Smarter technology and edtech resources are helping students become independent learners and problem solvers, according to new research. In fact, many of today’s students first turn to technology for answers to their questions, and they aren’t depending on their parents for homework help as often as in past generations.
The research from Lenovo surveyed more than 15,000 people across the globe. Overall, 75 percent say their children are more likely to look something up online than to ask them for help with schoolwork.
It also offers interesting insight on how different countries view edtech resources and technology in general.
India (89 percent) and China (85 percent) both have the highest rate of parents reporting their children turn to edtech resources for homework help. Those two countries have also seen a rise in parents using technology to assist with their kids’ learning in recent years.
The least-common rate of using edtech resources for homework was in Germany, at 54 percent, where, according to the survey, people are more wary about tech in general, especially classroom edtech resources. However, tech adoption is beginning to become more wide-spread in Germany following a 2018 an initiative from the government to equip more than 40,000 schools with edtech hardware and software.
Parents depend on edtech resources, too
Sixty percent of parents say they have looked something up online and pretended they already knew the answer when helping their child with schoolwork. This was most common with STEM subjects such as mathematics (45 percent) and science (38 percent), as well as geography (36 percent) and foreign languages (35 percent).
Most global respondents (83 percent) agree that advances in edtech resources are helping students perform better in school.
“Not only has much of the curriculum taught across the globe been revamped and updated in recent decades, but pedagogy and ways of learning have shifted as well,” says Jocelyn Brewer, psychologist and founder of Digital Nutrition. “Many parents regularly report feeling unequipped to help their children with aspects of study beyond moral support and emotional encouragement to achieve in school.”
A substantial majority of working parents (84 percent) say current and new technologies encourage more parents to remain in the workforce due to the personal benefits it brings while also enabling them to stay more connected with their families.
This is highest in China and India, with 95 percent of respondents in both countries believing tech is helping to balance their careers and parenting lives, followed by Brazil at 89 percent. The countries that agreed least with this sentiment are Germany (68 percent) along with Italy (71 percent)–perhaps indicating tech is less of a deciding factor in the equation of whether parents stay in the workforce.
Tech empowers a new generation of independent learners
While technology has many positives in aiding learning (use of high-speed internet, automated translation tools, and accessibility features), 72 percent of parents said they have concerns it could create dependencies in young people, potentially affecting social skills.
On the contrary, 73 percent said they trust technology is aiding future generations to be “more independent learners and problem solvers.”
Global Gen Z and millennials generally feel that technology has had a positive role in their education, with 41 percent agreeing it makes it easier to find out about causes or social issues they care about. The sentiment was shared by the general population, too, with almost half (49 percent) believing technology will be “extremely important” in solving future challenges in education.
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