|Photo: Games and Learning|
The survey, “The Common Sense Census: Plugged-In Parents of Tweens and Teens,” suggests that the vast majority of parents say they believe computers and digital devices in classrooms are good for their children. But they also worry that their children spend too much time on devices, to the detriment of physical activity and personal relationships.
Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the informed use of quality media, surveyed more than 1,700 parents of children 8 to 18 years old to learn about their media and technology use; it also conducted focus groups. That’s what makes this survey different – it sought to measure parents’ influence and opinions on media and technology use. And it measured how much time parents are spending on it, too.
As it turns out, parents are watching TV and playing games on their phones the same amount of time as their children.
“These findings are fascinating because parents are using media for entertainment just as much as their kids are, yet they express concerns about their kids’ media use while also believing that they are good role models for their kids,” James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, said in a statement. “Media can add a lot of value to relationships, education, and development, and parents clearly see the benefits, but if they are concerned about too much media in their kids’ lives, it might be time to reassess their own behavior so that they can truly set the example they want for their kids.”
An overwhelming majority – nearly 95 percent – of parents said they believe that technology is useful for schoolwork, according to the survey. They believe that technology helps children learn new skills, prepares them for modern jobs, exposes them to diverse cultures and encourages creativity.
The parent’s opinions on social media were less sunny. Nearly a quarter of parents reported that they believe that social media can be useful tools in the classroom. Slightly fewer said social media hurts education. And the remaining 55 percent said they believe it makes no difference in school performance.