UK school kids more likely to look something up online than ask parents for help

New research from Lenovo has revealed how education around the world has been positively transformed thanks to smarter technology.

The research, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals globally – including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France, and Italy – reveals that over two-thirds of UK parents (69 per cent) say their kids are more likely to look something up online than ask them for help when it comes to a question about schoolwork.

However, 62 per cent of UK parents said they have, at least once, looked something up online and then pretended they already knew the answer when helping their child with schoolwork. This was most common with STEM subjects such as mathematics (45 per cent) and science (38 per cent). And this may link to schools too, with 82 per cent in the UK believing today’s students already have a better understanding of tech than those teaching them.

Most UK respondents (83 per cent) agreed that advances in technology in education are helping students perform better in school. Likewise, a substantial majority of working parents (78 per cent) in the UK said current and new technologies encourage more parents to remain in the workforce due to the personal benefits it brings while also enabling them to stay more connected with their families.

While technology has many positives in aiding learning (use of high-speed Internet, automated translation tools, and accessibility features), 73 per cent of UK parents said they have concerns it could create dependencies in young people, potentially affecting social skills, and 71 per cent in the UK feel it is affecting memory skills of students as well. 

On the contrary, 66 per cent of the UK said they trust technology is aiding future generations to be “more independent learners and problem solvers”.

As for youths themselves, Gen Z and millennials in the UK generally feel that technology has had a positive role in their education, with 31 per cent agreeing it makes it easier to find out about causes or social issues they care about. The sentiment was shared by the general population, too, with almost half (48 per cent) in the UK believing technology will be “extremely important” in solving future challenges in education.

“There is no doubt that the world of education is being transformed due to smart technology, offering children the opportunity to be adventurous and independent learners, who are empowered to find out the right answers themselves. As with everything, it is important to strike the right balance on and offline, but technology can be a uniting force for families. It is also important to remember that some parents are better equipped to offer children answers on educational subjects than others, especially in different regions across the world,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president of user and customer experience at Lenovo. 

“However, our technology solutions allow students to experience immersive, active learning that is not confined to the classroom. And so it’s clear to see that world-over, tech is a universal leveler, allowing more children access to a plethora of information sources rather than being reliant on the expertise of adults in their immediate proximity.”

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