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Connectivity is the only reason little Bobby is failing school

naughty step child

Parents are often the last to realise their children are little horrors and new research from uSwitch has given them another excuse for their little angel failing in school; rubbish internet.

The research states that 69% of parents believe the internet is essential to their child’s education while 15% of parents, the equivalent of roughly 1.2 million children believe their little darlings grades are lower than they should be because of poor internet speeds. On average, parents say that their precious bundle of joy does 3.9 hours of homework a week, half of which requires access to the internet.

As you can imagine, YouTube was the top source for children because of the educational resources. The children are certainly not on it to watch cat videos or Fresh Prince of Bel Air bloopers. 38% of respondents also say Wikipedia is a source of educational assistance. Perhaps this is the reason grades are slipping; too much time watching Uncle Phil and using a crowd-sourced online encyclopaedia which can be manipulated by pranksters, trolls and unqualified authors. Some of the posts on Wikipedia might well be honest and accurate, but your correspondent was banned from using it as a source for university papers because there is no guarantee.

“The fact that poor broadband connectivity at home could be having a material impact on our children’s learning is deeply worrying,” said Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch.com. “For some time now, teachers have been warning of a nationwide risk that children could fall behind if broadband speeds are not up to par. Our data shows that for some 36% of parents, they believe this has already impacted their child’s ability to study at home.”

Perhaps we are just old fashioned, but whatever happened to textbooks? It should be worth noting that the source of this research is of course uSwitch, which is a comparison site; it is in its interest to stir up discontent and ensure people are rowdy enough to consider changing their internet supplier.

Despite there being quite obvious objectives for the survey, it does demonstrate a point that more needs to be done for the future connected world. The digital divide is evident in todays society, but we doubt it is the reason for failing grades.

Connectivity might well be a reason on the odd occasion, but it will be the exception not the rule. The education system is not dependent on connectivity just yet, lazy children and parents are. If your child is not reaching his/her full potential it is likely to be because they getting distracted by the abundance of online entertainment. They are kids after all.

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2 comments

  1. Adrian Firth 28/03/2018 @ 2:21 pm

    A great deal of school homework set today is either accessed via online portals, or requires discussion with the teacher done via an online portal, or requires Internet access for the research.

    I happen to know of a primary-level maths skills suite that rewards and advances children based on how quickly they can calculate the answer to questions and then respond. There’s a timer and if the timer is exceeded there is a penalty. Results are relayed to teachers. If there are connectivity problems – be they local or in the WAN – the child’s results tend to be poorer.

    Two things happened to textbooks: “underfunding” and “progress”.

    Whether poor “connectivity” strictly speaking is the root cause we can’t say, but there might be value in understanding what respondents actually struggled with whilst attempting to use the Internet in support of homework and shouldn’t try to second-guess with an opinion piece.

  2. Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 29/03/2018 @ 9:25 am

    Why shouldn’t it be ‘second-guessed’? You seem to think that understanding and criticizing are mutually exclusive. I reserve the right to second-guess that premise too.

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