There’s some fascinating data in the latest Ofcom “UK Children’s media literacy” report, which gives an insight into the lives of children between the ages of 5 and 15. Rather than being a survey which lumps all children together, this report breaks down the data into three age ranges (5-7, 8-11 and 12-15), which roughly correlate to the English Key Stages 1-3. Which means that if you’re a primary school Key Stage 2 teacher, you can use it to understand a little more about the media and ICT use of your students at home.

If you’ve got a burning interest in this area, then you’ll probably want to read the full 84-page report (and appendix), but if it saves time, here’s some of the headline points for 8-11 year olds, and 12-15 year olds.

I’m sure that some of this will come in handy as you discuss parental engagement, and long-term ICT strategy planning – especially as things like the Home Access Programme work to narrow the gap for those who don’t have access to ICT at home.

Before the table of data, here’s my headlines:

  • 82% of children have access to the Internet through a computer at home, and this is still 69% for low income households
  • Only 1% of children never use the Internet
  • 60% of 8-11 year olds use the Internet for homework weekly, increasing to 84% of 12-15 year olds
  • Time spent using the Internet is still catching up with TV time

PowerPoint fodder

A handy table of statistics for your next INSET/parents evening PowerPoint slides!

 

Overall

Primary
8-11 years old

Secondary
12-15 years old

Lower income households

Internet access at home through laptop/PC

82%

81%

85%

69%

Children who never use the Internet

1%

7%

1%

Not available (n/a)

Children who only use the Internet at school

9%

9%

7%

n/a

Children who have Internet access in their bedroom

16%

12%

31%

13%

Children who access the Internet from their mobile phone

6%

3%

14%

6%

Regular use of the Internet (almost daily)

n/a

54%

78%

n/a

Do schoolwork on the Internet at least once a week 1

n/a

60%

84%

n/a

Use a social network at least once a week 1

n/a

31%

69%

n/a

Hours per week watching TV 1

16 hours

16 hours

17 hours

17 hours

Hours per week using the Internet 1

9 hours

8 hours

14 hours

10 hours

Text messages sent a week

n/a

22

103

n/a

Internet control/filtering software in use at home 2

43%

49%

41%

n/a

1 These percentages are from those who have Internet/TV at home

2 The main reason quoted for those who don’t is that they trust their children to be sensible/responsible (70% in the case of 12-15’s). And only 14% didn’t know how to do it, or didn’t know it was possible.

Things that children do online

The Ofcom report also asked children a series of questions about online activities, to find out the kinds of activities that they do:

% of children who have…

Primary
8-11 years old

Secondary
12-15 years old

Setup on page/profile on social network
Most popular are Facebook, Bebo, Club Penguin and MySpace

22%

70%

Uploaded photos

11%

53%

Created an avatar

27%

28%

Set up own website

5%

22%

Created and uploaded a video

4%

16%

Set up a blog

2%

15%

Signed an online petition

1%

8%

It shows that in some areas they are creators of content, but the majority are still consumers when it comes to more media that takes more time to create, like videos or blogs.

I also wondered if anybody had done a similar survey of teachers, to find out the differences between students’ use of ICT and their teachers?

imageRead the full Ofcom report