Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, September 9, 1999 Published at 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK


Children fail to learn from home computers

Children gain most from using computers in school

Children using computers at home are not making use of their educational potential, say researchers.

Although many parents buy computers for their children to help with schoolwork, researchers from the University of Loughborough have found that children are "not getting the most from the learning opportunities".

The research, based on observations of children aged seven to eleven, has found that children learn more from using computers at school than at home.

[ image: Children need the support of adults in using educational software]
Children need the support of adults in using educational software
At school, children have the supervision of a teacher and the support of using computers in pairs or in small groups - but researchers found that children at home used computers alone and without the necessary guidance of an adult.

Work put on display

Researchers also found greater rewards for using computers constructively at school - with pictures and written work put on display in the classroom, while work produced on home computers was only rarely acknowledged.

The research, which is to be presented to the British Psychological Society's annual conference at the University of Nottingham, says that software for children's use at home should be designed to encourage more adult involvement.

"If software were to be designed to incorporate more adult participation children's learning could become a richer experience," said researcher Charles Cook.

Although advertising for computers and software often showed a child and parent working together on a computer, in practice it was more likely that a child would be working on a computer alone and without adult guidance, say the researchers.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

27 Aug 99 | Education
Primary schools getting connected

22 Jul 99 | Education
Computer deal for schools

06 May 99 | Education
Computer software 'too macho for girls'

24 Apr 99 | Features
Classroom computer upgrade

15 Mar 99 | Education
Computer training 'failing teachers'

11 Feb 99 | Education
Computers in schools a 'mixed picture'

Internet Links

British Psychological Society

National Grid for Learning

BBC Education: DynaMo

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'