Should Elementary School Students Use The Internet To Learn?

Children nowadays grow up digitally as a matter of course. Even at pre-school age, they take photos with their parents’ smartphones or play (educational) games on their tablets. This presents many mothers and fathers with questions that did not play a role in their childhood: how much internet can their own child tolerate and from what age? How can children learn to navigate safely through the information overload of the web? And which offers are suitable for this?

Asked: Should elementary school students use online research tools?

The Internet Is Also A Place To Learn From An Early Age

Even if most children prefer to use computers to play games. For many, the Internet is also a place to learn from an early age. Current numbers according to studies from KIM Study, DIVSI U9 Study, ICILS International Computer and Information Literacy Study, and Initiative D21, 2016 Study respectively.

  • Computer use at home: For children, the computer at home is more than just a toy. Computers and the Internet play an important role in learning for school. Three out of four children search online for information about school at least once a week. Both news texts and YouTube videos are used as a basis for information.
  • Children online: More than half of the eight-year-olds (55%) in this country are online, 37% even several times a week or daily. Almost a third (28%) of six-year-olds use the Internet regularly, and every tenth child of three-year-olds.
  • Digital competence: An international comparative study of the digital competence of 12 and 13-year-old schoolchildren attests that German schoolchildren have only average skills. Almost 30% lack the knowledge that would allow them to “use a computer and new technologies to research, design and communicate information and to evaluate it (…)”.
  • The learning environment in schools: PCs and computer rooms are available to 81% of teachers, 91% have access to beamers, 61% to interactive whiteboards and still 51% to laptops. However, this does not necessarily mean that the technology is actually used. Apparently, many students do not know what equipment is actually available in their school and therefore do not demand it.

Read also: Learning and Education In The Digital World

Conclusion: Should elementary school students use online research tools?

The fact is: Children can research information for school and lessons, use learning software or even check for themselves whether the results of individual school tasks are correct. Countless offers on the Internet suggest to children that they make learning easier. It is important to know that there are often commercial interests behind such offers. Sometimes the content taught there does not match the curricula. Sometimes they are even wrong. But with proper investigation, you can find numerous offers that can be used in the school context.