parents, between 16th-20th August 2007
** ONS data, August 2007
*** uSwitch, May 2007
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
TalkTalk, launched in February 2003, is the home phone and broadband company from The Carphone Warehouse. The Carphone Warehouse is the third-largest broadband provider in the UK. It now has nearly 2.5 million broadband customers* signed up to TalkTalk and AOL Broadband, which it acquired in October 2006.
In April 2006, TalkTalk launched the UK’s first ever FREE broadband service. With its Talk2i package TalkTalk customers can now receive high speed broadband of up to 8Mb, unlimited evening and weekend calls to local and national UK landline numbers, plus unlimited free calls to 36 countries, all for just £5.89 per month (plus line rental of £10.50).
In a recent survey of landline users conducted by YouGov for uSwitch.com, TalkTalk was voted the number one landline company in the UK, not only for overall customer satisfaction but also for being the best value for money service. The TalkTalk £1,000 challenge promises customers £1,000 if they can prove their calls are more expensive than BT, and TalkTalk customers talk to each other for free.
In another recent survey of broadband customers conducted by Point Topic, the broadband information website, TalkTalk was rated the leading ISP in terms of customers who are happy to stick with their choice of broadband. More than 73% of the TalkTalk customers surveyed said they were planning to retain their broadband service.
TalkTalk is proud to support TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education. Together TreeHouse and TalkTalk are working to transform the lives of all children with autism, raising funds and driving awareness of autism through a variety of fresh, interactive initiatives. TreeHouse is a registered charity, number 1063184. In September 2006, TalkTalk launched a new directory enquiry service, 118111 from which 1p per call is donated to TreeHouse.
* As of financial statement November 2007