Wednesday, January 2, 2013

UK - Teenagers without web access are 'educationally disadvantaged'

Wired reports that teenagers without web access are 'educationally disadvantaged'.
Interviews with students revealed a range of problems faced by those without internet access. Some have to ask friends or family to print off coursework and physically post it to them, while others are only able to do their work during school hours so have to rush everything. The same tools that helped students with homework were also social tools, like MSN Messenger, so students who felt left out educationally were also likely to feel left out socially.

The benefits of having web tools available were found to outweigh the risks. Interestingly, in their interviews with 200 of the teenagers the researchers found that there was no perception that web use was impairing their ability to concentrate on work. That was in direct contrast to the experience of parents, who frequently "despaired" at the sight of their kids multitasking on multiple devices and using social networks they didn't understand.

This was based on a study from Oxford University's Department of Education (see press release).

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