For the past few months we have been working on the issue of online learning and parental controls in response to the massive increase in distance learning thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, we have published our report and an accompanying infographic. Both are available online and as PDF downloads. We’re excited to put this work out there and hope it will prove useful to parents, teachers, students and policymakers in figure out how to more effectively deal with what will likely be a significant part of our children’s education for some time.
Among our key findings were:
- The type of online learning, the risks associated with it, and parental controls to deal with both vary significantly across age groups.
- A majority of parents use parental controls and are mostly happy with how effective those controls are, though they are also quick to identify problems and frustrations
- The greatest concern, across all age groups, is that children will see inappropriate content. But there are a number of other concerns, some which are significantly higher for specific ages, e.g. online bullying for 11-13 year olds
- The absence of standards in both software and terminology, combined with a huge array of devices, apps and services, has created a level of complexity in the parental controls market that defies easy explanation
- Parental controls are not static and change constantly as technology companies update their software. This has the knock-on impact of causing guides to parental controls to rapidly fall out of date
- Parental controls are only a partial solution: it is critical for parents and teachers to educate children on how to learn safely online
For more information visit the specific webpage for this work.