Pupils ask search engines ahead of parents, survey says

By Hannah Richardson
BBC News education reporter

Image caption,
Children are increasingly comfortable with digital technology

Children in the UK prefer using Google to asking their parents or teachers when they have a question, a snapshot survey suggests.

Some 54% of the 500 children asked said Google and other search engines were their first port of call when seeking information, pushing parents into second place on 26%.

Only 3% would ask their teacher.

The survey for Birmingham Science City also suggests many pupils think their parents could not do their homework.

Some 34% thought their homework was beyond their parents.

'Dictionary ditched'

The research suggests young people are more comfortable with digital sources information than traditional ones.

The majority, some 91%, of pupils used search engines, with almost half (47%) using them at least five times a day.

Almost half (45%) have never used printed encyclopaedia and almost a fifth have never used a dictionary.

Director of Birmingham Science City Dr Pam Waddell said: "With children now growing up in an environment where digital technology is accepted as standard, we wanted to see just how this has affected their approach to research and exploration.

"It's not surprising that with answers at the touch of the button, youngsters often Google questions before asking parents, friends or teachers."

She added: "However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It shows just how commonplace digital technology is for children today and how comfortable they are with using it.

"Children, no matter what generation they grow up in, have an inquisitive and curious nature, and so the fact they are able to use new technology to explore this is a positive sign for the future."

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