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UK Kids’ Internet Time Is About More than Just Fun

Children want to learn online, too

Kids in the UK have grown up with the internet as a constant. They spend more time there than ever, doing more things than ever, on more devices than ever. A lot of their time is spent on recreational activities, of course, particularly gaming, but that’s not the only way they utilize this almost ever-present element of their lives.

According to a January 2014 BBC Learning survey conducted by Populus, 75% of UK child and teen tablet users employed their device in order to “learn things.” Though this was more than 10 percentage points behind those who used their tablets to play games, it still represented a much healthier proportion than those who logged on to social networks, chatted with friends or watched TV via such a device.

The influence that kids have in the family household also supports the idea that learning via the internet is more than common. According to comScore Media Metrix data, UK households with children were 26% more likely than the average household to visit information sites online. Again, gaming-type sites and more general kids sites were the most likely to be accessed, but nonetheless, information gathering is clearly toward the top end of the priority list for kids.

While the internet has been a constant in kids’ lives, so has schooling and homework. That so many kids use the internet as a learning tool indicates just how embedded the medium has become in their lives.

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