August 31, 2005

INTERNET: Elementary School Children Increasingly Rely on Internet for Homework (CANADA)

Elementary School Children Increasingly Rely on Internet for Homework

    Study shows most parents still not supervising children's online      activities      TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - The Internet is fast-becoming as important a homework tool as pen and paper. According to the second annual Back-to-School survey commissioned by AOL Canada Inc. and conducted by Maritz Research,     78 per cent of Canadian children from ages 8 to 12 claimed they use the Internet to get help with homework and research for school projects.     In addition, 45 per cent of these young respondents indicated they spend either an equal or greater amount of time doing schoolwork online as for their own personal use. A whopping 73 per cent of respondents said they prefer to use both the Internet and school/library books equally in completing school assignments.     "Clearly, the Internet is playing a greater role in our children's education - even those in elementary school," said Karen Robbins, AOL Canada's Online Safety Expert and 'Net Mom.' "It's important for parents to understand that young children are online, their kids rely on the Internet for both schoolwork and entertainment, and they need guidance in how to navigate the Internet responsibly."     Results confirm that children are going online at a young age, and that while parents are not always able to monitor their children by physically watching over their shoulder, it is still important that kids are protected while online.     The study revealed that 35 per cent of Canadian children spend over four hours online per week. In addition, an astonishing 74 per cent of the children surveyed said their parents don't always sit with them while they surfed the Internet. Among the children who indicated they have had unsupervised access to the Internet and e-mail, 30 per cent said they were allowed to surf all Web sites; 55 per cent were allowed to instant message without parental supervision; and 67 per cent said they e-mailed without their parents present. Disturbingly, 23 per cent of children in this young age group said they could go to chat rooms without their parents supervising them.
Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
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