Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

A new Ofcom (the UK communications watchdog organisation) report was published in October, with a much statistical data about children's use of devices, the internet etc. Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014. As usual, they are drawing on a relatively robust data set, including 1,660 interviews carried out with parents in May/June 2014. Just snatching some headlines from the executive summary "There has been a significant increase in access to, ownership of and use of tablet computers by children of all ages. In contrast, the incidence of TVs and games consoles in the bedroom is declining, while smartphone ownership remains steady. ... 12-15s are twice as likely to say they would miss their mobile phone than the TV, say they spend more time going online than watching television in a typical week, and say they prefer to socialise online rather than watch TV. In contrast, younger children still prefer TV to any other device, and spend more time in a typical week watching TV than doing any other media activity. ... Gender differences are evident from an early age. Differences include a preference for gaming among boys and for communicating online among girls. Parents also treat boys and girls differently, monitoring some aspects of girls’ online activity more closely than boys’" and particularly interesting for this blog "Older children are making judgements about the truthfulness of online content, including search engine results and how accurately people present themselves online." Extracting a paragraph from the section that goes into this in more detail "The number of 12-15s who believe that all of the information they see on websites used for school work or homework is true almost halved between 2013 and 2014: from 30% to 16%. Similarly, there was a two-fold increase in the number of children aged 12-15 who say that only some of the information is true (29% in 2014 vs. 12% in 2013). These findings indicate an increase in critical awareness for this age group." (p90)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn park, November 2014

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