More and more, parents of young children are discovering the power of technology when it comes to helping their kids learn. Even mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have the potential to be used as powerful learning tools. And educational technology companies are starting to develop more apps, tools and even their own devices created specifically for helping kids learn and develop. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has even found that these tech and interactive media tools can support both learning and development when used appropriately. So how many parents utilize tech tools when helping their kids learn? And how many see the merit in these types of tools?
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 82% of overall respondents agreed that technology can be a helpful tool for helping kids learn. And 69% even went so far as to say that children should learn how to use technology at a young age. However, 80% said that they also think that it is possible for kids to spend too much time using technology. So it seems that, as NAEYC’s report also suggests, finding the right balance is important when it comes to using educational technology.
Overall, 89% of respondents said that they currently own their own computer. 64% have a smartphone. 52% own a tablet. And 19% own an ereader. Just 3% said they don’t own any of those devices. But the respondents who currently have kids under the age of 12 were even more likely than the rest of respondents to own those types of tech devices, especially tablets. 74% of parents with young kids said that they currently own tablets, while 80% own smartphones and 89% own computers.
Of those parents with kids under 12, 64% said that their kids regularly use computers. 59% let their kids use tablets regularly. 53% allow them to use smartphones. 39% said that their kids have their own tablets made specifically for children. And 18% said their kids regularly use ereaders. Just 10% of parents said that their kids don’t ever use tech devices or interactive media tools. More specifically, the iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Chromebook and Leap Pad were among the most popular devices mentioned by parents who let their kids use tech devices and interactive media tools.
In addition, 54% of parents said that they have multiple educational apps on those devices specifically for their kids. And another 20% said that they have at least one such app. PBS, Fisher Price, Disney, Leapfrog and Hooked on Phonics were all mentioned by parents as having educational apps for kids.
All of those gadgets and apps can be great for helping kids learn. But both parents and non-parents seem to agree that kids shouldn’t be using them non-stop. 76% of overall respondents agreed that kids should have specific daily time limits when it comes to using technology, and 79% of parents agreed. 51% think that two or three hours per day is an acceptable amount of time for kids to spend using those tech devices. And even if kids are just using those tools for learning, about half still feel that two to three hours per day is enough.
Based on the data, it seems that both parents and non-parents understand the potential value that technology and interactive learning tools can have for young kids and their educational development. However, moderation is key when it comes to using those devices. So it probably wouldn’t be the best strategy for educational technology companies to market tools as a one-stop-shop for kids’ educational needs. Instead, creating something that can be used in addition to other tools and activities could be more likely to appeal to parents who want their kids to have a more fully rounded list of daily activities.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on May 14 via AYTM’s online survey panel.